- William Weber
The word’s origins are uncertain, but like ‘concerto’ it may derive from the Latin concertare (‘contend, dispute’) and consortium (‘society, participation’), although it may also be linked with the primary Italian meaning of concertare (‘to arrange, agree, get together’) and the English ‘consort’. It came into use in the 17th and 18th centuries to denote contexts where people performed music together. Until the middle of the 19th century, ‘concert’ could mean either private or public occasion, in a home or in a hall. Mozart, for example, often spoke of a ‘Konzert’ in his letters to describe evenings of informal, domestic music-making where all present were performers. Since about ...