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Johann Strauss, Sr: Pizzicato Polka

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: It’s just like two members of Santa’s sleigh team.

When both father and son are named Johann Baptist Strauss, and both are successful composers, there’s bound to be some confusion. However, the younger Strauss’ love and success with the waltz idiom gave him the defining moniker “The Waltz King” and propelled him to more stardom than his father received. Not everyone loved waltzing, though. An anti-waltzing pamphlet published in 1797 was titled, “Proof that waltzing is a main source of the weakness of the body and mind of our generation.” The origin of the term “waltz” is actually quite simple. The word comes from the German verb wälzen, meaning TO TURN or TO ROTATE—an apt description of a roomful of Viennese waltzers!

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