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Tenso  

Hendrik van der Werf

[tenson]

A debate between two or more troubadours or trouvères in the form of a poem. According to Guilhem Molinier, in Las leys d’amors (1328, rev. 1337), there is a clear difference between a tenso and a partimen (see Jeu-parti). The tenso, supposedly, was used for a debate in which each participant presented his own opinion or conviction on a topic ‘as in a trial’, whereas in the partimen the participants seem to have chosen sides for the sake of discussion only. Consequently the tenso could be rather free in form, each participant contributing as much text as he saw fit. However, Molinier ruefully admitted that the two terms were often used the wrong way and often a tenso was called ‘partimen’ and vice versa. In the poems there is almost complete corroboration of this remark; furthermore, in manuscripts that separate the poems by genre, debates may be separated from other poems, but there is no clear distinction between the various kinds of debates....

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Elaine Sisman

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W. Dean Sutcliffe and Michael Tilmouth

A tripartite musical form, usually symbolized as ABA.

W. Dean Sutcliffe

It is perhaps the most fundamental of musical forms, based on the natural principles of departure and return, and of thematic contrast then repetition. The term is most commonly associated with the so-called composite ternary form, as found in the da capo aria or the minuet and trio, but is also applied to the ‘small ternary’ form, where the ABA shaping governs a single structure. The section that returns as the second A (which, if modified, may be better expressed as A′) is different in nature from and more substantial than, say, the returning theme in a rondo, which is constructed in such a way as to demand both immediate and several subsequent repetitions. Ternary form works on a broader scale: whereas the intervening episodes of a rondo may not be very distinctive thematically, the B section of a ternary form is frequently highly contrasting. Even if it in fact continues in some way with the material of ...

Article

Terzet  

Michael Tilmouth

(Ger. Terzett; It. terzetto)

A composition for three solo voices with or without accompaniment. The term was defined by J.G. Walther (Musicalisches Lexicon, 1732) and occasionally appears in scores from the first half of the 18th century (e.g. Handel’s Solomon, 1748, and J.S. Bach’s Cantata no.38). Many compositions for three voices were written before then, however, in the forms of the tricinium, the madrigal and the villanella in the Renaissance; accompanied pieces for three similar voices were not infrequent in 17th-century opera and oratorio, for example the three famigliari in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (1642) and the interludes for the three shepherds and three wise men in Schütz’s Historia, der … Geburth … Jesu Christi (1664).

In the Classical period the ‘terzett’ (so named in the scores) frequently appears. Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and Die Zauberflöte contain celebrated examples. In the latter work, that for the Three Boys, ‘Seid uns zum zweitenmal willkommen’, continues the earlier operatic tradition of trios for similar voices (which survived to Wagner’s time in the three Norns and three Rhinemaidens of the ...

Article

Testo  

(It.: ‘text’)

A term commonly used in 17th-century Italian oratorio volgare and Passion settings for the narrative portions of the text and, by extension, the role of the narrator; it corresponds to the ‘historicus’ in the Latin oratorio and to the Evangelist in German Passion settings. In the 18th century, when narrative was almost entirely dropped from oratorio in favour of continuous dramatic dialogue, the term fell into disuse. The ...

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Fritz Reckow and Edward H. Roesner

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Kenneth Levy, John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham, David Hiley and Bennett Mitchell Zon

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Fritz Reckow and Edward H. Roesner

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Elaine Sisman

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Elaine Sisman

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Elaine Sisman

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Elaine Sisman

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Elaine Sisman

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Elaine Sisman

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Rudolf Flotzinger

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James R. Anthony

(Fr.: ‘fair theatres’)

The name by which the troupes performing at the two Paris fairs, the Foire St Germain and the Foire St Laurent, in the 17th and 18th centuries, were commonly known. The fairs were important in the history of the musical stage in the late 17th century as the sites for the comédie en vaudevilles, out of which grew the musically more elaborate opéra comique. The Foire St Germain was located about where the Hôtel des Examens and the Marché St Germain are now; by the end of the 17th century it always opened on 3 February and ended on Palm Sunday. The Gare de l’Est now occupies the approximate site of the Foire St Laurent, whose season was somewhat variable, generally lasting from July to the end of September.

The fairs had been the scene of popular farces, acrobatic displays and animal shows since the Middle Ages and, after 1642...

Article

Robert Walser

A term often used in the 1980s to distinguish a faster, heavily distorted kind of Heavy metal from the more melodic and popular styles. Speed metal developed in the San Francisco Bay area as an underground, alternative style of heavy metal around 1981; its main pioneers were Metallica, Megadeth and, in New York, Anthrax. When speed metal bands began incorporating more punk influences, such as a growling vocal style and sarcastic or critical lyrics, the style was called thrash metal, reflecting a thrashing quality of motion in music and dance; other respected practitioners were Testament, Exodus, and Possessed. The New Wave of British Heavy Metal at the turn of the 1980s was an important influence on thrash musicians, but their most important ancestor was the British band Motörhead, which had played for both metal and punk audiences in the 1970s. However, thrash metal’s emphasis on instrumental virtuosity – particularly fast guitar solos and the precise ensemble execution of complex song structures – made it distinctly different from punk and hardcore. Thrash bands often used unusual metres, too, as well as sudden tempo and style changes....

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Malcolm Boyd

(from Gk. thrēnōdia: ‘lamentation’)

A poem, or its musical setting, expressing a strong feeling of grief for the dead; the term has much the same meaning as ‘lament’. ‘Threnody’ has also been used as a title for purely instrumental compositions of an elegiac nature, such as Penderecki's Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima for 52 solo strings (...