Georg Philipp Telemann


Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)

Born in Magdeburg, Germany
2. Studied in Magdeburg, Zellerfeld, and Hildesheim
3. Telemann entered the University of Leipzig to study law, but eventually settled on a career in music.
4. He held important positions in Sorau, Poland
5. He then held another important positions in Eisenacht and Frankfurt.
6. In 1721 he settled in Hamburg where he became musical director of the five main churches.


Telemann was the most prolific composers in musical history with over 3,000 compositions to his name. He was mostly self-taught and became a composer against his family’s wishes. He was friends with both Bach and Handel.

Telemann was a BAROQUE composer born in the city of Magdeburg, then the capital of the Duchy of Magdeburg, Brandenburg-Prussia and today part of Germany:

Telemann’s music incorporates several national styles such as French, Italian, German and even Polish popular music.

A Rigaudon is a lively French style baroque dance dating back to the 17th century. It became popular as a court dance during the reign of King Louis XIV where the hopping steps were adopted by the skilful French dancers of the royal court.


This was originally written for the Harpsichord. Click PLAY to hear what it may have sounded like:

  • The Harpsichord cannot change dynamics so the music has been adapted for this piano exam with the addition of slurs, staccato and dynamics by the editor. These are for guidance but you can change things if you like but you must be consistent. For example, the articulation could be lighter than suggested with any individual crotchets played staccato:
  • At bar 9 the music is marked piano which gives an important contrast for to the rest of the piece. But after two bars the dynamic starts to move back up again with a crescendo:
  • Once you get to the bottom of the page D.C al Fine tells you to go back to the start and play until the word Fine. Add a slight ritardando at the end to make it sound final. Also, if you are feeling adventurous you could add a little trill on the final G#:
  • Always remember that the Rigaudon was orginally a lively and stately dance so try to capture that sprit in your playing. Here is some dance notation for a ‘Rigadoon’ from 1721:

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