A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Grossvater-Tanz

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GROSSVATER-TANZ, i.e. grandfather-dance. A curious old German family-dance of the 17th century, which was greatly in vogue at weddings. Spohr had to introduce it into the Festival march which he wrote by command for the marriage of Princess Marie of Hesse with the Duke of Saxe Meiningen in 1825 (Selbstbiog. ii. 165). It consisted of three parts, the first of which was an andante in triple time, sung to the words

'Und als der Grossvater die Grossmutter nahm,
 Da war der Grossvater ein Bräutigam,'

to which succeeded two quick phrases in 2-4 time—

{ \time 3/8 \key g \major \tempo "Andante" \partial 8 \relative d' { d8 g8. g16 g8 g a b | b a a a4 a8 | b8. c16 d8 d c b | b a a a4 \repeat volta 2 { \time 2/4 \tempo "Allegro" s8 d'8 b g a fis g16 a g fis g8 d' b g a fis g4 r8 } \repeat volta 2 { d8 g a b c d16 e d cis d8 c b g a fis g4 r8 } } }

As this dance usually concluded an evening, it was also called the 'Kehraus' (clear-out). Its chief musical interest arises from the fact that it is the 'air of the 17th century,' which Schumann in his 'Carnaval' introduces in the 'March of the Davidsbündler against the Philistines.' He also uses it in the finale of his 'Papillons,' op. 2.

[ E. P. ]