'Minuet-scenes' in early opéra-comique

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Presents the discovery of a minuet-topos and how it functioned in opéra-comique from c.1738 up to the works of Jean-Joseph Vadé (d. 1756), when borrowed music still remained in use. (New words were invented for pre-existing music, taken from many different sources.) Newly discovered sources for minuets, taken from contemporary instrumental music, are discussed, and the once well-known Menuet d'Exaudet. Account is taken of Wye Jamison Allanbrook's discussion of the dance-topos in Italian opera tradition, and an alternative schema proposed for the French ambit, whereby dance-idioms entered the opera genre earlier. The cultural associations of Minuets with balls and mixing of the sexes are explored. Favart's ingenious uses of minuets in 'Le Bal bourgeois' and 'Les Jeunes mariés' are identified. Crossover influences between instrumental and stage music are traced. An Opéra Comique orchestration of the Menuet d'Exaudet is reproduced, representing a unique musical source for that theatre, forming part of 'Bertholde à a ville' (1754).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTimbre und Vaudeville
Subtitle of host publicationZur Geschichte und Problematik einer populären Gattung im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert.
EditorsHerbert Schneider
Place of PublicationHildesheim etc.
PublisherGeorg Olms Verlag
Number of pages36
ISBN (Print)3487109344
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Publication series

NameMusikwissenschaftliche Publikationen
PublisherGeorg Olms Verlag
ISSN (Print)0944-8608


  • France, opera, musical language, parody, dance music influence, minuet, opéra-comique, social balls

Cite this