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Duet (opera) (Fr. duo; Ger. Duett; It. duetto)locked

  • Marita P. McClymonds,
  • Elisabeth Cook
  •  and Julian Budden


A composition for two voices, normally with accompaniment. The duet, the most popular type of operatic Ensemble , has been used in opera since its inception.

In early Italian operas duets appeared both within concerted contexts and as expressions of emotion for pairs of characters. They might be assigned to any pair from the cast (or occasionally from the chorus); they might appear at any point in the opera, or be combined with an aria, or serve to conclude a scene, an act or the opera itself. Duets might be on any scale, from brief expressions of emotion of a few bars to long, multi-sectional pieces during which the plot advanced (‘Scopriamli sì’, ...

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Sammelbände der Internationalen Musik-Gesellschaft
Journal of Musicology