plural scherzos or scherzi (-tsê)
A lively movement, commonly in 3/4 time.
[Italian, joke, scherzo, from Old Italian scherzare, to joke, perhaps of Germanic origin.]
Scherzo (Italian, "joke" or "play"), in music, rapid, vigorous instrumental composition in triple time, usually the second or third movement of an extended work, such as a sonata, symphony, or string quartet. In instrumental music of the 17th century the term scherzo was used as a title for light pieces of irregular form. The modern scherzo was given its character by Ludwig van Beethoven. He developed the form as a substitute for the minuet, which until about 1800 was the customary third movement of a symphony. The Austrian composer Joseph Haydn had already altered the stately character of the minuet, often making it a spirited, lively peasant dance. Most scherzos retain the formal outlines of the minuet, a term that persisted until the time of Beethoven. Subsequent composers, including Frédéric Chopin and the Russian-born Igor Stravinsky, occasionally used the scherzo as an independent form.
musical piece: pastorale,
scherzo, rondo, gigue, jig, reel