Sheet Music: Galop infernal

TitleGalop infernal
from Orpheus in the Underworld
Alternate titlesCan-can
Ce bal est original
ComposerJacques Offenbach (1819–1880)
InstrumentationFlute solo
KeyD major
Time signature2/4
Tempo160 BPM
Performance time1:50
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (83 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (884 kB)
Date added2009-05-31
Last updated2009-05-31
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 5.0 (very popular)
Dance tunes, Opera excerpts, Romantic


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Sunday 31 May 2009

Tune of the Day: Can-can

Jacques Offenbach's “Galop infernal“ from “Orpheus in the Underworld”
Toulouse-Lautrec, Jane Avril dancing

Offenbach's operetta Orpheus in the Underworld (Orphée aux enfers) is an irreverent parody and scathing satire on Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, culminating in this well-known “galop infernal” which has often been copied and has widely been used as the background music for the can-can dance.

The can-can is regarded today primarily as a physically demanding music hall dance, performed by a chorus line of female dancers who wear costumes with long skirts, petticoats, and black stockings, that hearkens back to the fashions of the 1890s. The main features of the dance are the lifting up and manipulation of the skirts, with high kicking and suggestive body movements.

As you will notice, the main theme is first presented in G major, and then reiterated in D major.

Other Movements from the same Work

Minuet Flute & Piano
Overture Flute solo