In today’s tutorial on Mozart’s Minuet in F Major, K2, we’re going to smoosh together some learning points from previous videos. We’re going to dissect this difficult grade 1-level piece and look at the theory behind it, then figure out how to play it.
Here is the sheet music PDF for Minuet in F Major:
Minuet in F Major sheet music
*There are several versions on this page – I prefer the one at the very bottom, by Pierre Gouin.
Let’s get started!
| Notebook for Nannerl|
Piano. Composed by Leopold Mozart (1719-1787). Edited by Stefan Simon. Schott. Classical. Softcover. 80 pages. Schott Music #ED9006. Published by Schott Music (HL.49008268).
Backstory of Minuet in F Major
So much of the music that Mozart wrote is pretty advanced in difficulty, but luckily, he also wrote a lot of shorter pieces as a child that we can play and learn from.
This piece, Minuet in F Major, K 2, was composed when Mozart was 6 or so. But before you go and get too excited, it’s pretty likely that his father wrote down the composition for little Mozart, maybe even making some minor corrections. Okay, that’s still pretty impressive.
This piece is from a book called “Notebook for Nannerl,” who was Mozart’s sister. For more information about Mozart – he was an interesting guy – check out the video on a Brief History of Mozart, as well as the Music of Mozart.
So Minuet in F Major was written in January, 1762, and Mozart would have written it for the harpsichord, meaning this piece still has a lot of Baroque characteristics despite Mozart being a Classical composer.
The Minuet Style
The next thing I want to discuss with Mozart’s Minuet in F major is what a Minuet is. Lots of older songs were based on dances and dance styles, and the Minuet was one of those. Let’s just talk about some of the basic characteristics of this dance style:
-Slow to moderate rhythm (not fast)
-3/4 time signature
-Simple rhythms and a light character
Check out the video to listen to Mozart’s Minuet in F Major – try to pinpoint these characteristics while you listen!
What is a motif?
We haven’t talked about motifs before on this channel, and I think this is as good a place to start as any. Just so I don’t butcher the definition, Wikipedia tells us that a motif is:
A short musical idea, a recurring figure, a musical fragment that is characteristic of a composition.
A good example of a motif is from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony – the famous opening lines (imitate) that are threaded over and over again throughout the song. I could probably do a whole video on this but I’ll keep to the point.
There’s a very simple 1-bar rhythmic motif running through Minuet in F Major – two 8th notes followed by two quarter notes. Just quickly scanning through the piece, you can see that 1-bar pattern is constant throughout the whole piece, and it’s been twisted and turned in all sorts of directions.
A couple weeks ago, we talked about the appoggiatura, that little melodic device that gives the melody some tension. You can check out that video if you missed it. This piece is a great study of appoggiaturas, because they’re all over the place.
An appoggiatura is where the resolution note is delayed. You’ll notice an appoggiatura at the end of every four bars in this piece – check out the video to hear how it creates tension.
Binary and Rounded Binary Form
The next thing I want to take a look at is song format. Since minuets are generally very neat and tidy and symmetrical, the format is easy to find. But I want you to think about this for a moment – does this piece look like it’s in binary form, or rounded binary form?
It’s rounded binary. We have two parts – the A section in the beginning, the part that changes in the middle (B), and then the tune from the beginning comes back again (A). Binary form is when you go A-B, whereas rounded binary means going A-B-A.
So now we have to talk about cadences. Check out the video on cadences if you missed that – I told you we’d be putting together a lot of information today! – and everything is also linked below in the description bar.
Cadences are musical sentence-enders, like periods and commas. They usually come at the end of a phrase (which is another way of marking a musical sentence), like punctuation.
In minuets, the cadences are also easy to find because everything tends to be very symmetrical – cadences tend to happen after every 4 bars.
So we can easily find the cadences by counting in groups of 4 bars. The appoggiaturas are also located at the cadences.
I’m going to get technical here, so if you’re not caught up on your cadences I might lose you.
Our first cadence is a perfect cadence, which is typical – perfect cadences are the strongest, mightiest cadence, and putting it at the beginning of the piece reinforces the song’s key (which is F). I know it’s a perfect cadence because the harmony moves from C to F (From V – I).
And if we take a quick look at the end of the piece, we see the same thing – again, it’s very common for a piece to end with a perfect cadence because it gives you that feeling of complete resolution.
In the second cadence, these chords are reversed – this time it goes from an F harmony to a C harmony. This is our imperfect cadence, creating a sense of “more”. There’s more to the piece. It creates anticipation.
When you’re in binary form, especially with simple dances like the minuet, you’re generally going to go through a key change right before, or after, the B section. So looking at the next cadence, this time our harmony is moving from D major to G minor! This is another perfect cadence, but now we’re in the key of G minor.
But by the fourth line we’ve come out of that dark G minor patch and now we’re back to our regular perfect cadence in the key of F.
But wait, there’s more! A deceptive cadence! These are the ones where it moves from V – vi (in this case, C to Dm). It’s like a trick. You expect it to resolve to F major like a perfect cadence, but it doesn’t. It deceives you and goes to a minor chord instead.
Check out today’s video for some examples of the cadences.
A note on articulation and fingering
One thing that’s really important in dance music is careful articulation. What I mean by that is following the page markings carefully – there aren’t any staccatos/accents in this piece, but you need to pay special attention that you’re not inventing slurs where there are none.
The two downbeats in every bar need to be steady like a drum (imagine someone trying to dance to your playing), and they absolutely MUST NOT be slurred. A common accident I hear with dance music is a slur from the last beat of the bar, to the first beat of the next bar. Doing that ruins the whole dance vibe, making the beat mellower and less defined. So discipline your fingers, because usually accidental slurs is a result of lazy playing.
Another piece of advice I want to give you is, since this copy of the piece has no finger markings, it’s up to you to figure out your own fingering plan. What I usually do is move finger 3 to the beginning of each bar with 8th notes. There might be an exception or two but that’s how I remember what I’m doing.
So far this is the third Mozart piece we’ve done on PianoTV – we’ve also done his Alla Turca (simplified), and the introduction to his Fantasia K 397 – basically just the first 30 seconds or so, because after that it gets super crazy.
I hope you enjoyed today’s video! Practice hard, and catch you next time. 🙂
What level is minuet in F major? ›
Minuet in F major, k 5 is a short piano piece written by classical composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It would suit piano learners of grade 1 to 2 level, and is a good study in rhythm.When did Mozart write minuet in F? ›
So Minuet in F Major was written in January, 1762, and Mozart would have written it for the harpsichord, meaning this piece still has a lot of Baroque characteristics despite Mozart being a Classical composer.Did Mozart compose a minuet? ›
His first documented composition, a Minuet and Trio in G major, is listed as KV 1 (he eventually made it all the way up to KV 626, his Requiem) and was composed when he was just five years old. Perhaps you'd expect it to be rudimentary, but no: it's annoyingly excellent.What grade is Sonatina in F major? ›
Sonatina in F Major, Anh.
Either movement of this sonatina is appropriate for Grade 5 piano students.
His last symphony—the Jupiter Symphony—is perhaps his most famous. Mozart completed the Jupiter Symphony in 1788, just three years before his death. At his death, Mozart left incomplete his Requiem in D Minor, K 626. The requiem was later completed by Mozart's student, Franz Xaver Süssmayr.What does minuet mean in music? ›
min·u·et ˌmin-yə-ˈwet. : a slow graceful dance in ³/₄ time characterized by forward balancing, bowing, and toe pointing. : music for or in the rhythm of a minuet.What did Beethoven replace minuet with? ›
It was Beethoven, mainly, who replaced the minuet with the faster scherzo.Who owns Mozart's music? ›
Music. The copyright duration of composed music is the same as for books, paintings and other literary and artistic works: the author's lifetime + 70 years. Therefore, the musical compositions of old masters like Beethoven (1770 – 1827) or Mozart (1756 – 1791) are all in the public domain and you can freely use them.What style of music is minuet? ›
A minuet is an elegant dance in triple time.
Dance forms with three beats to the bar were remarkably persistent in Western music, until rock and roll proclaimed the triumph of four-four to an apparently willing world.
Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687) was one of the pioneers to introduce the minuet into the opera idiom, later in the 17th century it was adopted into the suite, and used by the likes of Johann Sebastien Bach (1685 -1750) and George Frederic Handel (1685-1759).
What is the hardest melody in piano? ›
'La Campanella', which translates as 'little bell', comes from a larger work – the Grandes études de Paganini – and is famous for being one of the most difficult pieces ever written for piano.What grade is easy piano? ›
They are generally suited for players between grade one and grade four standard, as well as having chord symbols for keyboard players, guitarists, even ukulele players. The arrangements are well thought out and easy to read, and they use friendlier key signatures throughout.Is Level 3 in piano good? ›
Grade 3 is considered “early intermediate”, and everything between levels 3-6 is considered intermediate. Once you hit Grade 7, that's when things start getting advanced. Basically, by Grade 3, you should be comfortable with all the basics.What does F mean in piano? ›
The two basic dynamic indications in music are: p or piano, meaning "quiet". f or forte, meaning "loud or strong".What does F major mean in piano? ›
F major (or the key of F) is a major scale based on F, with the pitches F, G, A, B♭, C, D, and E. Its key signature has one flat. Its relative minor is D minor and its parallel minor is F minor.What's the difference between a sonata and a sonatina? ›
A sonatina (French: “sonatine”, German: “Sonatine") is a small sonata. As a musical term, sonatina has no single strict definition; it is rather a title applied by the composer to a piece that is in basic sonata form, but is shorter and lighter in character, or technically more elementary, than a typical sonata.Why is Mozart's music so special? ›
He was a master of dramatic timing.
Mozart's operas are timeless works, featuring perfect dramatic pacing, lifelike characters, and humanistic themes that make them seem fresh and relevant even in the modern era.
Mozart liked billiards and was apparently very good at it. He played often with his friend, the Irish tenor Michael Kelly, and almost always won. (Kelly sang Don Basilio and Don Curzio in the first performance of Figaro in 1786).What is Mozart's best piano piece? ›
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Serenade No.
There is a good chance that this first piece, “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik,” is Mozart's most famous piano work.
It was a way to show that they belonged at court. Louis XIV was particularly fond of the minuet, and so this dance was thought to reflect aristocratic refinement and dignity. Because of the popularity of the minuet, composers wrote many of them.
What is the key of minuet? ›
Audio Profile. Minuet in G minor is written in the key of Gm.What is the root word of minuet? ›
Etymology. From French menuet, from menu (“small”) + -et (“diminutive”), from Latin minutus (“very small”).Why did Beethoven stop playing the piano? ›
Beethoven stopped playing music due to hearing issues, which are widely attributed to the musician's deafness. It wasn't until he was 42 years old that he became nearly deaf. He had to stop making and writing music because he couldn't hear the piano.What did Beethoven think of the piano? ›
In spite of their loudness advantage, Beethoven preferred the lighter action of the Viennese instruments; he thought the English pianos were unplayable. He said soon before he died, “The piano is and remains an inadequate instrument.”What did Beethoven call a piano? ›
Three early Beethoven piano sonatas (WoO 47)
Beethoven famously described the piano as 'an unsatisfactory instrument.
The most famous composer of them all, Mozart is regarded as one of the best pianists that ever lived. His work was hugely versatile and clearly reflects the way piano music changed during the classical era, he also inspired many of the other greats in this list.Did Beethoven and Mozart ever meet? ›
In 1787, when Beethoven was 16, he traveled to Vienna to meet and study with Mozart.Is classical music good for the brain? ›
Brain Power Boost
Therefore, individuals who listen to classical music retain information better and are less likely to have memory loss as they age.
Minuet Origin and Meaning
The name Minuet is girl's name of French origin. Minuet is delicate, dancey, and lacy, with a Masterpiece Theatre feel. Is Minuet a real name? Not really, though similar-sounding French names such as Minette and Manette are.
minuet, (from French menu, “small”), elegant couple dance that dominated aristocratic European ballrooms, especially in France and England, from about 1650 to about 1750.
What tempo is a minuet usually in? ›
The minuetto is a three-time composition, graceful in style and moderate in pace. A metronome speed of around 112 crotchet beats per minute is ideal, although the tempo could also be convincing a shade slower or quicker.Did Beethoven write a minuet? ›
Ludwig van Beethoven's Minuet in G major, WoO 10, No. 2 is a composition originally written for orchestra, but was lost and only an arrangement for piano could be found. It has become very popular.Is minuet baroque or Classical? ›
13. Minuet. Predominantly in 3/4 time (like the waltz), the Minuet became popular in the Baroque period - but then super-popular in the Classical period when it was combined with a Trio section as well.What country did minuet originate from? ›
The dance steps and musical form of the Minuet had originated in France in the 1660s. Under the watchful eye of Louis XIV, France had come to dominate European, and therefore American, fashions in clothing, food, art, music, and dance, and it would maintain that cultural dominance for several hundred years.What difficulty is minuet in G major? ›
This minuet is actually compiled as a pair – one in G major (which we're doing today), and another in G minor. They're both about the same level of difficulty (RCM/ABRSM grade 3).What grade is minuet in G Beethoven? ›
The piano version was first published in Vienna in 1796. This Minuet in G Major, WoO 10, No. 2 is undoubtedly one of the most famous minuets ever composed! It is appropriate for Grade 5 piano students.What skill level is minuet in G major? ›
"Minuet in G Major" at Level 4 is in the original form that Petzold wrote.What is the musical scale of F major? ›
The notes of the F Major scale are F G A Bb C D E. It's key signature has 1 flat. Press play to listen to the scale.How long does it take to learn Minuet? ›
To get it to an okay point where you can consistently play the right thing, a month or so with 30 minutes of daily practice, probably. It depends on your skill level and experience. For some, it takes a few hours, for others it takes a few weeks.What grade is minuet in C? ›
Minuet in C (Grade 1, list A3, from the ABRSM Piano Syllabus 2023 & 2024)
What grade is Fur Elise by Beethoven? ›
It's around grade 5 (ABRSM) or grade 7 (RCM) so very much in the intermediate realm if we're judging by the formal standards of the classical piano route.What key is G dominant? ›
|Relative key||E minor|
|Parallel key||G minor|
|Dominant key||D major|
Bach likely intended the simple binary dances contained in Anna Magdalena's notebooks, including the Minuets entered without composer indication, as teaching material, likely rather for his younger children than for his wife.Is F major A sad key? ›
Pauer's key characteristics for F major is that it is “at once full of peace and joy, but also expresses effectively a light, passing regret—a mournful, but not a deeply sorrowful feeling. It is, moreover, available for the expression of religious sentiment.”What is F major key signature? ›
F major (or the key of F) is a major scale based on F, with the pitches F, G, A, B♭, C, D, and E. Its key signature has one flat. Its relative minor is D minor and its parallel minor is F minor.