A musical form that originated
as a series of dance tunes conflicting in character, rhythm and tempo
(speed). The suite was at its peak in the renainssance
It was born at the beginning of the 16th century, when the musical world
shifted its attention from vocal
(sung) to instrumental
(played) music. Then, composers turned to
drawing their inspiration from these dances. Thus the suite was crystallized
as a combination of dances from different countries. The
four original dances that crystalized into the suite of the late 17th century
were the Allemande
These have appeared in nearly every suite written ever since, yet unfixed
dances were added between the third and the fourth (minuette,
and other dances).
important principles in the suite are the contrast in tempo between neighbouring
movements (a slow dance will follow a quick one), one musical key for all
movements, and many binary movements. Among the important suite writers,
mainly for harpsichord
is J. S. Bach
(his four Orchestral Suites
are also well-known).
At the beginning of the classic
the suite cleared its place for the sonata
as the main form of composition.
In the Romantic period, composers
revived the suite - this time as a collection
of pieces of stage music played by a symphonic
created the orchestral suite "Peer-Gynt",
- "Sur le
Tomb de Couperin" and Tchaikovsky
- "The Nutcracker".
The suite originated from folk dances
Listen to some dances from the Suite