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Ricercare [ricercar, recercar(e), recerchar(e), ricercata] (It.: ‘to search for’; Fr. recherché; Sp. recercada)locked

  • John Caldwell


In its widest sense, a piece of an esoteric nature; a technical exercise either of a practical nature or illustrative of some device of composition.

The general notion of musical composition as a process of seeking or finding is ancient: it is referred to in the Vulgate by the very word from which ‘ricercare’ is derived (‘requirentes modos musicos’, ...

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C. Sartori: Bibliografia della musica strumentale italiana stampata in Italia fino al 1700 (Florence, 1952-68)
H.M. Brown: Instrumental Music Printed Before 1600: a Bibliography (Cambridge, MA, 1965)
F.-J. Fétis: Biographie universelle des musiciens
W. Apel: Geschichte der Orgel- und Klaviermusik bis 1700 (Kassel, 1967; Eng. trans., rev., 1972)
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