According to Wikipdia, a Contra Danse was an English folk dance incorporating two long rows of partners facing and moving towards or away from each other. At the end of the 17th century, these dances (then known as English country dances) were taken up by French dancers leading to hybrid choreographies. The French first called them contra-dance or contredanse. Usually set in 2/4 or 6/8 meter, the dances spread and over time were reinterpreted throughout the Western world. Eventually the French form of the name (following the erroneous belief that its genesis was French) came to be associated with American folk dances, especially in New England, where they have managed to survive.

The Contredanse in G-flat major, attributed to Chopin, was not discovered and published until 1934. This was more than 107 years after it was composed (at age 17). Though not subject to current debate, some speculation still exists as to its authenticity because the only remaining autograph (dated 1827) was not Chopin’s; the work is nevertheless believed by many to have come from Chopin’s pen.

It is a charming miniature though rarely performed, an engaging encore whose authorship   may, especially in this bicentennial year, engage the attention of a youthful listener intent on solving a musical mystery.


Listen Now to Chopin Project performer, Dmitri Vorobiev play this Chopin rarity. Then, please participate in the experiment, explained below:

The Experiment: Start the YouTube video but turn the YouTube volume down so you can’t hear it at all. While you’re watching the now silent YouTube video, watch it through while listening to the Chopin Contredanse. Please send us a comment about your experience.

  • Anonymous

    It matches nicely!


    Thank you for all the love you have place in this work. Really, it feels like taking a plane and flying there to sense every detail, to touch every, to listen alive every single sound of Chopin´s Poland.

  • Contradanse is a simple, yet beautiful piece that fit well with the English country dancers on you tube. I am now playing Contradanse on my grand just about every day.

  • Ray Rodenbeck

    I am a retired mental health therapist and live in Danville, IN. I retired about 6 months ago and am adapting. My wife still works, but we do have a “Senior Center” in out town, which provides us with lunch and frequent and various activities. I have been very thankful for our Senior Center and encourage other communities to develop the same. It is a joy to have a meeting place that also provides lunch daily and numerous activities. Danville, IN is about 15 miles west of Indianapolis. We are always open to suggestions and very much desire to hear of activities for senior citizens suggestions from all. Please share your experiences and activities with us! I will connect you at that time with the appropriate people in our center in Danville. Thank you.

    Ray Rodenbeck Please write me @