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Kerala J. Snyder


The name given to a particular type of concert held in the Marienkirche, Lübeck, during the 17th and 18th centuries. The exact origins of the Abendmusiken were already obscure in the mid-18th century, but they began as organ recitals, probably during Franz Tunder’s tenure as organist (1641–67), perhaps even earlier. The original purpose may have been to entertain businessmen who assembled in the Marienkirche to await the opening of the stock exchange at noon on Thursdays. However, Tunder already referred to them as ‘Abendspiele’ in 1646. It is also possible that the Lübeck businessmen who financed them were imitating the municipally sponsored organ recitals in the Netherlands, where Reformed Church doctrine prohibited the use of the organ during church services.

Tunder’s musical offerings later included vocal and instrumental soloists, but Buxtehude, who succeeded him, added orchestra and chorus, necessitating the building of four extra balconies in 1669 to accommodate 40 performers. He also changed the time from a weekday to 4 p.m. on the last two Sundays of Trinity and the second, third and fourth Sundays of Advent, a schedule that was maintained throughout the 18th century. Although as late as ...


William Kirk Bares

Hybrid genre with origins in London’s acid house scene of the late 1980s. Originating with the English DJ and producer Gilles Peterson, the label denotes a craze, a marketing category, and a durable transatlantic jazz subculture with links to hip hop, rave and club music. Notable bands include the Brand New Heavies, Jamiroquai, Galliano, and Us3 in the UK and Digable Planets, Groove Collective, and Brooklyn Funk Essentials in the USA. During the music’s heyday in the 1990s, groups fused improvised live jazz with soul-jazz beats and elements of hip hop, including lyrics by established rappers like Guru and MC Solaar. The dance-oriented music tapped into the era’s fascination with jazz history, DJ culture, and retro kitsch. Jazz publications of the 1990s, including the UK-based Straight No Chaser (devoted entirely to acid jazz), debated whether acid jazz was innovative or derivative, genuinely or only superficially jazz. Its advocates touted its accessibility and potential to revive neglected jazz artists and grooves. Collaborations with veteran jazz musicians like Donald Byrd, Roy Ayers and Ron Carter added credibility to the movement....


Musical subculture of the late 1980s and 90s. Acid jazz is largely a fusion of black American musical styles such as funk, soul and hip-hop combined with a visual aesthetic which borrows extensively from both British popular culture of the 1960s and black American street style of the 70s. Fundamentally a form of street style, it combined music, fashion and recreational drug use to create an ‘attitude’ that owed much to the beatniks of the 1960s (hence ‘jazz’) and a nostalgia for the 1960s and 70s, regarded as a time when musicianship was vital to good dance music as opposed to the more contemporary technological emphasis. The term covers a wide range of musical styles, from the electronic disco styling of bands such as Jamiroquai and Brand New Heavies to the Santana-inspired funk rock of Mother Earth and the Mendez Report. The common denominator is usually the influence of funk, drawing on syncopated rhythmic interplay between the instruments and the use of chromatic chord sequences used widely in post-bop jazz but rarely in mainstream pop or dance music....


Jack Westrup

Music specially written for the celebration of the Act at the University of Oxford in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. The Act, held originally in July, was a traditional function at which candidates for degrees gave public evidence of their fitness. In 1669 it was held for the first time in the newly opened Sheldonian Theatre (having previously been held at the university church of St Mary) and was incorporated in the ceremony of the Encaenia (the dedication of the building). Composers who contributed music for the Act, which flourished particularly in the period 1699–1710, included Locke and Blow. The Act ceased to be held after 1733, but the Encaenia continued as a ceremony for the commemoration of founders and benfactors and for the conferment of honorary degrees. The 1733 Act was celebrated with music composed and performed by Handel, and in 1791 Haydn's Symphony no.92 (the ‘Oxford’) was performed at the Sheldonian Theatre when he was awarded the honorary DMus. The only music performed now is an organ recital before the ceremony....


Curtis Price

Instrumental (rarely vocal) music performed before and during the intervals of late 17th- and early 18th-century English plays and semi-operas. A full suite of act music comprises nine pieces: two pieces each of ‘first music’ and ‘second music’, played to entertain the audience waiting for the play to begin; an overture, usually in the French style, sounded after the prologue was spoken and just before the curtain was raised; and four ‘act tunes’ played immediately at the end of each act of a five-act play or semi-opera (except the last).

The earliest known suites of act music were composed by Matthew Locke in the 1660s for various unidentified productions of the Duke’s Company, London; the earliest surviving suite for an identifiable play is John Banister’s for The Indian Queen (1664). The first set to be published was Locke’s for the 1674 ‘operatic’ production of Dryden and Davenant’s The Tempest...



M. Elizabeth C. Bartlet

(Fr.). A French 18th-century stage work in one act, akin to the opéra-ballet and performed at the Académie Royale de Musique (the Opéra). Like the opéra-ballet, an acte de ballet includes airs, duets, choruses (particularly choeurs dansés) and sometimes other vocal music as well as instrumental dances. Being in a single act, it had a continuous, though slight, dramatic action: the plot was often designed to provide maximum opportunity for colourful scenic displays. Under the title ‘Fragments’, an evening’s performance at the Opéra might be made up of several actes de ballet by different authors or one with other short works; popular entrées from opéras-ballets were taken out of their original context and given as actes de ballet.

The earliest example is Zélindor, roi des silphes by François Rebel and François Francoeur (1745), termed a ‘divertissement’. As a designation in scores and librettos, acte de ballet is most frequently found in the works of Rameau: ...


Peter Manuel

The field of Afro-Caribbean music comprises a vast and heterogeneous corpus of genres and practices, with most forms of Caribbean music evolving as syncretic products of diverse African- and European-derived elements. Many of these genres have established substantial presences in or influences on music culture in the mainland United States, whether through the activities of diasporic communities or via cross-cultural interactions.

Afro-Caribbean musics may be regarded as spanning a gamut of styles. On one end would lie various neo-African traditional genres that bear close affinities to counterparts or predecessors in Africa and may even embody marginal survivals of entities now obscure in that continent. Particularly prominent in the neo-African category are the many Afro-Caribbean genres – both recreational as well as religious – that feature a West African-derived format of three drums playing ostinato-based rhythms, accompanying call-and-response singing and dancing by groups, couples, or an individual.

The 20th century saw the emergence of a rich and dynamic variety of creole commercial popular music genres whose styles evolved in connection with the new mass media of records and, from the 1920s, radio. Most of these genres were distinctively Afro-Caribbean both in stylistic features as well as the social milieus that generated them and the personnel that performed them. Several came to enjoy considerable popularity in the USA, and especially in New York City, whose mass media infrastructure, immigrant enclaves, and receptive non-Caribbean audiences enabled it to become a dynamic secondary center of Caribbean popular music. At the same time, African American popular musics, from rock to rap, exerted their own sorts of influences on Caribbean popular music scenes, resulting in a dynamic and ongoing process of mutual inspiration and cross-fertilization....


Gunther Schuller


A jazz style. It was created from a fusion of bop with traditional Cuban elements, that arose in the 1940s, primarily in the work of Dizzy Gillespie; it is distinguished from the more general Latin jazz by the specific influence of Cuban dance, folk and popular idioms. Although a Latin-American or Caribbean influence (Jelly Roll Morton called it the ‘Latin tinge’) is discernible in jazz from the late 19th century, the earliest use of Cuban elements is traceable only to Alberto Socarras and Mario Bauzá in the late 1930s. Afro-Cuban jazz became a clearly defined style and acquired an international following only when Gillespie, who had been influenced by Bauzá, began to collaborate with the outstanding Cuban percussionist Chano Pozo. For Gillespie, Bauzá, and others, the main impulse for the Afro-Cuban movements came from their feeling that American jazz of the 1930s and 1940s, being essentially monorhythmic, needed the kind of enrichment that an infusion of Afro-Cuban polyrhythms would provide....


Richard L. Crocker

revised by David Hiley

Acclamation of the Latin Mass, sung between the Fraction and the communion antiphon. Since the text does not change from day to day (except for the Mass for the Dead), the Agnus Dei is counted as part of the Ordinary of the Mass. Many chant settings were made between the 11th and 16th centuries. Some of the most widely used were included in the Liber usualis.

Apart from the Credo, the Agnus Dei is the most recent of the acclamations of the Latin Mass, and in some respects the least firmly entrenched. It seems to have been added to the Mass as a confractorium (or chant to accompany the breaking of the bread) late in the 7th century, perhaps by Pope Sergius I. The text itself is from John i.29: ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’; but the specific association of the sacrificial lamb with Christ in the Eucharist and on the altar seems to be characteristic of Syrian practice of the early centuries. In any case, the direct address to the Son, found here as well as in ‘Christe eleison’ and in the christological portion of the Gloria in excelsis, contrasts with the Roman habit of addressing only God the Father in prayers of the Mass. Other rites (Ambrosian, Mozarabic), however, had other ...