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Baroque Music Vocabulary

1. Aria A beautiful song that expresses the 23. Pathos Emotional, "romantic," moving, passionate,
emotions instinctual
2. Baroque Originally a put-down, this word means 24. Patronage Sponsorship
"exaggerated, abnormal, or even
25. Polyphony Having more than one melody going on at one
time - normally at least a top, bottom, and in
3. Basso continuo The instrumental foundation ("nucleus") between
for music is the keyboard instrument plus 26. Program Instrumental music that tells a story
a bass instrument
4. Cadence Can be thought of musical "punctuation"
27. Recitative A "sung speech." It sets the stage in an opera
which separates phrases
28. Requiem A musical setting of the Mass for the Dead
5. Cadenza Improvised virtuosic solo passage
29. Ritornello The concept that there's a melody that "returns"
6. Castrato A castrated male singer with a high-
like a chorus
pitched voice
30. Sonata A work for either solo piano, or piano and one
7. Chamber music Music for a small group of instruments
other instrument
8. Concerto Coming together, but having a sort of 31. Symphony A genre designed to demonstrate the
contrast expressive capabilities of a full orchestra
9. Continuous The melody doesn't repeat much or at 32. Terraced Going between forte and piano quickly - no
expansion of all - it just keeps expanding and dynamics crescendos
melody developing
33. Unflagging Rhythm that keeps going without slowing or
10. The A philosophical and intellectual rhythm stopping
Enlightenment movement which stressed the centrality
of reason in human experience
11. Ensemble A part of an opera with groups of
people singing
12. Ethos Rational, "classical," balanced, clear,
13. Fugue Like a complex round - the choruses
keep coming in after each other
14. Improvisation Spontaneous composition, creating music
on the spot
15. Libretto The story of the opera (comes from the
Italian word meaning "book")
16. Lutheran Cantata A sort of "musical sermon"
17. Mass A musical setting of the most solemn
service of the Roman Catholic Church
18. Melismatic One syllable with many notes, a classic
part of an aria
19. Opera buffa Comic opera which presented lively,
(ballad opera, down-to-earth plots rather than the
Singspiel, opra remote concerns of gods and
comique) mythological heroes
20. Opera seria Serious, or tragic, Italian opera that
consisted mainly of recitatives and arias
designed to display the talents of star
21. Oratorio Music that is performed and is based on
a sacred text, but is not acted out like
22. Overture An orchestral piece in three sections: