Friday, July 16, 2010

Dancing Forwards and Backwards: Palindrome fun with Josef Haydn

Listen to the (brilliant) Minuet from his 47th Symphony, and follow the score above according to the following plan:

Play the minuet (or "menuet," as it is notated here) forwards and repeat it forwards. Then play it backwards (right to left), and repeat it backwards. Do the same with the trio, and then for the da capo play the minuet forwards once and backwards once.

Wouldn't this be great if it were choreographed with movements that actually went forwards and backwards? Minuets in 18th-century symphonies were not meant to actually be danced, but those cultural norms have faded. In the 21st century we can take liberties, even if they are only imaginary ones.

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