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Petite musique de nuit

The celebrated “petite musique de nuit” by the genius Mozart bears the title “Eine kleine Nachtmusik” in German.

The French language has an elegant word to refer to this melodic piece of vocal or instrumental music: the word “sérénade”. But alas, an individual who either hated German or was deficient in French felt it was a good idea to opt for a word-for-word translation to refer to this delightful composition by the Master. And it was this translation – “petite musique de nuit” – that held sway in the musicography of the time and has remained in use right up to the present day.


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