Waltz(i) (Fr. valse; Ger. Walzer)
- Andrew Lamb
(Fr. valse; Ger. Walzer)
A dance in triple time which became the most popular ballroom dance of the 19th century. Not only has it proved the most celebrated and enduring of dance forms, but its influence on musical history has probably been greater than that of any other (with the possible exception of the minuet). It attracted the attention of major composers of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and was accepted into all forms of musical composition. As a dance form its musical quality was developed to an unusual extent.
The actual origins of the waltz are somewhat obscure, but it is clear that its evolution as a separate dance form was gradual. The name can be seen to be derived from the German verb walzen, which in turn is connected with the Latin verb volvere denoting a turning or rotating. French writers, starting with Castil-Blaze, have found an ancestor of the waltz in the 16th-century ...