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In music, a solo (from the Italian word solo, meaning alone) is a piece or a section of a piece played or sung featuring a single performer, who may be performing completely alone or supported by an accompanying instrument such as a piano or organ, a continuo group (in Baroque music), or the rest of a choir, orchestra, band, or other ensemble. Performing a solo is "to solo", and the performer is known as a soloist.
The plural is soli or the anglicised form solos. In some contexts these are interchangeable, but soli tends to be restricted to classical music, and mostly either the solo performers or the solo passages in a single piece. Furthermore, the word soli can be used to refer to a small number of simultaneous parts assigned to single players in an orchestral composition. In the Baroque concerto grosso, the term for such a group of soloists was concertino .
An instrumental solo is often used in popular music during a break or bridge to add interest and variety to a part of the song without lyrics.[ citation needed ]
In the Baroque and Classical periods, the word solo was virtually equivalent to sonata , and could refer either to a piece for one melody instrument with (continuo) accompaniment, or to a sonata for an unaccompanied melody instrument, such as Johann Sebastian Bach’s sonatas for violin alone.
The Classical period was an era of classical music between roughly 1750 and 1820.
The cello ( CHEL-oh), properly violoncello ( VY-ə-lən-CHEL-oh, Italian pronunciation: [vjolonˈtʃɛllo]), is a bowed (sometimes plucked and occasionally hit) string instrument of the violin family. Its four strings are usually tuned in perfect fifths: from low to high, C2, G2, D3 and A3. The viola's four strings are each an octave higher. Music for the cello is generally written in the bass clef, with tenor clef, and treble clef used for higher-range passages.
Music is generally defined as the art of arranging sound to create some combination of form, harmony, melody, rhythm or otherwise expressive content. Definitions of music vary depending on culture, though it is an aspect of all human societies, a cultural universal. While scholars agree that music is defined by a few specific elements, there is no consensus on their precise definitions. The creation of music is commonly divided into musical composition, musical improvisation, and musical performance, though the topic itself extends into academic disciplines, criticism, philosophy, and psychology. Music may be performed or improvised using a vast range of instruments, including the human voice.
An orchestra is a large instrumental ensemble typical of classical music, which combines instruments from different families. There are typically four main sections of instruments:
A concerto is, from the late Baroque era, mostly understood as an instrumental composition, written for one or more soloists accompanied by an orchestra or other ensemble. The typical three-movement structure, a slow movement preceded and followed by fast movements, became a standard from the early 18th century.
Sonata, in music, literally means a piece played as opposed to a cantata, a piece sung. The term evolved through the history of music, designating a variety of forms until the Classical era, when it took on increasing importance. Sonata is a vague term, with varying meanings depending on the context and time period. By the early 19th century, it came to represent a principle of composing large-scale works. It was applied to most instrumental genres and regarded—alongside the fugue—as one of two fundamental methods of organizing, interpreting and analyzing concert music. Though the musical style of sonatas has changed since the Classical era, most 20th- and 21st-century sonatas still maintain the same structure.
The viola d'amore is a 7- or 6-stringed musical instrument with sympathetic strings used chiefly in the baroque period. It is played under the chin in the same manner as the violin.
The concerto grosso is a form of baroque music in which the musical material is passed between a small group of soloists and full orchestra. This is in contrast to the solo concerto which features a single solo instrument with the melody line, accompanied by the orchestra.
The Brandenburg Concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach, are a collection of six instrumental works presented by Bach to Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt, in 1721. The original French title is Six Concerts à plusieurs instruments, meaning "Six Concertos for several instruments". Some of them feature several solo instruments in combination. They are widely regarded as some of the best orchestral compositions of the Baroque era.
Recitative is a style of delivery in which a singer is allowed to adopt the rhythms and delivery of ordinary speech. Recitative does not repeat lines as formally composed songs do. It resembles sung ordinary speech more than a formal musical composition.
In Western classical music, obbligato usually describes a musical line that is in some way indispensable in performance. Its opposite is the marking ad libitum. It can also be used, more specifically, to indicate that a passage of music was to be played exactly as written, or only by the specified instrument, without changes or omissions. The word is borrowed from Italian ; the spelling obligato is not acceptable in British English, but it is often used as an alternative spelling in the US. The word can stand on its own, in English, as a noun, or appear as a modifier in a noun phrase.
In music, a trio is any of the following:
The Concerto for Flute, Harp, and Orchestra in C major, K. 299/297c, is a concerto by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart for flute, harp, and orchestra. It is one of only two true double concertos that he wrote, as well as the only piece of music by Mozart for the harp. The piece is one of the most popular such concertos in the repertoire, as well as often being found on recordings dedicated to either one of its featured instruments.
A solo concerto is a musical form which features a single solo instrument with the melody line, accompanied by an orchestra. Traditionally, there are three movements in a solo concerto, consisting of a fast section, a slow and lyrical section, and then another fast section. However, there are many examples of concertos that do not conform to this plan.
In the years centering on 1600 in Europe, several distinct shifts emerged in ways of thinking about the purposes, writing and performance of music. Partly these changes were revolutionary, deliberately instigated by a group of intellectuals in Florence known as the Florentine Camerata, and partly they were evolutionary, in that precursors of the new Baroque style can be found far back in the Renaissance, and the changes merely built on extant forms and practices. The transitions emanated from the cultural centers of Northern Italy, then spread to Rome, France, Germany, and Spain, and lastly reached England . In terms of instrumental music, shifts in four discrete areas can be observed: idiomatic writing, texture, instrument use, and orchestration.
Baroque music refers to the period or dominant style of Western classical music composed from about 1600 to 1750. The Baroque style followed the Renaissance period, and was followed in turn by the Classical period after a short transition, the galant style. The Baroque period is divided into three major phases: early, middle, and late. Overlapping in time, they are conventionally dated from 1580 to 1650, from 1630 to 1700, and from 1680 to 1750. Baroque music forms a major portion of the "classical music" canon, and is widely studied, performed, and listened to. The term "baroque" comes from the Portuguese word barroco, meaning "misshapen pearl". The works of George Frideric Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach are considered the pinnacle of the Baroque period. Other key composers of the Baroque era include Claudio Monteverdi, Domenico Scarlatti, Alessandro Scarlatti, Alessandro Stradella, Antonio Vivaldi, Tomaso Albinoni, Johann Pachelbel, Henry Purcell, Georg Philipp Telemann, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Arcangelo Corelli, François Couperin, Johann Hermann Schein, Heinrich Schütz, Samuel Scheidt, Dieterich Buxtehude, and others.
A violin sonata is a musical composition for violin, often accompanied by a keyboard instrument and in earlier periods with a bass instrument doubling the keyboard bass line. The violin sonata developed from a simple baroque form with no fixed format to a standardised and complex classical form. Since the romantic age some composers have pushed the boundaries of both the classical format as well as the use of the instruments.
The Concerto Grosso No. 1 was the first of six concerti grossi by Soviet composer Alfred Schnittke. It was written in 1976–1977 at the request of Gidon Kremer and Tatiana Grindenko who were also the violin soloists at its premiere on 21 March 1977 in Leningrad together with Yuri Smirnov on keyboard instruments and the Leningrad Chamber Orchestra under Eri Klas. It is one of the best-known of Schnittke's polystylistic compositions and marked his break-through in the West.
The Concerto for Piano, Violin, and Strings in D minor, MWV O4, also known as the Double Concerto in D minor, was written in 1823 by Felix Mendelssohn when he was 14 years old. This piece is Mendelssohn's fourth work for a solo instrument with orchestral accompaniment, preceded by a Largo and Allegro in D minor for Piano and Strings MWV O1, the Piano Concerto in A Minor MWV O2, and the Violin Concerto in D minor MWV O3. Mendelssohn composed the work to be performed for a private concert on May 25, 1823 at the Mendelssohn home in Berlin with his violin teacher and friend, Eduard Rietz. Following this private performance, Mendelssohn revised the scoring, adding winds and timpani and is possibly the first work in which Mendelssohn used winds and timpani in a large work. A public performance was given on July 3, 1823 at the Berlin Schauspielhaus. Like the A minor piano concerto (1822), it remained unpublished during Mendelssohn's lifetime and it wasn't until 1999 when a critical edition of the piece was available.
Johann Sebastian Bach wrote his fifth Brandenburg Concerto, BWV 1050.2, for harpsichord, flute and violin as soloists, and an orchestral accompaniment consisting of strings and continuo. An early version of the concerto, BWV 1050.1, originated in the late 1710s. On 24 March 1721 Bach dedicated the final form of the concerto to Margrave Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg.