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A bagatelle is a short piece of music, typically for the piano, and usually of a light character. The name bagatelle literally means a trifle, as a reference to the innocent character of the piece.

Earliest known bagatelle

The earliest bagatelle with that name was by François Couperin, in his tenth harpsichord ordre, in which a rondeau was entitled Les bagatelles.

Best known bagatelles

The best known bagatelles are probably those by Ludwig van Beethoven, who wrote three sets, Opus 33, opus 119, Opus 126 and the "Bagatelle in A minor", better known as Für Elise. Other notable examples are Franz Liszt's Bagatelle sans tonalité (an early exploration into atonality), the set by Antonín Dvořák for two violins, cello and harmonium (opus 47), and sets by Bedřich Smetana, Saint-Saëns, and Jean Sibelius. In the 20th century, several composers have written sets, including Béla Bartók, who wrote a set of fourteen (opus 6); Anton Webern, wrote a set of six for string quartet (opus 9); and Gerald Finzi, who wrote Five Bagatelles for clarinet and piano.

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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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