The earliest Madrigal was a monophonic form of vocal music during the 14th century Medieval Italy. Originally, the style referred to the popular Italian songs of this time. With the discovery of polyphonic writing, music began to carry separate voices.
A March is musical piece in which the tempo and main beat is set to match the steps of the parading bands, soldiers, or other marching performers or showmen. The tempo can be a slow as funeral steps or as quick as marching..
In simple terms, Opera is a musical theatrical drama in which the actors are singers. The majority of acting parts will be sung as opposed to spoken as in a play. Opera has been famously loved for centuries for its wealth of style..
The Operetta is a newcomer of musical forms born in mid 1850s France. Like it’s predecessor opera, the operetta was immediately popular as a light form of comic opera with singing actors and dance. The first great operetta..
The origin of the oratorio is Italian, based on the Latin oratorium oratory. Another of the large scale musical forms, the oratorio stems from the music composed during the 16th century for the Church of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri...
The Overture is an introduction into a more dramatic musical performance such as an opera or ballet. Some overtures are used in concert as a complete stand alone composition. Early overtures began with a fast moving style..
As its name implies, a Prelude is a short piece of music preceding a more substantial work. It is an introduction into the main composition. Musicians always tune their instruments before playing and they would improvise short..
In musical circles, a Rhapsody is a single movement instrumental, irregular in form and of a free flowing nature, thereby suggestive of improvisation. The musical term rhapsody was used in ancient Greece as a description of..
The musically spoken dialogue or Recitative is a type of vocal music representing conversation. Like opera, the actors sing their parts yet differ from opera in that the actors in recitatives speak in a musical manner of tones; each..
The Requiem is used to create a solemn setting for the Roman Catholic Mass for the dead. The mood of this music is meant to represent the solemnity or dignity of the occasion. Many composers have used this type of setting..
The Singspiel, German for "play with singing," originated in the mid 16th century with upcoming Austrian and German composers. During this period numerous comic singspiel compositions were produced. The singspiel form as we...
The sonata as known today is a 19th century Romantic development which was literally a couple hundred years in the making. It has become the primary norm in large scale orchestral concert works. William Newton noted this referring to the term 'symphony' as a 'sonata for orchestra' He coined this notion 'the sonata idea.'