Music and its media
Music and its media

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Music and its media

Glossary

chanson
A song set to French words; chiefly a secular French polyphonic song of the Middle Ages/Renaissance.
chansonnier
A book (manuscript or printed) containing principally chansons (French lyric poetry), either in text form or set to music.
concerto grosso (pl. concerti grossi)
A form of concerto, primarily of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, consisting of several movements in which a larger group of instruments (‘ripieno’ or ‘concerto grosso’) alternates with a group of soloists (the ‘concertino’).
continuo
The bass line upon which instrumentalists improvise a chordal accompaniment. Continuo is primarily associated with the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It was performed by various combinations of instruments, which could include keyboards (e.g. organ, harpsichord), plucked strings (e.g. theorbo, harp, guitar, harp) and/or bowed strings (e.g. bass viol, cello). Also known as ‘basso continuo’ and ‘thoroughbass’.
figured bass
A bass line with figures and symbols indicating the intervals to be played above this. Figured bass is associated with the basso continuo practices of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
folio
A leaf of paper in a book or manuscript numbered on the front only. The front of the leaf is called the ‘recto’ (abbreviated ‘r’ after the folio number – e.g. ‘fo. 2r’) and the back is the ‘verso’ (abbreviated ‘v’).
motet
A polyphonic vocal composition, primarily of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, usually setting a Latin sacred text.
solo sonata
A form of sonata for solo instrument (usually violin) and continuo prevalent from the mid-seventeenth to mid-eighteenth centuries.
trio sonata
A sonata for (usually) two melody instruments and continuo, prevalent during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.
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