from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A lively movement, commonly in 3/4 time, introduced as a replacement for a minuet in pieces with multiple movements.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A piece of music or a movement from a larger piece such as a symphony; especially, a piece of music played in a playful manner.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A playful, humorous movement, commonly in 3-4 measure, which often takes the place of the old minuet and trio in a sonata or a symphony.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In music, a passage or movement of a light or playful character; specifically, one of the usual movements of a sonata or symphony, following the slow movement, and taking the place of the older minuet, and, like it, usually combined with a trio. The scherzo was first established in its place by Beethoven.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a fast movement (usually in triple time)
Beethoven's most charming scherzo is based upon what might now be considered a skillfully handled Negro melody.
The first movement went at a tremendous, irresistible pace, the slow one stayed just on the right side of sentimentality, the scherzo was a tissue of delicate tracery, the finale joyously affirmative.
"Anagrams for Christophe Grozs contain the word scherzo and scherzi.
The scherzo is the flickering of mad watery lights, a fantastic whipping dance, a sudden sinister conclusion.
The second movement is a very playful scherzo, which is designated as elf-like -- as light and swift as possible.
Mr. Welser-Möst brought structural shape to the run-on scherzo, which is not easy.
And then there's the symphony's scherzo, which is based on a separate piece Mahler wrote using an excerpt about St. Anthony of Padua from the German folk poems "Des Knaben Wunderhorn".
The name "scherzo" in this connection is to be taken as signifying a play of fancy, rather than an especially playful mood in the sense of mirthfulness; in fact, it is not easy to find a rational explanation of the grounds upon which Chopin named his pieces, especially as between the ballad and the scherzo.
To a very quick "scherzo" the performer now added the first notes of an "adagio."
The word "scherzo" is usually understood as encompassing a sense of play, but one could have been forgiven on Tuesday for thinking it means "like an angry squirrel."