- Kurt von Fischer
- , revised by Gianluca D’Agostino
Poetic and musical genre, in use in Italy during the 14th and 15th centuries.
The earliest reference to the caccia in theoretical writings is found in an early 14th-century Venetian treatise (see Debenedetti, 1906–7, 1922). In this a genre called cacie sive incalci is discussed, whose text consists entirely of five- or seven-syllable lines, and which can be performed by several (up to five) singers in the manner of a voice-exchange canon (see Voice-exchange). Although there were indeed attempts to increase the number of canonic voices beyond the normal two in certain cacce (see Toguchi, 1970), there is no evidence of voice-exchange (whose structural principle is common in the rondellus) among Trecento cacce. It appears from this that the cacie sive incalci belonged to a type no longer used at the time when the caccia was fully developed.
Both literary and musical elements contribute to the definition of a caccia. Textually, Italian cacce are often descriptive pieces in dialogue, sometimes involving hunting scenes. They may be linked with the pastime of hunting cultivated by the nobility at that time, as literature and paintings also show. The hunting scenes are often replaced by allegorical amatory texts or by market or fishing scenes. 11 of the 25 surviving texts are in the form of a madrigal and one is in that of a ballata: their texts consist of eleven- or seven-syllable lines of verse. When not in the form of a madrigal the texts consist of a random number of syllables, as is also the case in the contemporary genres of the frottola and ...