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(It.; Fr. cavatine; Ger. Kavatine)

In 18th-century opera the term, the diminutive of Cavata, signifies a short Aria without da capo; it may occur as an independent piece or as an interpolation in a recitative. Many such arias, though not necessarily described as cavatinas, occur in the operas of Keiser, C.H. Graun and their contemporaries: Graun’s Montezuma (1755) has an unusually large number of cavatinas, apparently at the prompting of Frederick the Great, who wrote the original libretto. Mozart used the term three times in Le nozze di Figaro (1786), for Figaro’s ‘Se vuol ballare’, the Countess’s ‘Porgi amor’ and Barbarina’s ‘L’ho perduta', and Haydn used it for Hanne’s ‘Licht und Leben’ in The Seasons (1799–1801). The tradition was maintained in the 19th century by Rossini, as in ‘Ah! che scordar non so’ in Tancredi (1813), Weber in ‘Und ob die Wolke’ in Der Freischütz (1821...

Article

M. Montgomery Wolf

[CBGB; Country, Bluegrass, Blues and Other Music for Uplifting Gormandizers]

Nightclub founded by Hilly Kristal in New York in December 1973. It was located below the Palace Hotel, a flophouse on the Bowery in a rough and rundown section of the city. Following his own tastes, Kristal intended to host mostly acoustic Americana, but a few months later, the guitarist Tom Verlaine convinced Kristal to let his band Television play there. The club became a rare site of original rock in an era favoring either folk clubs or arena rock. It also became the physical center for the New York punk scene, which was emerging at the time, allowing Patti Smith, Blondie, the Ramones, and Talking Heads, among others, to hone their craft. Despite its dark, dirty interior, famously squalid bathrooms, and dangerous neighborhood, musicians loved CBGB for its fabulous sound system. By 1975 it had demonstrated the viability of original rock, and Max’s Kansas City, another club in New York, began booking local, unsigned acts. Max’s and CBGB remained the principal venues in New York for punk rock through ...

Article

Cento  

(Lat.: ‘patchwork’; Fr. centon; It. centone)

(1) A composition in literature or music formed by piecing together excerpts from different authors or pre-existing works. Pope Gregory the Great (d 604), for example, is reputed to have compiled an ‘antiphonarius cento’, a combination and revision of earlier books containing texts for sung items of the Mass. More specifically, the term refers to poetry made up entirely of lines or refrains quoted from other works, or any artistic technique that relies on patchwork construction, citations or borrowings, such as the Quodlibet or any of its parallel types: see Ensalada; Fricassée; Incatenatura; Medley; Misticanza. It is also used of jazz improvisation that draws on existing formulae which are rearranged into new patterns, a notable exponent being Charlie Parker.

(2) As applied to the monophonic liturgical chant repertory, a melody pieced together from pre-existing chant formulae (standard phrases) in chants of a certain group, such as graduals or responsories; ...

Article

Sara Velez, Sanford A. Linscome and Stephanie Jensen-Moulton

An annual summer opera festival established in Central City, Colorado, in 1932. It is the second oldest such festival in the United States, with Chautauqua’s festival being the oldest. Most festival events are held in the beautifully restored Victorian jewel-box opera house (capacity 800) inaugurated in 1878, which had presented burlesque, opera, Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, and serious drama until the turn of the century. As the silver and gold deposits around Central City declined, so did the fortunes of the opera house: it became a cinema in 1908 and was closed down in 1927. After acquisition by the University of Denver in 1931 and some months of restoration, the house re-opened under the auspices of the Central City Opera House Association (formed 1932) through volunteer efforts driven by Ida Kruse McFarlane, Edna Chappell, and Anne Evans. The Association decided upon a summer format, opening the 1932 season with Lillian Gish in ...

Article

David F. Garcia

[cha cha chá; cha-cha-chá; cha-cha-cha; cha cha; cha-cha]

Cuban music and dance style made popular by the string-based charanga ensemble beginning in the early 1950s. Cuban composer and violinist Enrique Jorrín composed the first cha cha cha, titled “La engañadora,” in 1951. It was recorded by Orquesta América de Ninón Mondejar in Havana in 1953. Jorrín began to experiment with the danzón musical genre in 1945 while a member of Arcaño y Sus Maravillas. His experiments, particularly with the danzón’s final montuno section, led to the cha cha cha’s characteristic catchy melodies sung in unison, moderate tempos, and, most importantly, danceability. Its popularity spread throughout Latin America and the United States, overtaking the mambo’s popularity by the mid-1950s. Mambo bands in New York, such as those of Tito Puente and Tito Rodríguez, helped popularize the cha cha cha among American as well as Latino audiences in the United States. Puente’s “Four Beat Cha Cha” illustrates the cross-cultural appeal that the cha cha cha had obtained in the 1950s. Cha cha cha even crossed over into American popular music as exemplified by Sam Cooke’s “Everybody Loves to Cha Cha Cha” which was released in ...

Article

A ballroom dance that originated about 1953 in Cuba. It is derived from the mambo, and its characteristic rhythm – two crotchets, three quavers, quaver rest – gives the dance its name. The steps are done in a gliding motion, with a rocking of the hips as in the rumba. The dance was popular in the USA and Europe from the mid-1950s....

Article

Chace  

Virginia E. Newes

[chasse] (Fr.; Sp. caça)

A 14th-century term for canon (see Canon). It is generally applied by modern writers to a small number of 14th-century French-texted, three-voice canons at the unison employing onomatopoeia and word-painting. Various forms of the verb ‘chacer’ (e.g. ‘chasser’) also appear in the sources, indicating that a given melody is to be realized canonically.

Apparently unknown before 1300, the term ‘chace’ is not included in Johannes de Grocheio's compendium of secular genres (Ars musice, c1300). ‘Chaches’ are listed, however, along with ‘motes’, ‘rondiaux’, ‘hoques’, ‘estampies’ and ‘balades’, in an anonymous mid-14th-century translation and adaptation of the 13th-century Ludus super Anticlaudianum by Adam de la Bassée. The chace was mentioned again in Don Pedro Niño's list of French polyphonic genres sung at the residence of Regnauld de Trie, Amiral de France, in 1406. The chronicler Mathieu d'Escouchy reported that a ‘chasse’ was performed during the Feast of the Pheasant at Lille in 1454, and that it ‘imitated the barking of little dogs and the sounding of trumpets, just as if we were in a forest’; although canonic realization is not mentioned, this could be a late reference to the mimetic chace....

Article

Alexander Silbiger

(Fr., also chacony; It. ciaccona, ciacona; Sp. chacona)

Before 1800, a dance, often performed at a quite brisk tempo, that generally used variation techniques, though not necessarily ground-bass variation; in 19th- and 20th-century music, a set of ground-bass or ostinato variations, usually of a severe character. Most chaconnes are in triple metre, with occasional exceptions. The term is sometimes used interchangeably with Passacaglia (the terms ‘chaconne’ and ‘passacaglia’ are used throughout this article regardless of the national tradition under discussion). Many composers drew a distinction between the chaconne and the passacaglia, the nature of which depended on local tradition and to some extent on individual preference. The only common denominator among the chaconnes and passacaglias is that they are built up of an arbitrary number of comparatively brief units, usually of two, four, eight, or 16 bars, each terminating with a cadence that leads without a break into the next unit. This almost limitless extendibility allows for the creation of a momentum sustainable over an appreciable length of time, a quality that contributes much to the special character of the genres as well as to their usefulness in certain contexts (for example, as the concluding number in an instrumental suite or stage work). Large-scale articulation by means of temporary shifts of mode or key is not uncommon in either early or more recent works....

Article

Christina Bashford

(Fr. musique de chambre; Ger. Kammermusik; It. musica da camera)

In current usage the term ‘chamber music’ generally denotes music written for small instrumental ensemble, with one player to a part, and intended for performance either in private, in a domestic environment with or without listeners, or in public in a small concert hall before an audience of limited size. In essence, the term implies intimate, carefully constructed music, written and played for its own sake; and one of the most important elements in chamber music is the social and musical pleasure for musicians of playing together. In this respect, the term has close connections with the peculiarly German concept and practice of Hausmusik, which refers to the playing of vocal or instrumental music in the home for family entertainment, without audience, and which was much encouraged in the 19th and 20th centuries. ‘Chamber music’ has also been narrowly defined (for example, by Cobbett) in terms of ensembles of specific types and sizes; but the term is best understood in a broader sense. To limit the term to instrumental ensemble repertory, for example, is to exclude such hybrid works as Schubert’s ...

Article

A term used to designate 20th-century operas of small and relatively intimate proportions using a chamber orchestra. Examples include Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos (1916), Hindemith’s Cardillac (1926, revised 1952), Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress (1951) and Britten’s The Turn of the Screw (1954). The term has also been applied, retrospectively, to small-scale 18th-century works such as Pergolesi’s ...

Article

(Ger. Kammersymphonie; It. sinfonia da camera)

A work in symphonic form for chamber orchestra. The title probably originated with Schoenberg’s op.9 for 15 instruments (1906); his Second Chamber Symphony, begun in the same year, was not completed until 1939. Meanwhile his example had been followed by Schreker (1916) and many others. In general the title indicates a work of more ‘serious’ type than the sinfonietta. Analogous concertante compositions include Berg’s ...

Article

Chanson  

Nigel Wilkins

revised by David Fallows, Howard Mayer Brown and Richard Freedman

(Fr.: ‘song’)

Any lyric composition set to French words; more specifically, a French polyphonic song of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. In a general sense the word ‘chanson’ refers to a wide variety of compositions: the monophonic songs of the Middle Ages ( see Troubadours, trouvères ); court songs of the late 16th and 17th centuries ( see Air de cour ); popular songs of the streets, cafés and music halls in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries ( see Chanson pour boire; Vaudeville; Pastourelle; Bergerette; Brunette ); art songs of the 19th and 20th centuries ( Mélodie ); as well as to folksongs (‘chanson populaire’ or ‘chant folklorique’). The term is sometimes used in its more specific sense to refer only to those 15th- and 16th-century polyphonic songs that do not set poems in one of the formes fixes ( see Rondeau (i); Virelai; Ballade ), but in this article it is taken in a somewhat broader context to mean any polyphonic song with French text written from about the time of Machaut to the end of the 16th century....

Article

Ian R. Parker

(Lat. cantus gestualis)

A type of epic poetry in which the recitation of the tale is unfolded with the help of simple melodic material, necessarily simple so that the attention of the listener may be directed towards the dramatic delivery of the story. The poems, which may be very long, are divided into sections called laisses or tirades, each having its own formula. The constant repetition of the same melodic phrase is comparable with the form of the litany. All the surviving examples, about 100 in number, are northern French in origin and mostly from the 12th century. Perhaps the most famous example is the Chanson de Roland, which consists of nearly 300 laisses. The form of the chanson de geste is described in the following terms by the theorist Johannes de Grocheio (see Seay):

The verse in gestual cantus [cantu gestuali] is that which is made up of many versicles. The versicles end on the same poetic rhyme. In a particular cantus it may close with a versicle not rhyming with the others, just as in the ...

Article

David Fallows

[chanson d’histoire] (Fr.)

A spinning or weaving song. Both names appear in 13th-century sources referring to a small and clearly delineated group of French poems. They are narratives, with a substantial refrain breaking the metre at the end of each of the short monorhyme stanzas. The story is normally of a noble young lady waiting, often spinning, in the absence of her noble love.

There are some 20 known poems (ed. in Saba and Zink), which must be seen in three categories: (1) six known only from their inclusion in longer works, five of them in Jean Renart’s Roman de Guillaume de Dole (c1210); (2) nine known only from the chansonnier of St Germain-des-Prés ( F-Pn fr.20050, ff.64 v–66 v and 69 v–70 v); and (3) five ascribed to Audefroi le Bastart, more widely distributed but grouped together as a unit in the Manuscrit du Roi (...

Article

John H. Baron

[chanson à boire] (Fr.)

A French drinking-song. The term was used, often coupled with chanson pour danser (dancing-song), particularly from about 1627 to about 1670, in many printed and some manuscript collections of short, simple, strophic, syllabic French songs for one voice with lute accompaniment. Chansons pour boire usually have humorous texts concerned with drinking, and they differ from the later Air à boire only in that songs of the latter type are often for two or more voices. Chansons pour danser, on the other hand, are usually settings of more serious pastoral poems and differ from the contemporary Air de cour in being for only one voice and never in a free rhythmic and poetic structure. The dance-songs often consist of repeated rhythmic patterns in a regular metre, but since many airs de cour and chansons pour boire also do, there is no clearcut distinction between the three types. As many airs and drinking-songs are in the forms ...

Article

Gilles Potvin

(1) A term used in France to describe a writer and performer of satirical songs, monologues and skits.

(2) In Quebec since World War II the term has been used in a broader sense and applies to songwriters who sing their own songs. The music generally adopts the ballad style of singers such as Trenet, Bécaud or Aznavour but is also influenced by French-Canadian folksong, folkdance and current popular trends. Leading Quebec chansonniers are Félix Leclerc, Gilles Vigneault, Claude Léveillée, Jean-Pierre Ferland, Robert Charlebois, Georges Dor, Tex Lecor, Raymond Lévesque, Marc Gélinas, Clémence Desrochers, Claude Gauthier, Jacques Blanchet and Jacques Michel....

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John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

In 

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John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

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John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

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