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A bagatelle is a short piece of music, typically for the piano, and usually of a light, mellow character. The name bagatelle literally means "a short unpretentious instrumental composition" as a reference to the light style of a piece (OED 2001; Kennedy and Kennedy 2007). Although bagatelles are generally written for solo piano, they have also been written for piano four hands, harpsichord, harp, organ, classical guitar, vibraphone, unaccompanied oboe, clarinet, violin, viola, various chamber-music configurations, orchestra, band, voice and piano, and a cappella choir. Earliest known bagatelle The earliest use of the name "bagatelle" for a musical work was by Fran├žois Couperin, in his tenth harpsichord ordre (1717), in which a rondeau is titled "Les bagatelles" (Brown 2001). Best-known bagatelles The best-known bagatelles are probably those by Ludwig van Beethoven, who published three sets, Opp. 33, 119 and 126, and wrote a number of similar works that were unpublished in his lifetime...
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