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Terms and Definitions – Sep. 24, Oct 1
Reformation – a 16th-century religious movement which had for its object the reform of the
Roman Catholic Church, and which led to the establishment of the Protestant Churches
Hymn – song of praise to God
Chorale – the German word for the hymn of the Lutheran church; hence a simple religious
melody to be sung by the congregation
Bar form – AAB
Counter-Reformation – the movement within the Roman Catholic Church that followed the
Protestant Reformation and addressed some of the criticisms with which it had been charged
Council of Trent – a conference beginning in 1545 that led to reforms in the administration and
liturgy of the Catholic Church
Counterpoint – the harmonious opposition of two or more independent musical lines
Madrigal - an aristocratic form of poetry and music for a small group of singers that originated
in the 16th century in small, northern Italian courts
Word painting – a technique of depicting the meaning of specific words through music
The Baroque era – 1600-1750
Doctrine of affections – the belief that the principal aim of music is to arouse the passions or
affections
Basso continuo – a small ensemble of at least two instrumentalists who provide the harmonic
foundation for a piece of music
Opera – a dramatic work in which the actors sing some or all of their parts; it usually makes use
of elaborate stage sets and costumes
Libretto – the text of an opera
Monody – expressive solo singing to simple accompaniment; ca.1600–40
Toccata – a virtuoso composition for keyboard or other instruments featuring sections of
brilliant passage work; a processional fanfare for trumpets and timpani for entrances and
departures at coronations, weddings, state banquets, etc.
Recitative – musically heightened speech often used in an opera, oratorio or cantata to report
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dramatic action and advance the plot (Simple recitative = sparsely accompanied …)
Aria – an elaborate lyrical solo song for voice where the emotions of characters are examined
Arioso – a manner of singing halfway between aria and recitative
Trillo – a vocal ornament consisting of a rapid repetition of the same pitch; used particularly in
early 17th-century Italy
Ground bass (basso ostinato) – a motive or phrase in the bass that is repeated over and over
throughout a piece of music