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[Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament](from Lat. benedictio: ‘blessing’)

In the Roman rite, a ceremony comprising the exposition and veneration of the Sacred Host, the singing of hymns and a blessing of the faithful with the Host. It is not part of the Mass in the strict sense. Benediction probably developed from the new devotion to the Sacrament that appeared in the Latin West from the 12th century, reflected in innovations such as the Elevation within Mass and the processions carrying the Sacrament on the feast of Corpus Christi (instituted 1264). Hildebrand, Benedictine abbot at Hildesheim, issued instructions in 1301 that the faithful were to be blessed with the Host at a station during the Corpus Christi procession while the choir sang the antiphon O admirabile commercium (Browe, 74, n.9, cited also in Righetti, 613); there is further evidence of Benediction in northern Europe in the 14th century, but not in Italy until much later.

Benediction developed as an evening devotion, not necessarily allied to Corpus Christi, and it was further emphasized as a counterblast to the Reformers’ denial of the doctrine of transubstantiation; nevertheless, the service was not recognized by the Roman Church as a true liturgical action until ...

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Richard Sherr

(Lat.: ‘blessed’)

Part of the Sanctus after the first Hosanna, consisting of the sentence ‘Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini’ followed by a repeat of the Hosanna. It is an adaptation of a quotation from Matthew xxi.9: ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!’ which is itself an adaptation of Psalm cxviii.26. It is found in the Roman liturgy from the 7th century, and may have been added to the Roman Sanctus, together with the two Hosannas, through Gallican influence. It was also sung in various oriental rites and is attested in the Jewish Pesaḥ (Passover) ritual.

In the Roman Mass, the Benedictus was until recently separated from the Sanctus by the consecration (a procedure outlined in the Caeremoniale episcoporum of 1600). According to Jungmann (Missarum sollemnia, ii, 137) this was ‘obviously an attempt to accommodate to the canon a polyphonic style of song wherein the richer melody of the Sanctus … stretches out to the consecration, while the Benedictus, along with the second Hosanna, fills out the rest of the canon’. Wagner and others also attributed the practice to the influence of polyphony, and certainly the Benedictus has usually appeared as a separate section in polyphonic masses since the Middle Ages. (...

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John Caldwell and Joseph Dyer

(Lat.: ‘blessed’)

The first word of the canticle of Zechariah (Zachary), ‘Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel’ (Luke i.68–79), sung towards the end of the Office of Lauds in most Latin rites, after the 9th ōdē of the kanōn in the Byzantine morning Office of Orthros (it replaces this ōdē during Eastertide), and before the Nicene Creed at Anglican Matins. It is also the first word of the canticle of David, ‘Benedictus es, Domine Deus Israel patris nostri’ (1 Chronicles xxix.10b–13), the festal canticle sung to the ordinary Office psalmody at Monday Lauds in the Roman monastic and secular Office.

The original assignment of the canticle of Zechariah to Lauds was presumably prompted by the words: ‘the day-spring from on high hath visited us to give light to them that sit in darkness’. Benedict of Nursia referred to the canticle as the ‘canticum de evangelia’, and his earlier contemporary, known only as the ‘Master’, called it simply ‘evangelia’. In the Gregorian (though not the Old Roman) repertory, a special psalmody in each of the modes and with ornate intonations and cadences is reserved for the singing of the ...

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Kenneth L. Hamilton

(Fr.: ‘cradle’, ‘lullaby’; Ger. Wiegenlied)

A gentle song intended for lulling young children to sleep. In instrumental music the term usually refers to a character-piece for piano. The defining work of the genre is Chopin's Berceuse in D♭ major op.57 (1843–4), a model imitated by several other composers. Its most notable characteristics are compound time, a quiet dynamic level, a tonic pedal bass and a ‘rocking’ accompaniment oscillating between chords I and V, over which Chopin places a simple melody later varied with a profusion of filigree passagework.

The first version of Liszt's Berceuse (1854), also in D♭ major, is indebted to Chopin's, but the revised version (1862) is much more elaborate, featuring complex chromatic excursions and an extended coda. The ‘rocking’ feel of compound metre is here achieved by the use of triplets within 4/4 time; the same is true of the berceuse from Gounod's opera La reine de Saba...

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Richard Hudson

revised by Giuseppe Gerbino and Alexander Silbiger

[bergamasco, bergomask] (It.)

A tune widely used for instrumental variations and contrapuntal fantasias in the late 16th century and the 17th. It was probably based on a folksong or folkdance, and its name suggests a connection with the district of Bergamo in northern Italy. The tune was usually associated with the recurring harmonic scheme I–IV–V–I (ex.1).

Chordal accompaniments for the bergamasca appear in many Italian tablatures from Montesardo (1606) to G.P. Ricci (1677). Some keyboard variations retain the harmonic scheme in the manner of an ostinato (see Samuel Scheidt’s set in H-Bn 26). Others, however, simply use the melody of the first half of ex.2 without the bass formula, as in Frescobaldi’s bergamasca from Fiori musicali (1635), Giovanni Salvatore’s Canzone francese sopra un ballo detto la Bergamasca (1641) and G.B. Fasolo’s Fuga prima sopra la Bergamasca as well as in some ensemble pieces by Viadana (...

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David Fallows

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David Fallows

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David Fallows

(Fr.: ‘little shepherdess’, ‘pastoral song’)

(1) A kind of song in the 15th century, first found in a text manuscript ( GB-Lbl Add.15224 (c1430)), which gives the heading ‘Bergerete chantee’ to 13 poems with no apparent common features; the heading ‘Bergerette’ appears in another manuscript ( F-Pn fr.2230 and fr.19182) for virelais. Descriptions of the term in several literary treatises of the 15th century show no clear consistency of meaning....

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John H. Baron

[Bergreyen, Bergkreyen] (Ger.)

German popular songs, mainly of the 16th and 17th centuries, about various secular and sacred subjects. The term was originally used for dance-songs from the Erzgebirge in Saxony. The songs are strophic, and many were sung at mountain festivals, usually with instrumental accompaniment. The vogue for them began with W. Meierpeck's Etliche Bergkreien geistlich und weltlich (Zwickau, 1531) and continued into the 18th century, when the term was replaced by Berglieder. Only two printed collections of Bergreihen contain music. One, Erasmus Rotenbucher’s Bergkreyen (Nuremberg, 1551), contains mostly sacred songs (possibly contrafacta of secular pieces), all for two voices. The other, Melchior Franck's Musicalischer Bergkreyen (Nuremberg, 1602), consists of four-part, primarily homophonic secular songs mostly in bar form; they begin with the tenor voice alone and include a few melismas, usually on the penultimate syllable of a verse, which may be only suggestions for improvised ornaments. For an edition, see G. Heilfurth and others, eds.: ...

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Bruce A. Bellingham

(from Lat. bis: ‘twice’ and canere: ‘to sing’ or ‘to play’)

A term applied by many modern scholars to any two-part vocal or instrumental composition of the Renaissance or early Baroque. In its stricter, historically more correct definition, it was used in German-speaking areas of the period, mainly by Lutheran Latin schoolteachers, to designate pedagogical duos. Duos were written for this purpose in the 15th century (see Bernstein, 1980), but the Lutherans were the first to realize their value as aids for teaching and practising contrapuntal music in all clefs and church modes.

The term’s earliest known appearance is in Jan z Lublina’s Tabulatura (manuscript, 1540), which contains a definition, rules for composition and examples (see Chybiński). Georg Rhau first used it in a printed collection in his two volumes of bicinia published in 1545. These provided an international repertory of 194 duos (followed by a smaller assortment of three- to eight-part compositions) with secular French (borrowed mainly from Moderne’s, Gardano’s and perhaps also Attaingnant’s chanson publications of the 1530s; see Bernstein, ...

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Pauline Norton

[black shuffle]

A quick-tempo American social dance, particularly of the 1920s. It is thought to have originated in the early 1900s in the ‘juke’ (black) bawdy houses of the ‘Bottoms’, the black quarter of Nashville. The movements of the dance as described in Perry Bradford's song The Original Black Bottom Dance (1919) include slides and hobbling steps; the dance also involved a twisting motion of the body similar to the Shimmy, hops forward and back, side turns, stamps, a skating glide performed with deep knee bends, and according to the Stearns, ‘a genteel slapping of the backside’. Its popularity, along with other related dances such as the charleston (see Charleston), developed from the success of the black revue Shuffle Along (1921), the first theatrical adaptation of the black bottom occurring in the show Dinah (1924). It was Ann Pennington's performance of the dance, however, to the song ‘Black Bottom’ (music by Ray Henderson, lyrics by Buddy DeSylva and Lew Brown) in ...

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Allan F. Moore

A style of popular music that flourished during the 1960s. It originated in and is particularly associated with Britain, and depends on the electric guitar with its blues-pentatonic scale patterns and propensity for sudden shifts of movement between anguished held, bent notes and sudden runs. It attempted to counter the banality of the hit-parade material and of rock and roll (which by the early 1960s had lost its power to surprise) by retrieving what was felt to be emotionally more ‘authentic’ blues material. It was thus originally an underground movement originating in the London blues revival, itself an outgrowth of the trad jazz movement headed by Chris Barber. The blues revival was centred on clubs booked by Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies, namely Wardour Street’s Roundhouse (from 1955) and West London’s Ealing Club (from 1962). By the early 1960s other clubs were popular: the Scene and the Flamingo in Central London and the Crawdaddy in Richmond....

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Bolero  

Willi Kahl and Israel J. Katz

A Spanish popular dance or song. Its dancers are called boleros or boleras. Of the several possible etymologies considered by Suárez-Pajares (A1993), the most plausible are those deriving from the verb volar (‘to fly’) and from the name boleras, given to the Gypsy women ‘who were the first to dance it [and called so] because of the little gold-braided balls (bolitas de pasamanería) that adorned their dresses’. From its beginnings in Spain during the last third of the 18th century the bolero's popularity in the court and theatre persisted throughout the 19th century, and it has since been absorbed among the traditional dance and song genres of Andalusia, Castile and Mallorca.

Consensus among the early writers (Sor, A1835; El Solitario, A1847) points to the bolero’s having derived from the seguidilla, whose accompanying rhythm and movements it modified and to whose verse form it was sung. After the seguidilla...

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Bomba  

Melanie Maldonado

Puerto Rican traditional music and dance genre. This creole music and dance was practiced on plantations and in free Black communities throughout the coastal regions of the island, by some accounts, as early as the 17th century. Bomba is African-derived music that has deep roots in Congolese, West African, and Afro-French cultural expressions and European (colonial) dances. Song structures, or seises, dictate a distinct rhythm for the drummers and the dancers; some of these seises include Sicá, Danué, Gracimá, Kalindá, Cuembé, Yubá, Leró, Holandé, Rulé, Paulé, Cocobalé, Corvé, Cunyá, and Bambulaé, amongst others. Bomba is both the name of the genre and the name of the main instrument—a barrel-shaped drum. The lead drum, or the subidor, marks the movements of a dancer who is using his or her body, clothing, or another prop to interpret the constant rhythm; the second drum, or the buleador, maintains a steady rhythm. The two other necessary instruments are a shaker or ...

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Peter C. Muir

A style of piano blues characterized by the use of driving ostinati in the bass (left hand). The genre first emerged in the 1920s and acquired mainstream popularity in the late 1930s. Regarded as one of the most significant styles of instrumental blues to emerge before World War II, it has continued to enjoy currency and from the 1940s has been a major influence on the development of various styles of vernacular music.

The essence of the boogie-woogie idiom is the ostinati, which typically continue throughout a boogie-woogie performance except for occasional breaks (usually two or four bars in length), and which provide the music with a strong rhythmic impetus. A wide range of ostinati is used. The most common and harmonically simplest is split eighth-note octaves (ex. 1). A harmonically denser approach is shown in the chord-based ex. 1b. Ex. 1c is sparser and simpler, but its rhythmical variety allows for subtle polyrhythmic interplay with the right hand. In the fully developed boogie-woogie style the pianist’s right hand makes frequent use of riffs, which play off against the left hand ostinati to create engaging polyrhythms, as well as other devices of blues piano-playing such as blue notes and tremolos (melodic or chordal). Boogie-woogie can be played at a variety of speeds, but is most commonly performed at a medium-fast or fast tempo. It is technically demanding, mainly because of the rhythmic independence required between the player’s hands. Its harmonic basis is most commonly a 12-bar blues chord sequence, although other blues structures (for example, 16-bar forms) are frequently employed, and the style has been successfully adapted to non-blues-related material such as popular songs....

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Gerard Béhague

In Brazilian popular music, a movement that originated about 1958–9 and effected radical stylistic changes in the classical urban Samba. The word ‘bossa’, from Rio de Janeiro slang, means loosely ‘special ability’, ‘shrewdness’, ‘astuteness’ and the like. The term ‘bossa-nova’ first appeared in Antônio Carlos Jobim’s song Desafinado (1959) whose melody with complex intervals (diminished 4ths, minor 6ths) and a rather tortuous shape was intended to suggest the idea of a singer with a certain vocal insecurity. Its melodic and harmonic complexity was justified by the song text as ‘bossa nova’. The originators of the new style included Jobim himself as a composer and João Gilberto primarily as a singer and guitarist. Their first important recording was Chega de Saudade (March 1959). Although the samba figured prominently in their repertory it was not their exclusive genre.

One of the features of the new style, affecting popular music in general, and the samba in particular, was a deliberate avoidance of the predominance of any single musical parameter. Before bossa nova the melody was generally strongly emphasized, to satisfy the basic requirement of an easily singable tune; bossa nova, however, integrates melody, harmony and rhythm. The performer has a vital role in this integration, but heavy emphasis on the singer’s personality is altogether avoided. Strongly contrasting effects, loudness of voice, fermatas or scream-like high pitches are generally excluded from a proper bossa nova singing style; the singing should flow in a subdued tone almost like the normal spoken language. The characteristic nasal vocal production of bossa nova is a peculiar trait of the ...

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Gerald Bordman

revised by Stephanie Jensen-Moulton

[Bostonians; Ideals]

American opera company. In 1878 a Boston newspaper, critical of the performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore that had been staged in the city, called for an “ideal” production. The singers’ agent Effie H. Ober responded by forming the “Ideals,” and staging a highly successful version of Pinafore on 14 April 1879. In the next years the troupe built a sizable repertory of contemporary comic operas and such works as Gaetano Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore and D.-F.-E. Auber’s Fra Diavolo. It made annual countrywide tours and earned a reputation as the finest American ensemble of its kind. Aside from the troupe’s chorus of 40 to 60 members, early featured singers included George Fessenden, Myron Whitney, Tom Karl, Adelaide Philips, and Mary Beebe. Trouble began for the Ideals in 1883, with the firing of a manager who was convicted as “insane from drink.” In 1885 Ober stepped down as the troupe’s manager. In ...

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[bothy song]

A type of folksong originating in, or concerned with life in, Scottish farm bothies (the living quarters of unmarried male farmhands during the 19th and early 20th centuries). Bothy workers themselves frequently classed any folksong as a bothy ballad. See Scotland, §II, 5.

G. Greig: Folk Song of the North-East...