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Painting The Serenade by Nicolas Lancret from 1740
Spanish Serenade by Carl Spitzweg (1808–1885)
The Serenade by François-Adolphe Grison (1845–1914)
Poster from 1939
Serenade in military music with the US Marine Band

The serenade (it. Sereno cheerful, al sereno under a clear sky, outdoors; also sera evening) is an evening serenade or evening music in free form, usually performed as open-air music, with an entertaining character. The term can be proven from the 17th century. Regardless of the mode of performance, a serenade has also been understood as a suite-like instrumental piece with a larger number of movements since the Viennese Classic , whereby the term serenade is only used with regard to the compositional idea of ​​performing evening music.

In contrast, the aubade denotes a morning serenade .

In a special form, a serenade can also be part of the military ceremony before the big tattoo of the Bundeswehr, with the personalities to be honored (e.g. Federal President , Federal Chancellor or Federal Minister of Defense when they say goodbye at the end of their office) request up to four pieces of music allowed to.


The early classical serenades (among others by Haydn , Mozart and Salieri ) liked to introduce some wind instruments ( oboes , bassoons , horns , clarinets ), as is appropriate for outdoor music . With the arrival of the serenade in the concert hall - which can already be found in Mozart - more and more string instruments were added in order to create a more orchestral sound.

Beethoven wrote two serenades for chamber ensemble , Op. 8 for ( violin , viola and violoncello ), as well as Op. 25 for flute, violin and viola, the serenades also include the Trio Op. 87 for two oboes and cor anglais.

Another characteristic of earlier serenades was that all instruments were used in concert; That is, a balance between all the instruments involved was sought; This feature is also no longer found in serenades from the Classical or Romantic periods .

Serenades for pure winds also composed:

Well-known string serenades wrote, among others:

Serenades for full orchestra :

Only two typical characteristics have been preserved from the earlier serenade to this day: that it (mostly, but not always) has more movements than the sonata and that these movements are more minimalist in terms of their execution - that is, on the whole, they are lighter and freer than in the symphony and suite . Usually the serenade has several minuet-like movements and one or two slow movements as the core. Originally, the beginning and end were in the form of the march .


Serenade is also the title of a German film from 1937 (director: Willi Forst , music: Peter Kreuder ).

See also


Web links

Commons : Serenades  - collection of images, videos and audio files