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Vocabulary


Aria
: An aria is the most elaborate type of piece for solo voice; it expresses the emotions or thoughts of a given character in the opera.

Duo: a piece for two singers.

Trio: a piece for three singers.

Quartet: a piece for four singers or instrumentalists.

Chorus: a group of singers who always sing together.

Ensemble: a piece in which 2 or more soloists sing different melodies, often to different words simultaneously.

Pitch: the accuracy of the notes sung by a singer or played by a musician.

Libretto: the written text for an opera.

Librettist: the writer who creates or adapts a text before it is set to music.

Legato: (Italian: bound) an indication that notes must be played smoothly together, in contrast to staccato, when the notes are detached from each other.

Score: the music used by the conductor; it contains all the notes to be played by the orchestra or sung by the singers.

Operetta: an opera in a light style, developed during the 19th century, especially by Offenbach in France and Johann Strauss (the Younger) in Vienna.

Opéra bouffe: French comic opera.

Opera buffa: Italian comic opera (early 18th century).

Opéra comique: French term for an opera with spoken dialogue; originally comic, the genre later included more sentimental works.

Recitative: a form of singing used in some operas and oratories, when text is presented using normal speech rhythms and a light accompaniment.


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