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The gavotte (gavot, gavote, or gavotta) originates from French folk dances. It was popular at the court of Louis XIV in the Baroque Era, where Jean-Baptiste Lully was the leading composer.

The gavotte was usually in 4/4 or 2/2 time at a moderate tempo. Earlier court gavottes began on the downbeat, but by the 18th century, phrases began in the middle of the measure, creating a half-bar upbeat. In the Baroque suite, the gavotte is play before or after the sarabande.


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Here are some typical gavotte rhythms below:


Below is an excerpt from "Gavotte en Rondeau" from Violin Partita No. 3 in E Major. See if you can find any typical gavotte rhythms or half-bar upbeats.


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