Pavane and Galliard
The Pavane and Galliard were two dances popular in the 16th and 17th Centuries. They were often danced together, with the Galliard following the Pavane.
The Pavane has 4 beats in the bar and is quite slow and stately.
The Galliard (from gay meaning happy) was quicker than the Pavane, with 3 beats in the bar.
Both dances were usually in two sections, with each section being repeated. Music with two sections like this is in what is called 'binary form'.
Sarabande and Gavotte
The Sarabande was a popular dance of the Baroque period. They were played on strings and harpsichord, with occasionally oboes and flutes. Solo Sarabandes were sometimes played on the harpsichord.
Sarabandes were in binary form. They were slow, with 3 beats in the bar and usually a slight accent on the 2nd beat
The Gavotte was a stately dance of the Baroque period, with 4 beats in the bar played at a moderate tempo.
Gavottes, like many other dances, were in binary form.
They were often played by strings (violins, violas, cellos and double basses) and sometimes also oboes, flutes and bassoons. Gavottes for solo instruments were usually for the harpsichord.
The Minuet was a popular dance of the Classical period. It had 3 beats in the bar and was played at a moderate speed.
The style was so well-loved that composers like Mozart put minuets into orchestral symphonies, even though these were not for dancing to.
Minuets are sometimes linked in twos, so there would be a Minuet 1 and Minuet 2. They would both be played, then Minuet 1 would be heard again.
In later minuets, of Mozart and Haydn for example, the Minuet 2 was called aTrio.
Minuets were played by the orchestral instruments of the time: violins, violas, cellos and double basses would be used and sometimes oboes, flutes, bassoons, french horns and timpani. They would also be played by solo instruments, especially the harpsichord and piano.