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Ballet music


Ballet music

The music specially created for Ballet receives its same name. Despite it was originally composed to accompany this form of dance, with time Ballet music gained as much notoriety as the dance itself.

It started with Romantic Ballet, the style that encouraged the elaboration of music for the performance art. Contrary to the style of the dance, this musical style received the name of Classical Ballet.

The most notorious characters involved in the creation of this musical trend are Jean-Baptiste Lully and Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky in both France and Russia, the motherlands of Ballet. Along the rise of fame of Tchaikovsky its music, including his works on Ballet were taken to the western world.

Up until the second half of the 19th century, Ballet music played a secondary role on the view of public and critics. It was seen as a composition of danceable tunes and as such, not the work of musical masters but that of craftsmen; even the Ballet music composed by Tchaikovsky was seen as demeaning to the rest of his work.

Lully composed a Ballet music where the music told a story of its own copying the style of the pioneer John Weaver, Lully was followed by Jean-Philippe Rameau in the writings of what back then was known as "opera-ballets", where the story was danced and sung accordingly.

When dancers replaced the hard shoes they used with pallet pumps, the music for ballet was empowered to introduce a more free-flowing style to accompany the dance in the early years of the 19th century.

As the music became more expressive, it was the dance that turned more daring, extreme and impressive in nature to match the momentum given by the music.

The prevalence was then, given to the music that after Tchaikovsky's involvement in the "Swan Lake", started to be written by other symphonic composers. By the late 19th century chorographers of great prominence like Marius Petipa had earned their fame creating true Ballet works of art, combining complex dance steps with complex music as well.

Throughout time, Ballet music adapted to the dance and incorporated jazz, tap and even creative adaptions of old music styles to fit the criteria, but in the end it has kept a classical nature since the public prefers the more romantic styles of music.