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What is a Scherzo?


The word scherzo means “joke” in Italian. Beethoven preferred using the vigorous scherzo, rather than the more reserved minuet, as the third movement in his symphonies, sonatas, and chamber works. Later composers wrote scherzos as independent pieces. Examples include Chopin's Sherzos for piano, and the Sorcerer's Apprentice of Paul Dukas, a symphonic scherzo.



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