Trio (music)

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The Schumann-Halir-Dechert Piano Trio (violin, cello, and piano) Schumann - Halir - Dechert Trio.jpg
The Schumann-Halir-Dechert Piano Trio (violin, cello, and piano)

In music, a trio (from the Italian) is any of the following:

Contents

Composition

A trio is a composition for three performers or musical parts. Works include Baroque trio sonatas, choral works for three parts, and works for three instruments such as string trios.

In the 17th and early 18th century, musical genre trio sonata two melodic instruments are accompanied by a basso continuo, making three parts in all. Because the basso continuo is usually played by two instruments (typically a cello or bass viol and a keyboard instrument such as the harpsichord), performances of trio sonatas typically involve more musicians. However there are also examples for a single performer such as Bach's Organ Sonatas or Trios, BWV 525–30 for two hands and feet, and also for two performers, such as his Violin Sonatas, Viol Sonatas and Flute Sonata, in which the harpsichordist's right hand performs a melodic part.

In vocal music with or without accompaniment, the term terzet is sometimes preferred to "trio". [1]

Form

From the 17th century onward, trio has been used to describe a contrasting second or middle dance appearing between two statements of a principal dance, such as a minuet or bourée. This second dance was originally called a trio because of the 17th-century practice of scoring it for three instruments, and later examples continued to be referred to as trios, even when they involved a larger number of parts. [2] [3] The Menuet of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 (1721) is a late nod to the original practice, with trios for two oboes and bassoon as well as two horns and a third part played by three oboes in unison.

Ensemble

Derived from the compositions, trio often denotes a group of three solo instruments or voices. [2] The most common types of such compositions are the piano trio of typically piano, violin and cello, and the string trio of commonly violin, viola and cello. [3]

Other types of trio include [ citation needed ]:

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References

Cited sources