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  • 1 Mannheim, Germany
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The minuet was an integral part of multi-movement instrumental works of the Viennese Classical period, as well as playing a central role in eighteenth-century study of composition. During the nineteenth century, it was the scherzo that took over its didactic role,, which involved a shift of accent from a dance-like musical type to a kind of character piece. The variety of what “scherzo” could mean in the nineteenth century is probably the reason why there are relatively many scherzo and scherzando movements in Bartók's oeuvre. He encountered the genre quite early, already before and then during his studies of composition. The sum of his scherzos will be examined regarding tradition and originality, and also as to the intentions he had after his studies whenever he chose to compose a “scherzo.”