Pastoral dances by Jean Antoine Watteau

Pastoral dances by Jean Antoine Watteau

Painting of the French painter Antoine Watteau “Pastoral dances”. The size of the picture is 53 x 66 cm, canvas, oil. The pastoral music is called peaceful, idyllic songs, they also include music of a musette-like dance, but only at a slower pace. Musette – pastoral cheerful folk dance 6/8, moderate movement.

A characteristic feature of musette music is that it is built on an organ point on the tonic of the main mode or on a double organ station serving as an imitation of bagpipes. Actually, almost all folk dances – Cossacks, gopaks, trepaks, wraps, sconces, kolomyki, tarantels – are pastoral dances.

In Europe, many other original dances with an easy national color, with different remnants of antiquity, with features of ancient pre-Christian religious rituals, etc., have been preserved as well. In Germany and in the Czech Republic, the story of how everything began to dance in the nature with the sounds of a wonderful shepherd’s pipe dance, went already in the XV and XVI century.

To the fairy-tale shepherd-musician there are pre-Christian images of heavenly musicians – Pan, Apollo, Gandarva, etc.

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