MINUET (No. 10 from 24 Short and Easy Pieces)

Alexander Reinagle


Alexander Robert Reinagle (1756 – 1804)

  1. Born in Portsmouth, England
  2. In the 1770s he studied music in Scotland and then went into the shipping industry and made several trips to the American colonies
  3. In 1786 he moved to New York in the United States where he introduced the music of Haydn and Mozart alongside his own music. He composed several pieces of music for one of his admirers – President George Washington
  4. Reinagle settled in Philadelphia where his passion was for the theatre and where he produced over 75 programmes of opera and ballet.


Twenty-four Short and Easy Lessons were composed as teaching pieces for keyboard. Reinagle’s music is typical of the CLASSICAL period showing the influence of composers like Haydn and Mozart:

A Minuet is a gentle dance in 3 time. It originated in 18th century France as a popular elegant and fashionable dance for gracious occasions.


  • Try to capture the spirit of the dance in this piece. Do this by giving more weight to the first beat of the bar:
  • The dotted minims in the left hand can be joined smoothly like this:
  • Or they could be slightly detached like this: Which ever you do make sure it is consistent throughout:
  • Keep the staccato notes crisp at all times, and observe the crescendos in bars 5-6 and 13-15 are important to give the music direction:
  • Always play it with elegance by keeping the pulse steady and not too fast. You can slow down a little in the final bar to make it sound like you’ve arrived at the end too:

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