• Popular during the Renaissance and early Baroque.
  • Popular in England during the Renaissance and Baroque.
  • Literature: General

ave mariaLatin prayer to the Virgin Mary used as basis in musical settings during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, notably by Caccini.

lauda, laudeSacred polyphonic song from the Renaissance.

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balletFormalized performance dance that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts.
ricercare1) Instrumental composition of the late Renaissance and early Baroque, usually referring to a contrapuntal early kind of fugue.
2) A homophonic piece resembling a toccata.

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In the Renaissance instrumentation was ad hoc, then in the Baroque composers began to specify who should play what, thus achieving the desired 'color' in their music.
organumMedieval form of polyphony in which the lower voice sung the basic plainchant and the other voices moved freely above it.


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motet-chansonRenaissance music form in three parts with a tenor singing a sacred Latin text and two higher voices singing a French secular text, usually commenting on the Latin text.

lied1) Traditional German song that during the Renaissance grew polyphonic and was regarded a genuine genre.
2) German art song from the Romantic period and onwards, accompanied by piano, sometimes but seldom by orchestra.

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fantasy, fantasia, fantaisie1) In the Renaissance and Baroque a relatively free form genre, usually contrapuntal.
2) From the Classical period and onward a much freer genre than the above, often highly expressive and usually for solo piano or orchestra.

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Early musicThe era of musical history before the Baroque, in our cicerone stretching from about 1100 to about 1600 and gathering the Medieval and Renaissance periods.

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canzonaInstrumental composition in several sections or tempi from the late Renaissance and early Baroque, similar to the ricercar and fantasia but livelier.

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camerataA group of musicians and aristocrat dilettantes in Florence that played a central role in the invention of opera, at the joint of the late Renaissance and early Baroque periods.

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air1) English song, sometimes spelled 'ayre', often with lute accompaniment, from the late Renaissance and early Baroque.
2) Instrumental piece or song with light character from the Baroque and Classical periods.

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toccataInstrumental piece of Renaissance origin, designed to display the virtuoso proficiency of the performer, usually for keyboard and featuring fast-moving, lightly fingered sections.