Musical movement in rapid triple time; it replaced the minuet in genres such as the symphony, sonata, and string quartet in the 19th century. The name was first used for light vocal and instrumental pieces of the Baroque era. It formally often resembles the minuet, being in rounded binary form and having a contrasting trio section between two statements of the scherzo proper, but its tempo is often much faster and its style may range from playful to vehement or grotesque.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on scherzo, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up scherzo? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More