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date: 10 April 2021

Lied (Ger.: ‘song’)locked

  • Norbert Böker-Heil,
  • David Fallows,
  • John H. Baron,
  • James Parsons,
  • Eric Sams,
  • Graham Johnson
  •  and Paul Griffiths

Extract

(Ger.: ‘song’)

A song in the German vernacular.

Norbert Böker-Heil, revised by David Fallows

The term ‘polyphonic lied’ is generally used in German to describe a polyphonic composition for any combination of forces, with or without the human voice, which is either songlike in character or derives its particular identity from the technical elaboration of a pre-existing lied melody, for instance as a cantus firmus. In the terminology of music history this wide definition in fact applies only to the heyday of the polyphonic lied in the 15th and 16th centuries. The earliest polyphonic songs with German text date from around 1400. From the mid-15th century a growing repertory made greater use of folk-like melodies and texts than did the dominating French song repertory of the time; this in its turn led to the major flourishing of an indigenous and distinctive tradition in the first half of the century, supported by the flourishing German music printers of those years. After about ...

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