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Strauss 'Blue Danube' Melodic & Rhythmic Phrasing

 

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Strauss 'The Blue Danube' Waltz Theme

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In this lesson I discuss getting ready to play the piece.

'The Blue Danube' is a waltz meaning that it is in 3/4 (three-quarter) time. This means we count: 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, and so on. More partiuclar to this waltz, is the rhythmic pulse that Strauss uses to give it so much forward momentum. He always starts his phrases on the third beat of the measure. This leads to rhythmic emphasis being placed on the last beat of each measure and landing on the first beat of the next measure:

THREE - ONE - two - THREE - ONE - two ...

The melodic phrasing is a combination of a low voice group of notes, followed (answered) by a high voice group of notes throughout the piece. Both of these components (the rhythmic & melodic phrasing) are what give the piece it's distinctive sound.

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