Prima prattica
Monteverdi’s term for the style and practice of sixteenth-century polyphony, to be used within sacred works. Preferred music to text.
Seconda prattica
Monteverdi’s term for a practice of counterpoint and composition that allows the rules of sixteenth-century counterpoint to be broken in order to express the feelings of a text. Preferred text to music
Basso continuo
System of notation and performance practice, used in the baroque period, in which an instrumental bass line is written out and one or more players of keyboard, lute, or similar instruments fill in the harmony with appropriate chords or improvised melodic lines.
Figured Bass
A form of basso continuo in which the bass line is supplied with numbers or flat or sharp signs to indicate the appropriate chords to be played.
In the seventeenth century, ensemble of instruments or of voices with one or more instruments, or a work for such an ensemble.
The system, common since the late seventeenth century, by which a piece of music is organized around a tonic note, chord, and key, to which all the other notes and keys in the piece are subordinate.
Musical interlude on a pastoral, allegorical, or mythological subject performed before, between, or after the acts of a spoken comedy or tragedy.
Pastoral dramas
Play in verse with incidental music and songs, normally set in idealized rural surroundings, often in ancient times; a source for the earliest opera librettos.
An accompanied solo song in the late 16th/early 17th century
A passage or section in an opera, oratorio, cantata, or other vocal work in a speech-like manner
Literary text for an opera or other musical stage work
Strophic aria
Lyrical monologue in an opera, consisting of two or more stanzas that are equivalent in form and can each be sung to the same melody
Buxtehude was known for his public concerts of sacred vocal music