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[tordion] (Fr.; It. tordiglione, dordiglione; Sp. turdión)

A lively 16th-century dance in triple metre, popular as the most usual afterdance to the basse danse commune. Although literary references to the tourdion date from the 15th century (e.g. in La grant danse macabre, Lyons, 1499), the earliest description of the dance is in Antonius de Arena’s macaronic treatise Ad suos compagnos (1519). His description includes a syllabic representation of the step-unit’s rhythm, and he stated that ‘for the tordion there are no precise rules; there is no preliminary and no conclusion’. Arbeau (Orchésographie, 1588) described the tourdion as a dance like the Galliard, but lighter and faster, because the feet were kept close to the ground. Like the galliard, the tourdion had as its main step-unit the Cinque pas, consisting of five steps executed to six beats (e.g. two triple-metre bars or one compound duple bar), with a leap on the fifth beat; the main difference between a galliard cinque-pas pattern and that of a tourdion was that in the latter dance the ...


Anne Walters Robertson

A three-voiced mass composition in six movements from the first half of the 14th century. The work survives in a manuscript from Tournai ( B-Tc A27 anc.476, ff.28r–33v) that also includes sacred monophony for the Virgin Mary. The differing notational styles of the movements suggest that the work is a compilation, rather than a unified cycle. The Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus Dei appear to be the oldest layer, using 13th-century modal rhythm, while the Gloria, Credo and Ite missa est employ newer Ars Nova conventions in terms both of notation and of rhythm. The Credo and Ite, which are found in several southern European sources (Credo in F-APT 16bis, E-BUhu and Mn Va.21.8; Ite in I-IV and F-SERc ), may have connections with the Avignon circle of manuscripts. The Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus and Agnus are unica.

The mass has been linked to a foundation by Jean des Prés, Bishop of Tournai, who established a daily Mass for the Virgin at a side altar in the right transept of the cathedral in ...



Colin Timms

(Fr. tournoi; Ger. T(o)urnierspiel; It. torneo, torneamento)

A musical introduction to a tournament as well as music for the tournament itself. The genre was cultivated particularly in the 17th century at the ducal courts of northern Italy and at Paris, Munich and Vienna. The tournament was presented in a highly stylized form amounting to little more than ballet, usually by small squadrons of horsemen. Some tourneys, however, were for individuals and some (e.g. Il torneo a piedi, 1631, Ferrara) were performed on foot. The performance often celebrated a royal wedding or birthday, with members of the family taking part, and was an occasion for lavish pageantry and feasting.

The quasi-operatic introduction to the 17th-century tournament appears to derive from the divise (‘devices’) of the medieval tournament. The word ‘divisa’ denoted not only a heraldic device but also a short phrase or sentence in poetry or prose (perhaps originally the motto of the knight or his family), declaimed or sung as he entered the arena. During the 15th century the ...



Alan Brown


An unpretentious piece for lute or virginals, simple in form and light in texture. More than 50 examples survive in English sources from about 1590 to about 1660. Named composers of toys include, for keyboard, Bull, Gibbons and Tomkins (but not Byrd), and, for lute, Dowland and Francis Cutting. Most, however, are anonymous in the sources. There are over a dozen such toys in Jane Pickering’s Lutebook (1616; GB-Lbl Eg.2046), and of the five pieces called ‘toy’ in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, three are anonymous. Another large keyboard manuscript ( US-NYp Drexel 5612; written c1620–60) includes 12 toys, eight of them anonymous.

Many toys have the character of the shorter dances of the period such as the alman, coranto and jig. Indeed, one keyboard piece by Gibbons (MB, xx, 1962/R, no.34) is called in four different sources Toy, Aire, Maske and Alman; another, by Bull (MB, xix, ...


Alyn Shipton

A style of traditional jazz current in Britain between the mid-1950s and the early 1960s. The term was applied to a particularly commercial and simplified form of revivalist jazz which was modelled on the serious attempts of Ken Colyer and Chris Barber to re-create New Orleans styles. Trad bands followed the instrumentation of New Orleans groups (trumpet, trombone, clarinet, banjo, double bass and drums); the principal and most influential were those of Barber, Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball. Their repertory was bland, ranging from jazz interpretations of popular songs and nursery rhymes (such as Barber’s Bobby Shaftoe, 1954, Decca) to cloying, sentimental clarinet solos, notably those of Monty Sunshine (with Barber) and Bilk, whose greatest hit was his theme music for the television series ‘Stranger on the Shore’. The brief vogue for trad resulted in part from shrewd marketing techniques, which featured such anachronistic touches as the association of Bilk’s band with bowler hats and Victorian waistcoats. A number of bands were formed to exploit the commercial potential of trad, but they proved short-lived, and after riots at the Beaulieu Festival in ...


Lawrence Gushee

A term that arose in polemical writings of the late 1930s to distinguish New Orleans jazz of the 1920s from the swing style of the 1930s; it was later applied to the music of New Orleans revival groups, and is now used almost exclusively in that sense. Beginning in 1938, four forces led to a revival of a supposedly authentic New Orleans style: first, several nationally prominent black jazz musicians (Sidney Bechet, Jelly Roll Morton and Jimmie Noone) were recorded playing a purportedly traditional repertory using traditional instrumentation; second, a significant number of white musicians, both in the USA (Turk Murphy and Lu Watters in San Francisco) and elsewhere, turned to recordings of the 1920s New Orleans jazz for models; third, a number of older black New Orleans musicians who had never or rarely played outside Louisiana were recorded by white aficionados; finally, older dixieland jazz musicians, many of whom had retired to New Orleans, were recorded from the mid-1950s, often under the auspices of the New Orleans Jazz Club. The music of the third group (beginning with the recordings made under Kid Rena’s leadership in ...


Graham Sadler

[tragédie lyrique] (Fr.)

The most important species of French opera in the period from Lully to Rameau (1673–1764). In its organization and musical character it shares many features with lesser genres such as the pastorale-héroïque. It is nevertheless distinguished by its five-act structure (others usually had fewer acts) and by a greater dramatic intensity and seriousness of tone. In the later 18th century the tragédie en musique profoundly influenced the operatic reforms of Jommelli, Traetta and, above all, Gluck. In their turn the French tragedies of Gluck, Piccinni, Sacchini and Salieri, produced in the 1770s and 80s, represent a transformation and final flowering of the genre.

During the greater part of the Lully–Rameau period, the term ‘tragédie lyrique’ is rarely encountered. For the first 85 years of the genre’s existence, this expression was scarcely ever employed by librettists or composers. Almost without exception, librettos printed before 1760 use the terms ‘tragédie’ or ‘tragédie en musique’. On printed scores the same terms are found with similar consistency, together with such variants as ‘tragédie mise en musique’ or (after the mid-18th century, when old librettos began to be recycled) ‘remise en musique’ (e.g. Dauvergne’s ...


Mark Clague and Dan Archdeacon

Growing out of the Detroit Artists Workshop (founded 1964), Trans-Love Energies (TLE, formally, Trans-Love Energies Unlimited, Inc.) was an anti-establishment commune founded in Detroit in February 1967. Its mission was to “produce, promote, manage, and otherwise represent musical and other artists, in recordings, concerts, tours, media, and related fields of culture and entertainment, including films, books, posters, light and sound environments—all on a cooperative, non-profit basis, for the purpose of educating and informing the general public in terms of contemporary art forms and cultural patterns.”

An umbrella corporation, TLE included a production company, a light show and poster company, the Artists’ Workshop Press (distributor and publisher of underground newspapers, including the Warren-Forest Sun), and many side enterprises that helped fund commune operations. Inspired by rock music’s potential to catalyze social change, TLE managed musical acts including the Up, Iggy and the Stooges, and most notably the MC5. The activist leader John Sinclair (...


Hugh Macdonald

A term used to define the process of modifying a theme so that in a new context it is different but yet manifestly made of the same elements; a variant term is ‘thematic metamorphosis’. With Cyclic form and the desire for continuity between movements, the process became a favourite method in 19th-century music of giving greater cohesion both between and within separate movements of multi-movement works. It was also widely used in opera. Great ingenuity was devoted to changing the rhythm, melodic detail, orchestration or dynamic character of a theme to adapt it to a different purpose, often for programmatic reasons. Thematic transformation is no more than a special application of the principle of variation; yet although the technique is similar the effect is usually different, since the transformed theme has a life and independence of its own and is no longer a sibling of the original theme.

Dance pairs of the early 17th century provide notable cases of thematic transformation at a time when variation form was also coming into favour for larger musical structures. In his keyboard dances, Bull frequently derived the melody of the galliard from that of the pavan, with free modifications, so that neither is strictly a variation of the other, but they might be said to be obverse to one another. In the later Baroque period, thematic treatment of this kind was channelled into either fugue, by means of such techniques as augmentation and diminution, or variations, rather than into the balancing of varied couples on the basis of a single thematic idea. Bach at least showed no enthusiasm for building preludes and fugues out of shared material. Mozart used thematic transformation for occasional dramatic effect, as in the quartet in Act 2 of ...


(Ger. Durchgang)

Any passage in a piece or movement which, rather than having a particular thematic identity of its own, seems to lead from one well-defined section to another, for instance the ‘bridge passage’ between the first and second subjects of a movement in Sonata form. It is usually applied to passages in which a modulation from one key to another is systematically worked out, though it is also used for sudden changes of tonality, as well as for passages in which there is a ‘modulatory digression’ but no actual key change (Beethoven, Sonata op.111, second movement, bars 106–30)....


Erich Schwandt

(Fr.: ‘trap’, ‘ambush’)

A late 17th-century dance. Dances bearing this name occur in instrumental ballets by composers such as Erlebach, Johann Fischer, Kusser, Georg Muffat and A.A. and J.H. Schmelzer. They are rhythmically and structurally identical with gavottes: there are phrases of eight minim beats with a caesura after the fourth beat, the time signature is 𝇍, and they begin with either a half-bar or a full bar. Furetière described the traquenard as ‘a kind of dance involving special movements of the body’, which may have been connected with the usual meanings of the word given above; thus, although Nettl regards it as a separate variety of dance, the term may simply be a title for a mimed dance using gavotte music....




Bruce A. Bellingham

(from Lat. tri-: ‘three times’ and canere: ‘to sing’ or ‘to play’)

A term applied by many modern scholars to any three-part vocal or instrumental composition of the Renaissance or early Baroque. Less frequently found than ‘bicinium’, it was not often used in contemporary sources to designate a similar pedagogical repertory. Although it was first employed in manuscript in 1540 (Jan z Lublina’s Tabulatura, PL-Kp 1716; see Chybiński, Adolf) and in print in 1542 (Rhau’s Tricinia … latina, germanica, brabantica & gallica), earlier publishers, Formschneider, Kugelmann and Petreius, had already provided tricinia, compositions suitable for performance in Lutheran schools and homes and by small church choirs (see Noblitt, 1989). These large collections contain a somewhat more contemporary repertory than the bicinium publications, including French chansons published between 1520 and 1536, as well as a few conservative Franco-Flemish trios (often in cantus firmus style and frequently with moralizing biblical contrafacta). Contemporary Italian and French publications do not use the term (although they were sources for the Lutheran editors; see Bernstein, ...


Mary Cyr

revised by Meredith Ellis Little

[tricotée, triquotée] (Fr.)

A word, often used in the plural, applied mainly during the 16th and 17th centuries to a number of different tunes and dances. It enjoyed particular vogue in France and England (as ‘trickatee’), appearing in various forms among the texts of numerous chansons, and, eventually, in the titles of instrumental compositions. The word ‘tricotet’ derives from tricot (‘stick’) and faire tricoté quelqu'un (‘to make someone dance by beating him with a stick’); another meaning was faire l'amour. The modern association of the word with tricoter (‘to knit’) was acquired no earlier than the late 16th century. Bernard de Lamonnoye (Glossaire des noels), referring to the early 18th-century dance, said that it was thus named because the movement of the feet was as fast as that of the hands in knitting.

The earliest extant source of a tricotet tune is the tenor of an anonymous three-part chanson, Belles tenés-moi – La triquotée...


Erich Schwandt

(Fr., ?from Lat. saltatio trichorica: ‘a leaping dance of three steps’)

A Breton dance of the 15th and 16th centuries. 16th-century sources of information about it include du Fail and Arbeau. Du Fail’s description is vague, but he offers the Latin equivalent given above. The extant musical repertory for the trihoris amounts to a single phrase in Arbeau seven semibreves long. Arbeau’s step pattern can be repeated with a slight variation. The dancers always move to the left and use kicks and hops in addition to branle steps. According to Guilcher, whose account of the trihoris is extensive, dances similar to it are still danced in Brittany....



Erich Schwandt

(It., from tre, formed in imitation of duo)

(1) A piece of music for three players. The commonest types are the Piano trio (piano, violin, cello) and the String trio (violin, viola, cello); see also Chamber music, Trio sonata and (for vocal music) Terzet.

(2) In the 18th century, the term ‘trio’ was applied to an instrumental piece for three obbligato voices, without further accompaniment, in strict style. Many such pieces belong to the realm of academic music, being used by theorists to demonstrate rules of counterpoint and composition. There are, however, trios of this kind in the keyboard music of J.S. Bach, notably in his organ sonatas and his sinfonias (or three-part inventions), where all three voices are equally important and all three are continuously engaged in working out the musical ideas. The canons of the Goldberg Variations, except that at the 9th, are trios. Trios are also prominent in his organ chorales, where the variety in treating various combinations of voices is striking....


Sandra Mangsen

A term applied to Baroque sonatas for two or three melody instruments and continuo. Many trio sonatas are for strings, but wind instruments (cornetto, oboe, flute, recorder, bassoon) are also found. The melodic parts are usually of equal importance, although the bass may be less active. Trio sonatas were perhaps the most popular instrumental music of the period, written by composers throughout Europe and eagerly consumed, especially by amateurs. Their three-part texture could also be rendered by a single melodic instrument and obbligato keyboard, and some sonatas exist in both formats; Bach’s organ trios (bwv525–30) demonstrate the transfer of the idiom to two manuals and pedal.

In the 17th century, Italian church sonatas a due and a tre were composed for two (ss, bb, sb) or three (ssb, sbb and sss) instruments and continuo; melodic bass instruments participated fully in the contrapuntal dialogue, which was simplified in the chordal continuo. From Rossi to Corelli secular trios ordinarily had a single bass part, played by a chordal or melodic instrument (chitarrone in Rossi’s trios, bowed string in Buonamente’s). Corelli’s sonatas conform to this pattern, opp.1 and 3 requiring four instruments (two violins, violone or archlute, and organ), opp.2 and 4 needing only three (two violins and violone or harpsichord). After ...




Will Fulford-Jones

A form of 20th-century club dance music. It owes part of its sound to hip hop, although it is considerably slower, generally using lugubrious, loping 4/4 rhythms, and also takes in influences from electro, jazz and techno. Early trip hop from 1994 was heavily based on hip hop, with artists such as RPM, La Funk Mob and DJ Shadow manipulating hip hop beats with scratching and sampling. The following year, the sound developed further and, with the advent of artists such as Tricky and Portishead, became more song- than sound-based. Instrumentation tended to be sparse: keyboards and percussion were common, but a string section, guitars or a DJ less so. There was an emphasis on the bass line, either electronically generated or from a bass guitar, and on the slowed-down hip hop rhythms. It was frequently repetitive, riff-based and in the minor key, and also differed from earlier trip hop in that it used vocalists, frequently both rappers and singers. The groove-based ...