19th Century Dance Movements
The 19th century saw the rise in importance of stylized
dance movements for the orchestra and solo instruments, especially the
piano. Dances of a national character, such as the "polonaise,"
"mazurka," and "jota,"
were set by many composers. Moreover, general national types -- Hungarian,
Spanish, and Slavonic -- formed the bases of many works. These were
usually expanded, idealized concert versions,
not social dances. Sometimes dance movements that symbolized ideas
or events, such as "Danse Macabre" by Saint-Saens
and Liszt's "Mephisto
Waltz," gave Romantic composers the opportunity
to use realistic devices to intensify the mood or atmosphere.