Music, School of


Date of this Version

January 2009


The 36 waltzes comprising Franz Schubert’s “Originaltänze” (First Waltzes) were written in 1816 when the composer was 19 (probably initially conceived as improvised pieces played for his friends at “Schubertiads”) and appeared in 1821 as op. 9. This was the first of several sets of dances for piano solo and the only one whose sequence of movements was specified. This is important in the overall harmonic progression, which begins in the flat keys, moving eventually to conclude in F major, reflecting Schubert’s interest in mediant relationships. While published as piano music they were also used as lead sheets, much like “fake books” used by jazz musicians. My adaptation of 15 of the waltzes while for the most part preserving Schubert’s melodies expands his diatonic harmony and waltz rhythm.

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