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Richard Hudson and Suzanne G. Cusick

(It.; Fr. ballet; Eng. ballett)

An Italian dance of the 16th and 17th centuries, occasionally called ‘bal’ or ‘ballo’. There seem to be three periods of development, two instrumental and one vocal: for lute during the second half of the 16th century; for voice from 1591 to about 1623; and for chamber ensemble from about 1616 to the end of the 17th century.

The term ‘balletto’ was also applied at the same time in a more general sense. It was used as early as 1581 by Fabritio Caroso as a heading for some of the choreographies published in Il ballarino, and Cesare Negri (Le gratie d’amore, 1602) used it alongside the apparently similar ‘ballo’ and ‘brando’ as a title for his created social and theatrical dances (see Ballo). In Barbetta’s Intavolatura di liuto (1585) ‘balletto’ indicates a dance from a foreign country. Some late 16th-century references use the word ‘balletto’ for theatrical or dramatic dances that would have been called ‘ballets’ in France (see A. Solerti: ...

Article

Richard Hudson

The Italian instrumental balletto appeared from about 1561 to 1599 (mainly for lute) and from 1616 to 1700 (for chamber ensemble). During the second half of the 16th century, ‘bal’, ‘ballo’ or ‘balletto’ was a generic name in Italy for various foreign dances, such as the bal boemo, ballo francese and baletto polaco. Barbetta in 1585 referred to them collectively as ‘baletti de diverse nationi’. The most numerous were those indicating Germanic origin: the bal todescho (in Gorzanis’s lutebooks of 1561, 1563 and 1564), the ‘todescha’ or ‘tedescha’ (Mainerio’s ensemble collection of 1578), balo todesco (Gorzanis, 1579), baletto todesco (Barbetta, 1585), ballo tedesco (Terzi, 1593) and finally ballo or balletto alemano (Terzi, 1599). Similar terminology continued in the guitar books of the first half of the 17th century. Some of the earlier chamber examples are also entitled ‘balletto alemano’ (Biagio Marini, 1617, 1626 and ...

Article

Suzanne G. Cusick

Both Morley and Praetorius (Syntagma musicum, iii, 1618, pp.18–19) considered the Mantuan composer G.G. Gastoldi to have invented the vocal balletto as a musical genre with his publication in 1591 of the Balletti a cinque voci con li suoi versi per cantare, sonare, & ballare (ed. in Le pupitre, x, 1968). These works enjoyed great popularity, being reprinted many times in Italy and northern Europe up to the mid-17th century. In most of his ballettos Gastoldi set strophic texts in a homophonic texture, with sections of nonsense syllables (‘fa-la’, ‘na-na’, ‘li-rum’) interpolated at the ends of couplets or tercets. Nearly all consist of two repeated strains (AABB) and the nonsense syllables, sometimes set contrapuntally, act as a refrain at the end of each section. The songs are syllabic and rather repetitious, the strophic form limiting the opportunities to depict the content of the verses, and all are highly rhythmic. It is likely that Gastoldi’s songs were originally part of a costumed dance, perhaps performed at the theatrically active Mantuan court or at an academy; the title-page states that they were for ‘singing, playing and dancing’. Each has a descriptive title (e.g. ...

Article

Michael Tilmouth

The medieval Bar form can be classed as a sectional binary form in which only the first part is repeated, giving an AAB structure. Even in the early rondeau and other formes fixes, in which a complex system of phrase repetition was required by the verse structures, the music itself was often made up of two periods or phrases. With the disappearance of the formes fixes, and the development of instrumental music whose shaping owed a good deal to the symmetries of phrases required for dancing, binary movements became more and more frequent.

Some of the keyboard settings from a Venetian collection of about 1520 ( I-Vnm Ital.iv.1227) illustrate this. De che le morta la mia signora has two strains closely corresponding in rhythm, the first in G minor, the second beginning in B♭ and moving back to G minor. No repeats are indicated but they would make good sense. Elsewhere in the collection double bars suggest that repeats should be made (...

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Croatia  

Ex.2 Two-part song, Vinkovci, Slavonia; rec. S. Jankovíc (Žganec-Sremec, eds., 1951: 185)

Article

Sean Hallowell

Originally, a poem in which the passing of an individual is announced and communities to which the departed belongs are called to mourn.

Pioneered by French poets in aristocratic service, the déploration qua literary genre enjoyed a modest lifespan, with eight known works surviving from the 16th century. Longstanding custom, however, recognizes a musical tradition by the same name, one numbering 30 known compositions spanning the late 14th to late 16th centuries. Among composers the déploration ramified from a French mainstream into Spanish, Netherlandish, German, Italian, and English tributaries. Accordingly, déplorations are variably designated in sources by such terms as apotheosis, epicedion, monodia, epitaphium, lamentation, complainte, naenia, madrigale, greghesca, and elegy.

Use of the term “déploration” to denote a musical work in which a composer is commemorated may be traced to Ockeghem (d 1497). This musician, who spent almost a half-century in service to the French royal court, was memorialized by literary counterpart Guillaume Crétin in a poem of 412 lines. A frame-narrative necrology featuring a syncretic cast of characters (among them Orpheus and King David), Crétin’s déploration charges all who held Ockeghem dear with the duty of honoring “celluy qui”—according to Lady Music (another ...

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Ernest H. Sanders, Leeman L. Perkins, Patrick Macey, Christoph Wolff, Jerome Roche, Graham Dixon, James R. Anthony, and Malcolm Boyd

In 

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Leeman L. Perkins and Patrick Macey

In 

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Ernest H. Sanders, Leeman L. Perkins, Patrick Macey, Christoph Wolff, Jerome Roche, Graham Dixon, James R. Anthony, and Malcolm Boyd

In 

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Malcolm Boyd

In 

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Kurt von Fischer, Gianluca D’Agostino, James Haar, Anthony Newcomb, Massimo Ossi, Nigel Fortune, Joseph Kerman, and Jerome Roche

A poetic and musical form of 14th-century Italy; more importantly, a term in general use during the 16th century and much of the 17th for settings of various types and forms of secular verse. There is no connection between the 14th- and the 16th-century madrigal other than that of name; the former passed out of fashion a century before the term was revived. The later madrigal became the most popular form of secular polyphony in the second half of the 16th century, serving as a model for madrigals and madrigal-like compositions in languages other than Italian throughout Europe. It set the pace for stylistic developments that culminated in the Baroque period, particularly those involving the expressive relationship between text and music, and must be regarded as the most important genre of the late Renaissance.

Kurt von Fischer and Gianluca D’Agostino

The origin of the word ‘madrigal’, which appears in various forms in early sources (...

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Example 2 Viderunt, par pou/Viderunt, por peu/Viderunt, por peu/VIDERUNT OMNES (F-Mof H 196, fols. 40v–41r)

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Ex.7 Du Fay: Ave regina celorum (ii)

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Ex.9 Weerbeke: Ave regina caelorum

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Ex.6 Power: Ave regina celorum

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Ex.10

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Example 1 Salve mater fons hortorum/[CAPTIVI]TA[TEM] (I-FL Plut. 29.1 fols. 401v–402r)

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Ex.3 Pes of GB-Ob 20, no.10

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Ex.8 Du Fay: Ave regina celorum (iii)

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Ex.11 Josquin: Miserere mei, Deus