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Article

Kerala J. Snyder

The name given to a particular type of concert held in the Marienkirche, Lübeck, during the 17th and 18th centuries. The exact origins of the Abendmusiken were already obscure in the mid-18th century, but they began as organ recitals, probably during Franz Tunder’s tenure as organist (...

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William Kirk Bares

Hybrid genre with origins in London’s acid house scene of the late 1980s. Originating with the English DJ and producer Gilles Peterson, the label denotes a craze, a marketing category, and a durable transatlantic jazz subculture with links to hip hop, rave and club music. Notable bands include the Brand New Heavies, Jamiroquai, Galliano, and Us3 in the UK and Digable Planets, Groove Collective, and Brooklyn Funk Essentials in the USA. During the music’s heyday in the 1990s, groups fused improvised live jazz with soul-jazz beats and elements of hip hop, including lyrics by established rappers like Guru and MC Solaar. The dance-oriented music tapped into the era’s fascination with jazz history, DJ culture, and retro kitsch. Jazz publications of the 1990s, including the UK-based ...

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Musical subculture of the late 1980s and 90s. Acid jazz is largely a fusion of black American musical styles such as funk, soul and hip-hop combined with a visual aesthetic which borrows extensively from both British popular culture of the 1960s and black American street style of the 70s. Fundamentally a form of street style, it combined music, fashion and recreational drug use to create an ‘attitude’ that owed much to the beatniks of the 1960s (hence ‘jazz’) and a nostalgia for the 1960s and 70s, regarded as a time when musicianship was vital to good dance music as opposed to the more contemporary technological emphasis. The term covers a wide range of musical styles, from the electronic disco styling of bands such as Jamiroquai and Brand New Heavies to the Santana-inspired funk rock of Mother Earth and the Mendez Report. The common denominator is usually the influence of funk, drawing on syncopated rhythmic interplay between the instruments and the use of chromatic chord sequences used widely in post-bop jazz but rarely in mainstream pop or dance music....

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Curtis Price

Instrumental (rarely vocal) music performed before and during the intervals of late 17th- and early 18th-century English plays and semi-operas. A full suite of act music comprises nine pieces: two pieces each of ‘first music’ and ‘second music’, played to entertain the audience waiting for the play to begin; an overture, usually in the French style, sounded after the prologue was spoken and just before the curtain was raised; and four ‘act tunes’ played immediately at the end of each act of a five-act play or semi-opera (except the last)....

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Jack Westrup

Music specially written for the celebration of the Act at the University of Oxford in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. The Act, held originally in July, was a traditional function at which candidates for degrees gave public evidence of their fitness. In 1669...

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A piece of music played, in English semi-operas and plays of the late 17th and early 18th centuries, at the end of each act (except the last). See Act music.

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M. Elizabeth C. Bartlet

(Fr.). A French 18th-century stage work in one act, akin to the opéra-ballet and performed at the Académie Royale de Musique (the Opéra). Like the opéra-ballet, an acte de ballet includes airs, duets, choruses (particularly choeurs dansés) and sometimes other vocal music as well as instrumental dances. Being in a single act, it had a continuous, though slight, dramatic action: the plot was often designed to provide maximum opportunity for colourful scenic displays. Under the title ‘Fragments’, an evening’s performance at the Opéra might be made up of several ...

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Peter Manuel

The field of Afro-Caribbean music comprises a vast and heterogeneous corpus of genres and practices, with most forms of Caribbean music evolving as syncretic products of diverse African- and European-derived elements. Many of these genres have established substantial presences in or influences on music culture in the mainland United States, whether through the activities of diasporic communities or via cross-cultural interactions....

Article

Gunther Schuller

A jazz style. It was created from a fusion of bop with traditional Cuban elements, that arose in the 1940s, primarily in the work of Dizzy Gillespie; it is distinguished from the more general Latin jazz by the specific influence of Cuban dance, folk and popular idioms. Although a Latin-American or Caribbean influence (Jelly Roll Morton called it the ‘Latin tinge’) is discernible in jazz from the late 19th century, the earliest use of Cuban elements is traceable only to Alberto Socarras and Mario Bauzá in the late 1930s. Afro-Cuban jazz became a clearly defined style and acquired an international following only when Gillespie, who had been influenced by Bauzá, began to collaborate with the outstanding Cuban percussionist Chano Pozo. For Gillespie, Bauzá, and others, the main impulse for the Afro-Cuban movements came from their feeling that American jazz of the 1930s and 1940s, being essentially monorhythmic, needed the kind of enrichment that an infusion of Afro-Cuban polyrhythms would provide....

Article

Richard L. Crocker and David Hiley

Acclamation of the Latin Mass, sung between the Fraction and the communion antiphon. Since the text does not change from day to day (except for the Mass for the Dead), the Agnus Dei is counted as part of the Ordinary of the Mass. Many chant settings were made between the 11th and 16th centuries. Some of the most widely used were included in the ...

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Air (i)  

Nigel Fortune, David Greer and Charles Dill

A term used in England and France from the 16th century onwards, frequently and rather loosely as synonymous with ‘melody’, ‘tune’ or ‘song’.

When Thomas Morley (A Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practicall Musicke, 1597) applied the term to all the secular vocal forms of his day except the madrigal, the most serious of them, he was following his Italian predecessors and contemporaries in using it to refer to light pieces in a simple, canzonetta-derived style (...

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John H. Baron

A term used by French composers and publishers from 1571 to the 1650s to designate many secular, strophic songs sung at court. From 1608 until approximately 1632 these were the most important and numerous vocal compositions in France.

Airs de cour were composed either for four or five unaccompanied voices (a few examples are for six and eight voices) or for one voice usually with lute accompaniment. They were written for the entertainment of the king and his courtiers by the finest composers at court, all of whom were excellent singers. Nearly all ...

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Alabado  

A hymn of praise for the Eucharist, the Blessed Virgin Mary or other saints. It was brought to the New World at least as early as 1716 by the Franciscans, who continued the Spanish custom of chanting the alabado, or alabanza, as it is called in Spain, in their missions to Texas and California, as they had done in their monasteries. One of the earliest ...

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Alba  

Stephen Haynes

(Provençal: ‘dawn’). A minor genre of troubadour lyric, of which 19 examples survive. Several are anonymous or of uncertain attribution; of those whose authorship is reasonably secure, only Reis glorios, by Giraut de Bornelh (PC 242.64), is the work of a poet of the first rank. Few can be dated with any precision, but the period of composition appears to extend from the last quarter of the 12th century to the end of the 13th. Most have a refrain – a rare feature in the troubadour lyric – and this normally includes the word ‘alba’....

Article

Maricarmen Gómez

A morning serenade or song performed in honour of an individual or to celebrate a festival; it is similar to the albada, an open-air concert performed at daybreak under the balcony or windows of an honoured individual. In the mid-15th century it was customary for the instrumentalists of noble Spanish households to perform the ...

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Maurice J.E. Brown and Kenneth L. Hamilton

A composition originally written in the album of a friend or patron and usually dedicated to him or her. The style was therefore simple and the dimensions slight. Examples are Schubert’s Albumblatt in G, d844, written for Anna Hönig, and Liszt’s Adagio in C, based on a theme from his ...

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Flamenco-style Andalusian gypsy song and dance form. See Flamenco, Table 1.

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Meredith Ellis Little and Suzanne G. Cusick

One of the most popular of Baroque instrumental dances and a standard movement, along with the courante, sarabande and gigue, of the suite. It originated some time in the early or mid-16th century, appearing under such titles as ‘Teutschertanz’ or ‘Dantz’ in Germany and ‘bal todescho’, ‘bal francese’ and ‘tedesco’ in Italy. Originally a moderate duple-metre dance in two or three strains, the allemande came to be one of the most highly stylized of all Baroque dances and by ...

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Nancy P. Riley

The term “alternative country” refers to Country music of the late 20th century that existed outside of mainstream country (as represented by Nashville and contemporary country radio) and incorporated country music with aspects of punk, rock and roll, and roots influences. During the 1990s, alternative country identified with a punk rock do-it-yourself ethos and a connection to indie-rock fans and scenes, with live venues and independent record labels playing a crucial role in its emergence. Further, the term owes much to the success of underground rock bands like R.E.M. and Nirvana that became commercially successful, marketed as “alternative.”...

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Will Fulford-Jones

A form of 20th-century club dance music. It became popular in the ‘chill out’ rooms of clubs in London during the late 1980s as music to relax to, away from the more fevered, heavily rhythmic music favoured in the main rooms. Its DJs included Dr Alex Paterson of the Orb and the KLF, who played a mix of wildlife samples, sound effects, hypnotherapy tapes and Pink Floyd. The KLF’s ...