Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Grove Music Online. Grove is a registered trademark. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 29 March 2020


  • Peter Walls


A French word meaning ‘again’, cried out by English audiences (not French ones, who use bis) to demand the repetition of a piece just heard or an extra item. This use of the word goes back at least to February 1712, when it attracted satirical comment in the Spectator: ‘I observe it’s become a custom, that whenever any gentlemen are particularly pleased with a song, at their crying out encore or altro volto, the performer is so obliging as to sing it over again’. In this period, the word had a fashionable status. Pope (1742) has the ‘harlot form’ of Opera telling Dullness (‘in quaint Recitativo’):

To the same notes thy sons shall hum or snore

And all thy growing daughters cry encore. (The Dunciad, iv. 59).

In both concerts and operas the progress of a work was freely interrupted for the repetition of arias or movements....

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Please subscribe to access the full content.