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What is basso continuo?
A simple accompaniment that is the same throughout the piece where the bass is written for cello or harpsichord
What is figured bass?
When the harpischord player had to fill out the chords from the numbers given underneath the written bass line
What is concerto grosso?
This is a composistion that included two groups of instruments. A small group of soloists called the concertino against an orchestra of strings called the ripeno. A harpsichord or organ continuo was often used throughout the work, providing support for the concertino when they were playing alone and also filling out the texture for the ripeno
What is ritornello?
A returning instrumental musical phrase which keeps returning
What is a subject?
A subject is a theme which occurs more than once in a piece
What is an episode?
An episode is a theme which occurs only once in a piece
What is an overture?
An overture is an orchestral introduction to an opera or an oratorio.
What are the two types of overture?
- Italian overture - an orchestral work in three sections / movements; quick, slow, quick
- French overture - an orchestral work usually in two sections / movements; slow introduction in a dotted rhythm followed by a fast fugal section usually incorporating imitation
What is an opera?
An opera is a dramatic set to music with soloists, chorus, acting and an archestra accompaniment. It is normally performed in a theatre or an opera house
What is Da Capo Aria?
This is an Aria composed in Ternary for (ABA) but with only the first two sections of music written out. When the singer repeats the first section he/she adds in vocal decorations (coloratura) to the printed melody. Quite often a cadenza was added just before the final cadence at either the end of section A or B
What is Passacaglia?
This is a set of variations built on an ostinato theme, usually in bass, thought the same theme can be moved to an upper part
What is Chaccone?
This is a set of variations built on an ostinato idea which is a chain of harmonies (chord pattern) rather than a melody
What is a Passion?
A Passion is a musical setting of the story of Jesus Christ from the time of the Last Supper through to the Crucifixion
What is a Fugue?
A Fugue is a contrapuntal piece, the first section of which consists of each voice (which is an instrument not a singer) presenting the theme or subject of the work. One voice announces the theme, then a second voice presents it at a different pitch and this is called the answer. Meanwhile, the first voice continues with the countersubject. Then as the second voice takes up and goes on with the countersubject, the third voice enters and the first voice continues freely and so on...
What is the exposition?
The opening section of a fugue in which all the original entries of the subject and the answer are heard
What is Stretto?
When entries of the subject and the answer ina fugue overlap instead of being heard one at a time without interrption
What is Chorale Prelude?
An instrumental piece based on a chorale, usually written for organ
What is a mordent?
A trill but with three notes
What is a turn?
A trill but with five notes
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