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Mazurka in D minor

Hi, My name is John, and I'm a Music Education major at CCSU in CT. We recently performed Lincolnshire Posy by Percy Grainger, and earlier today analyzed The D Minor Mazurka by Tchaikovsky.

I know if anyone is familiar with the movements of Posy, but the 5th movement, Labeled "Lord Melbourne" (War song) the Trumpet solo at rehersal 2, and the Baritone solo at Rehersal 24 sound eerily familiar to Tchaikovsky's first 2 or 3 measures of his D minor Mazurka.

The Movement is about "Lord Melborne", but the actual folk song it is based off of, I think, is Lord Marlborough, who is John Churchill.

Now, I know that Percy collected old English folk songs to compose Posy, and I'm pretty sure that Mazurkas are old Polish folk songs.

What I'm wondering is were both of these folk songs based somehow off of the same person? Or did Tchaikovsky Base his Mazurka off of Churchill, and Percy happened to be a fan of Tchaikovsky? I really don't know, but what i do know is that the two segments of each are almost identical, and I have no idea ow to find out. That's why i'm E-Mailing you this, because you run a website directly about what I'm trying to figure out.

Thanks for your help!

John Edward Anderson

Tchaikovsky's Mazurka started out as an orchestral piece, written to accompany a play by Aleksandr Ostrovskii called Dmitrii the Pretender and Vasilii Shuiskii, which he subsequently arranged for piano as the Mazurka in D minor, Op. 9, No. 3. There's no reason to believe that Tchaikovsky had ever heard of the traditional English tune Lincolnshire Posy, or that he might have had that in mind when he wrote his music to accompany scenes depicting dramatic events in Russian history. So as the saying goes, "any similarity is purely coincidental".

Brett Langston

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This page was last updated on 05 November 2013