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Article

George J. Buelow

In its German form, a term first employed extensively by German musicologists, beginning with Kretzschmar, Goldschmidt and Schering, to describe in Baroque music an aesthetic concept originally derived from Greek and Latin doctrines of rhetoric and oratory. Just as, according to ancient writers such as Aristotle, Cicero and Quintilian, orators employed the rhetorical means to control and direct the emotions of their audiences, so, in the language of classical rhetoric manuals and also Baroque music treatises, must the speaker (i.e. the composer) move the ‘affects’ (i.e. emotions) of the listener. It was from this rhetorical terminology that music theorists, beginning in the late 16th century, but especially during the 17th and 18th centuries, borrowed the terminology along with many other analogies between rhetoric and music. The affects, then, were rationalized emotional states or passions. After ...

Article

German term for the sections of the chant of the Mass sung by the celebrant rather than the choir or congregation. It is also used for the adaptations of Gregorian chant made, using the German language, in the Lutheran church in Germany. See Luther, Martin...

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In Greek and Byzantine theory, the octave (or double octave) and singing in octaves.

Article

Maurice J.E. Brown and Kenneth L. Hamilton

A term, apparently introduced into Europe during the Moorish conquest of Spain, first applied to architecture and painting to describe an ornamental frieze or border, whose elaborations, foliate and curlicued, have their counterparts in music in ornamentation and complex figuration. In music the term has been implied in, if not applied to, three musical devices: (1) the contrapuntal decoration of a basic theme, e.g. the obbligato to the chorus ‘Jesus bleibet meine Freude’ in Bach’s Cantata no.147, ...

Article

Nors S. Josephson

(Lat.: ‘more subtle art’) The highly refined musical style of the late 14th century, centred primarily on the secular courts of southern France, Aragon and Cyprus. The term was introduced to musicological vocabulary by Ursula Günther and derives from references in (?)Philippus de Caserta's Tractatus de diversis figuris...

Article

Paul M. Walker

In measured music, the terms used respectively for unstressed and stressed beats or other equidistant subdivisions of the bar. Originally they referred to raising and lowering the foot in ancient Greek dance. Later they were applied to the unaccented and accented parts of a poetic foot, and hence acquired their association with weak and strong beats. For music since the 17th century they mean much the same as, respectively, ...

Article

Harold S. Powers

Any of the church modes whose Ambitus, or range, includes the octave lying immediately above Final. The term is thus applied to the four odd-numbered modes of Gregorian chant (1, 3, 5 and 7), whose Greek-derived names are Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian and Mixolydian; the ambitus of each of these modes is about a 4th higher than that of its corresponding even-numbered ...

Article

Horst Brunner

A term denoting in musicology the three-part form AAB. The sections are called first Stollen (pes; A), second Stollen (pes; A), together forming the Aufgesang (frons), and Abgesang (cauda; B). German terms are normally retained because the concept of bar form was first introduced into musical terminology through Lorenz’s investigations into the form of Wagner's works. It is based on an incorrect use of the word ‘Bar’ in ...

Article

A convenient term meaning the combination of voices and/or instruments used to perform a composition, and for which there is no equivalent English word, although ‘setting’ or ‘scoring’ is similar.

Article

Murray Campbell

(b Paris, Nov 16, 1866; d Toulouse, Nov 15, 1953). French physicist and acoustician. He studied physics at the Sorbonne (1883) and at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (1885–8). After teaching at the Collège de France and the Lycée at Agen, in ...

Article

Brian Trowell

A term used by Besseler in an attempt to explain the invention of the term Fauxbourdon (c1425–30). He posited a special use of ‘bourdon’, by then established in French usage as meaning a drone bass, a low note or organ pipe, and in English as the lowest voice in a three-part composition. Besseler isolated a group of low contratenor parts by Du Fay and others, many of which were written on a six-line staff and apparently composed for instrumental performance, and argued that the word ‘bourdon’ referred either to contratenors such as these or to the parts of a lower voice that functioned as a bass. A ‘faux’ (false) bourdon was therefore so designated because it was a contratenor which throughout its course lay above the tenor....

Article

Murray Campbell

(b London, August 26, 1933). English physicist and acoustician. He obtained a BSc in physics from Imperial College, London, later gaining the doctorate there with research into high-amplitude stress waves. After holding a research fellowship at the electronic music laboratory of the Canadian National Research Council in Ottawa, he worked for five years in the acoustics section of the UK National Physical Laboratory, where he carried out research on the psycho-acoustic perception of short duration and very low frequency sounds. In ...

Article

Bravura  

Owen Jander

The element of brilliant display in vocal or instrumental music that tests the performer’s skill. The term was particularly common in the 18th century with the aria di bravura, also known as the aria d’agilità. John Brown (Letters on Italian Opera, 2/1791) remarked that such arias were ‘composed chiefly – indeed, too often – merely to indulge the singer in display’; and Mozart said of the aria for Constanze, ‘Ach, ich liebte’ in ...

Article

Burden  

David Fallows

(1) A refrain. This is the standard modern English word for any repeated sections in hymns and songs of the 15th and 16th centuries. In particular, the presence of a burden structurally independent of the verse is the prime distinguishing characteristic of the Carol (see Bukofzer, 153ff). The medieval term, according to Richard Hill’s Commonplace-book (Balliol College, Oxford, MS 354), seems to have been ‘fote’ (foot)....

Article

Chekker  

Denzil Wraight

The earliest term used in archives and other writings to denote a string keyboard instrument. Its exact meaning is still the subject of debate and research, but it is probable that most references are to a clavichord. There appears to be no Italian equivalent of the name; Farmer suggested that it is derived from the Arabic ‘al-shaqira’ and tentatively identified this as a virginal, but there is no supporting evidence. Some writers identified the chekker as an upright harpsichord (i.e. a ...

Article

C. Truesdell and Clive Greated

(b Wittenberg, Nov 30, 1756; d Breslau [now Wrocław], April 3, 1827). German acoustician. He studied law at Leipzig University before turning to scientific studies. He invented two instruments, the ‘euphon’ and the ‘klavizylinder’, both of which were variants of the glass harmonica. However, he owes his fame to his celebrated experiments on the nodal patterns and corresponding frequencies of vibration plates. He showed that the vibration patterns, often called Chladni figures, could be made visible by sprinkling sand on the plate. The sand is thrown up on vibrating areas and collects around nodal lines. Chladni travelled through Europe playing on his instruments and demonstrating his experiments before many persons and institutions; he encountered Goethe, Lichtenberg, Olbers, Laplace, Napoleon and other notable men of the period. Chladni's experiments stimulated much early work on the vibration of plates and bars and indeed so impressed the Académie des Sciences, Paris, that it offered a prize for a successful explanation of his sand figures and the motion of elastic surfaces in general. His work helped to form the foundation of modern theories, capable of predicting precise vibration patterns for violin and guitar top plates and the soundboards of keyboard instruments....

Article

The temporal unit of ancient Greek music (see Greece, §I), as defined by Aristoxenus; it could not be divided into smaller values, and all larger temporal values were multiples of it. No absolute value is known to have been associated with it; in most modern transcriptions it is rendered as a quaver....

Article

Clos  

In medieval French music the second-time ending for a repeated musical section; the first-time ending is termed Ouvert.

Article

Murray Campbell

(b Munich, Aug 16, 1905; d Miesbach, Oct 16, 1990). German acoustician. He studied mechanical and electrical engineering at the Technical University of Berlin, gaining his doctorate in 1932 for a thesis on sound absorption by porous surfaces. Cremer subsequently engaged in acoustical research at the Technical University and the Heinrich Hertz Institute in Berlin. In ...

Article

Edwin M. Ripin and Martin Renshaw

A term used by Greek theorists to designate an octave, either the interval or the scale. The English use of ‘diapason’ to denote the range or compass of a voice or instrument derives from this.