(Ger. Walzer; Fr. valse).
Dance in 3/4 time probably deriving from Ger. Ländler which came into prominence in last quarter of 18th cent. both among composers and in the ballroom. Where the latter was concerned, the waltzes of the Viennese composers Johann Strauss I and Lanner were popular throughout Europe. Beethoven, Schubert, and Hummel wrote waltzes. Weber's Invitation to the Dance is in waltz rhythm and is the first ‘sophisticated’ treatment of the waltz. Chopin's waltzes are fine examples. In symphonic mus. the 2nd movt. of Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique and 3rd movt. of Tchaikovsky's 5th sym. are outstanding. Tchaikovsky also wrote great waltzes in his operas and ballets; and those by Johann Strauss II, Richard Strauss (Der Rosenkavalier), Ravel, and others are deservedly cherished.