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Matthias Thiemel

The use of Periodicals, in musical performance, real or imagined. The term may refer to particular notes or chords, or more comprehensively to an entire performance; in the modern Western tradition, accentuation, together with phrasing, articulation, dynamics etc. contributes to ‘expression’, and in vocal settings since the 16th century at least this has often been taken to imply a responsibility of conforming expressively to the spoken accentuation of the text.

Over the centuries composers and theorists have offered more or less precise guidelines for accentuation. Some 13th-century writers (Anonymus 4, Franco of Cologne, Odington and Lambertus) stated that singers should moderate dissonances occurring at points of emphasis or at the beginnings of compositions. Keyboard composers up to the early 18th century advocated the use of ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ fingers on ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ beats. In general, however, polyphonic music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods is characterized by freedom in the accentuation implied by the separate parts: Rousseau observed that ‘there are as many accents as there are modifications of the voice; and there are as many kinds of accent as there are differences between such modifications’ (...




A term used in the 16th century (e.g. Ornithoparchus, Musicae activae micrologus, 1517) for the simple forms of plainchant based on recitation tones as used in the Epistle, Gospel, prayers etc.; for a general survey of such forms see Inflection. Accentus forms are contrasted with concentus forms, or with the more developed forms such as antiphons or responsories....


Robert E. Seletsky

(It.; Fr. pincé étouffé; Ger. Zusammenschlag).

A ‘crushed note’. C.P.E. Bach (1753) and F.W. Marpurg (1755), who provided the German translation Zusammenschlag, defined the acciaccatura as a non-harmonic note played a tone or semitone below any of the main notes in arpeggiated chords, and immediately released. In 18th-century German sources such as C.P.E. Bach's treatise, it was frequently indicated with an upward diagonal stroke through the stem between the harmonic members of the chord. In melodic usage, the same writers classed the unprepared, simultaneously struck dissonant 2nd followed by the release of the lower note as a form of mordent. The Italian theorists Francesco Gasparini (1708) and Francesco Geminiani (1749) reserved the term acciaccatura for dissonances a whole tone below the harmonic notes played during arpeggiation, but used the terms mordente (Gasparini) or tatto (Geminiani) when the dissonant note was a semitone below the main note. These writers were unclear about the necessity of releasing the non-harmonic notes of whole tone interval; but Geminiani stated that the ...


David Hiley

A sign placed, in modern notational practice, before a note, which alters its previously understood pitch by one or two semitones. The sharp (♯; Fr. dièse; Ger. Kreuz; It. diesis) raises a note by one semitone; the double sharp (𝄪; Fr. double dièse; Ger. Doppelkreuz; It. doppio diesis) raises it by two semitones. The flat (♭; Fr. bémol; Ger. Be; It. bemolle) lowers a note by one semitone; the double flat (♭♭; Fr. double bémol; Ger. Doppel-Be; It. doppio bemolle) lowers it by two semitones. The natural (♮; Fr. bécarre; Ger. Auflösungszeichen or Quadrat; It. bequadro) cancels a previous sharp or flat. A double sharp is changed to a single sharp by writing ♮♯ or occasionally ♯, a double flat to a single flat by ♮♭ or occasionally ♭.

For a discussion of the addition of accidentals to early music see Musica ficta; see also...


Edward Foley

revised by Joseph Dyer

(Lat. acclamatio, clamor, conclamatio, laudatio, laus, vox Gk. euphēmia, euphēmēsis, phēmē, polychronion, polychronisma).

A corporate shout or public cry of affirmation or dissent; also in a religious context a fervent expression of praise, invocation or supplication. Common to many performative contexts across a broad range of traditions and at times accompanied by gestures, acclamations became particularly important in political and religious rituals in East and West. Originating as spontaneous calls, some evolved into standardized formulae with fixed texts, occasionally with set music.

A ruler’s ascent in the ancient world was often accompanied by acclamations; evidence survives from the Middle East, Greece and Egypt (Klauser). Biblical evidence possibly reflecting practice in the 9th century bce reveals that newly appointed monarchs were saluted with ‘yeḥi ha-melekh!’ (‘Long live the King!’, 1 Samuel x.24). Rulers in antiquity were also greeted with acclamations during royal entrances, especially after victory (1 Samuel xviii.7). The accusers of Daniel and his companions addressed King Nebuchadnezzar with the acclamation ‘O king, live forever’ (...


Jack Westrup and David Fallows

(It.: ‘accompanied’; past participle of accompagnare).

A short term for recitativo accompagnato, i.e. Recitative accompanied by the orchestra with expressive motifs, equivalent to recitativo obbligato. It is often used to designate a dramatically important scene, often a soliloquy (e.g. ‘Abscheulicher’ in Fidelio), which is usually followed by an aria. Handel used the term both in the strict sense of recitative, where the accompaniment allows the singer freedom (e.g. ‘O notte’ in ...


David Fuller

(Ger. Begleitung).

In the most general sense, the subordinate parts of any musical texture made up of strands of differing importance. A folksinger's listeners clap their hands in accompaniment to the song; a church organist keeps the congregation to the pitch and tempo with his or her accompaniment; the left hand provides the accompaniment to the right in a piano rag; when one part of a Schoenberg string quartet momentarily carries the symbol for Hauptstimme, the other parts are an accompaniment, though they may take their turns as Hauptstimmen later on. The meaning of the term ‘accompaniment’ is variable and not subject to rigorous definition. The countersubject of a Bach fugue ‘accompanies’ the subject, but in principle all the voices are equal and the countersubject may well be more prominent than the subject. In one sense, the added parts of a cantus firmus composition are an ‘accompaniment’, yet the pre-existing tune may be so stretched out and buried as to become less a melody than a kind of Schenkerian ...


Alyn Shipton and Barry Kernfeld

A portable keyboard instrument of the reed organ family. It consists of a bass button keyboard played with the left hand, which also operates a bellows, and a treble keyboard (with piano keys or buttons) played by the right. The instrument is suspended by straps from the player’s shoulders.

The accordion has a long but undistinguished history in jazz. The obscure player Charles Melrose provides an early example of jazz accordion solos on the recording Wailing Blues/Barrel House Stomp (1930, Voc. 1503) by the Cellar Boys, a sextet that also comprised Wingy Manone, Frank Teschemacher, Bud Freeman, Frank Melrose, and George Wettling. Buster Moten played second piano and accordion as a member of Bennie Moten’s orchestra; his solo on Moten’s Blues (1929, Vic. 38072) demonstrates that the instrument’s sweet sound fails to capture the raw emotions of the blues. Another obscure jazz accordionist was Jack Cornell, who recorded with both Irving Mills (...


Timothy Rice

This refers to culture change in conditions of direct contact between people of different cultures. It does not imply assimilation in the sense of loss of culture, and it can be directly observed and reconstructed ethnographically, unlike diffusion, a historical process inferred speculatively from the distribution of cultural traits. The term first appeared in print in an 1880 study of changes in American Indian languages ‘under the overwhelming presence of millions’ of white settlers (Powell, 1880, p.46).

The anthropologist Melville Herskovits, an advocate of the systematic study of acculturation, argued for a flexible definition. He contended that the concept should be ‘entirely colourless concerning the relative complexity of the two cultures involved, and whether one is dominated by the other or contact takes place on a plane of comparative equality’, whether one culture borrowed from another or the exchange was reciprocal, and whether it was between literate and non-literate peoples or between two ‘primitive’ peoples (...


Gary W. Kennedy

Record company and label. It was established in 1987 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, by Russ Gershon to issue a recording made the previous year by Gershon’s group the Either/Orchestra. Accurate has released more than 65 albums, by Charlie Kohlhase, Garrison Fewell, Dominique Eade, Allan Chase, the Mandala Octet, and others. While it is principally a jazz label, it has also made and issued some rock (notably by the group Morphine, on its subsidiary label Distortion) and soundtrack recordings....


Howard Rye

Record label. It was established by British Decca (seeDecca (jazz)) in 1961, and became known for low-priced reissues of early jazz and popular music and swing. Most items on Ace of Hearts were drawn from the back catalogue of American Decca and from recordings made for Brunswick and Vocalion before ...


John Piccarella

[Alexander, John Marshall ]

(b Memphis, TN, June 9, 1929; d Houston, TX, Dec 25, 1954). American rhythm-and-blues singer and songwriter. He served in the US Navy in World War II, then played piano with the Memphis-based group the Beale Streeters alongside Bobby Bland, Junior Parker, Roscoe Gordon, and B. B. King; they played electric blues in the style of Sonny Boy Williamson, and in the early 1950s recorded for Ike Turner and Sam Phillips. Ace then signed a contract as a solo artist with Don Robey’s Duke recording company; his record “My Song” reached number one on the rhythm-and-blues chart in 1952, as did “The Clock” the following year. Using a smoother style, he made a series of successful recordings in 1953 and 1954, and became a popular live performer. After his death, his song “Pledging my Love” (1955) became his greatest hit; it was later recorded by Elvis Presley, among others. Ace developed a sophisticated type of rhythm and blues, and had more success as a performer of emotional ballads than as a bluesman. His earnest, suppliant style became a model for later romantic singers....



(bPhiladelphia, Sept 11, 1917; dJuly 1963). Americanpianist. From the late 1930s he played trumpet with Sammy Price and tenor saxophone with Don Bagley. After moving to New York he performed and recorded as a pianist with Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis (1947–8), Dizzy Gillespie (...




Samuel Claro-Valdés

(b Santiago, 1863; d Santiago, May 29, 1911). Chilean composer. He studied theory and singing at the National Conservatory, and the organ and composition privately. He was organist at Santiago Cathedral, and occasionally conducted zarzuelas. In 1902 he composed the first act of his opera-ballet Caupolicán; based on the 16th-century poem La araucana by Alonso de Ercilla, the libretto is by Pedro Antonio Pérez and Adolfo Urzúa Rozas. The première of Act 1 took place at the Teatro Municipal, Santiago, in June 1902. Acevedo then received an award that enabled him to study in Milan, where he composed the last two acts of Caupolicán. The complete work, comprising three acts and 11 scenes, was given its first performance at the Teatro Municipal, Santiago, on 8 December 1942, more than 30 years after the composer’s death. Acevedo also composed masses and other religious works, but the public, devoted to Italian opera at that time, never accepted his music....


Bruce Johnson

(bSydney, March 31, 1922; dSydney, Aug 11, 1987). Australiansaxophonist, clarinetist, and bandleader. He began to play saxophone in 1933 and joined George Fuller before working as a freelance musician and in wartime entertainment units. Following the war he performed in nightclubs and pit orchestras, and in coffee lounges in Melbourne (1948), then worked in Sydney with the trombonist George Trevare and as a freelance musician. From 1955 he led bands in Sydney hotels, among them the Criterion (1958–65), the Windsor Castle, and the Bellevue. Later he was a member of bands led by Dick Hughes (1979–85) and Alan Geddes (1984–6) and led his own group at the Canberra Hotel in Paddington, Sydney. He retired in 1986 because of ill-health. Acheson’s playing, which was chiefly in dixieland and swing styles, is heard to advantage on Merv Acheson 60th Birthday Concert...



Scott L. Balthazar


Melo-dramma eroico in two acts by Ferdinando Paer to a libretto by Giovanni De Gamerra after Homer ’s Iliad; Vienna, Kärntnertor-theater, 6 June 1801.

One of Paer’s best early operas, Achille was particularly admired by Napoleon. In De Gamerra’s version of the story, the armies of Achilles (tenor), King of Thessaly, and Agamemnon (bass), leader of the Greek armies, are preparing to attack the city of Lyrnessus, which is allied with the Trojans. Achilles wishes to be reunited with Briseis (soprano), daughter of Briseus (bass), King of Lyrnessus. Upon defeating Briseus’s army, both Achilles and Agamemnon demand Briseis in exchange for clemency. She chooses Achilles, but Agamemnon later has her kidnapped. Suspecting foul play by his purported ally, Achilles refuses to lead his army against the Trojans, although he does eventually send them into battle under the command of his companion Patroclus (bass), cloaked in Achilles’ armour. After Patroclus is killed, Achilles relents and finally agrees to fight when Agamemnon surrenders Briseis. The opera ends with Achilles’ defeat of Hector and the Trojans....


Don Neville

(‘Achilles on Scyros’)

Libretto by Pietro Metastasio, first set by Antonio Caldara (1736, Vienna). The title Il trionfo della gloria was used for later versions of this libretto.

In order to circumvent the destiny that awaits Achilles in the Trojan War, his mother, Thetis, has asked Chiron, his old tutor, to conceal him on the island of Scyros; Chiron has placed his charge among the women at the court of King Licomede [Lycomedes].

Act 1 In female attire, and with the assumed name of Pirra [Pyrrha], Achilles is able to remain the constant companion of the king’s daughter, Deidamia, whom he loves. The disguise, however, hangs ill upon the warrior, and the demands of Deidamia for his constant presence soon become a burden. His distress is intensified when Lycomedes promises his daughter to Teagene [Theagenes], Prince of Chalcis, and when Ulisse [Ulysses] arrives on the island on the pretext of mustering the armed strength of Scyros. In reality, Ulysses seeks Achilles who he knows is vital to Greek victory....