Chorus(i) [choir] (from Gk. choros; Fr. choeur; Ger. Chor; It., Sp. coro)
- James G. Smith
- and Percy M. Young
[choir] (from Gk. choros; Fr. choeur; Ger. Chor; It., Sp. coro)
A group of singers who perform together either in unison or, much more usually, in parts; also, by extension, a work, or movement in a work, written for performance by such an ensemble (e.g. the ‘Hallelujah’ chorus in Handel's Messiah). In the performance of part-music a distinction is generally observed between a group of soloists (one singer to each part) and a chorus or choir (more than one singer, usually several or many, for each part); this distinction is not, however, without its exceptions (e.g. the solo petit choeur of the 17th-century French grand motet). The designations ‘chorus’ and ‘choir’ are often used in conjunction with qualifying terms indicative of constitution or function (e.g. mixed choir, male voice choir, festival chorus, opera chorus). Moreover at various times and places certain types of chorus and choir have been generically designated by terms lacking the words ‘chorus’ and ‘choir’ (e.g. ...