The Art-Forms of Music, Letter: D-I

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A composition for two voices or instruments, with or without an accompaniment of one or more instruments. In technical language, duet is applied to a composition for two voices or instruments of the same kind, while duo refers to one for two voices or instruments of different kinds. Duets are divided into three classes, in all of which, however, the form is much the same. The dramatic duet can of necessity have no fixed form, as it must vary according to the dramatic situation. The Stabat Mater of Pergolesi is a splendid example of the church duet, while the song duets of Mendelssohn follow the general idea of duets as originated in the seventeenth century and developed in the eighteenth by Steffani and Clari.

E (No listing)



(1) In music, a composition somewhat free in form, as opposed to the strict form of the fugue or sonata. (2) An improvisation. (3) The fantasia, also free fantasia, that part of a movement in sonata form which follows the first or exposition section. It is also called 'development section,' because the themes used in the first section are here more fully developed. (See Sonata.) (4) In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the term fantasia was applied to a composition in which a theme was developed in free imitation.


In music, that element which unites all the various parts into an harmonious whole. It is essential that these various parts should have some intimate relation to one another, otherwise they could only be loosely strung together, and could never represent artistic unity. Musical unity is attained by various means, such as the repetition of musical motives or phrases, the maintaining of a certain rhythm or figuration, the choice of a fixed tonality. Dissonant or contrasting elements are not excluded, but they must be resolved into a higher unity. The germ of all musical form is the two-measure motive or section. A combination of two sections forms a phrase, of two phrases a period. The first two phrases constitute the antecedent, the last two the consequent. This is shown by the example:


 (1) from Beethoven on the following page. To this period Beethoven adds another one. (2) similarly constructed, and standing to the first in the relation of consequent to antecedent. These two periods together constitute what is known as the simple Liedform. Symmetry is one of the most essential features of all musical works, and a composition is unintelligible unless its themes are so arranged that the architectonic structure of the whole presents perfect symmetry. The three fundamental forms are the liedform, sonata-form, and rondo-form.

The grouping of the themes in these forms is:

I. Liedform. A__B__A.

II Sonata-form [:A (key of tonic); B (key of dominant): ] A
                                                                                         __ A__B (in key of tonic).

III Rondo-form (a) with two themes; A__B__A (in key of B) ; B (in key of A) __A; (b) with three themes A__B__A__C__A__B__A. The second and third time A appears in keys different from the original.

These forms admit of considerable variety, and the great masters, especially Beethoven, have been inexhaustible in ingenious combinations of themes. No definite rules can be laid down in this respect; anything is permissible that does not destroy the symmetry of the whole. In cyclical compositions symmetry between the various movements is maintained by the proportion of the various movements to one another, the relation of their keys, the alternation of slow and fast tempo, and sometimes also the introduction of a theme from a previous movement. (Beethoven, Symphony No. 9).

Instrumental forms were originally developed from simple vocal forms. Their development has been the slow product of centuries. Simple dances were united in the suite, which gradually developed and evolved the sonata. From the stringing together of madrigals arose the original dramma per musica, which became the opera and culminated in the musical drama. For a careful study of musical forms consult Lavignac, Music and Musicians, translated from the French by Marchant, with additions by Krehbiel (New York, 1898).

FUGUE (See separate article)


The English name of a vocal composition for three or more voices, and in one or more movements. The style of music of the glee is peculiar to England, and quite different from the part songs of Germany, being more extended and laying emphasis on variety rather than unity. The first glees were written by Arne and Boyce about the middle of the eighteenth century. The great composer of glees was S. Webbe, who died in London in 1816. Excellent examples of glees are Stevens's "Blow, blow, thou winter wind," and Webbe's "Swiftly from the mountain's brow."


Originally a short humorous tale or sketch, but applied by Schumann to short compositions for the pianoforte in a rather free form, and distinguished by originality in harmonic and rhythmic combinations.


In the science of musical composition, the repetition of the same passage, or the following of a passage with a similar one, in one or more of the other parts or voices. It may be either strict or free. When the imitated passage is repeated note for note, and every interval is the same, it is called strict, and it may take place in the unison or octave, or in any other of the degrees of the scale, either above or below the original passage. The progression of a passage may also be imitated by an inversion, or by reversing the movement of the original; also by notes of a greater or of a lesser value. (See CANON; COUNTERPOINT; FUGUE.) Imitation in composition is one of the most important means of producing unity and animation in the progression of the parts, and is used in a strict and also in a free manner, in the instrumental works of Haydn and Beethoven, and also by Mozart in his earlier operatic works. Many composers, however, resort to imitation improperly, either from poverty of musical ideas or from pedantry. In the works of the contrapuntal writers of the Netherlands examples of retrograde imitation are found. This is hardly legitimate art.


In instrumental music, a shorter movement preceding the composition proper. According to the character and length of the composition the introduction may be shorter or longer. In a polonaise, waltz, etc., the introduction generally consists of only a few bars. In works written in sonata form the introduction can assume great dimensions, as in Beethoven's Second and Seventh Symphonies. The thematic material upon which the introduction is built may be entirely original and independent of any themes in the following principal  movement, as in the case of the two Beethoven symphonies. Then again the introduction may be constructed upon themes of the movement proper, as in the case of Schumann's First Symphony. As the introduction is invariably in a slow tempo, the themes of the allegro appear almost invariably in augmentation when used in the introduction. But it is by no means obligatory to begin every longer composition with an introduction. Of Beethoven's symphonies the third, fifth, sixth, eighth, and ninth begin without any introduction.

In dramatic music the term introduction has several meanings. In the older operas, which were divided into numbers, the introduction was the second number. it followed the overture, and generally was a short instrumental passage leading into the opening chorus. But even Gluck sometimes united the overture with the introduction. Some operas have no overture, but only an introduction of greater or less extent. Such works as Verdi's Otello or Falstaff have, properly speaking, not even an introduction. Beginning with Lohengrin, Wagner abandoned the form of the overture and substituted an introduction which he calls Vorspiel. Besides the principal introduction at the beginning of his dramatic works. Wagner generally opens every act with an introduction of some length.


Website: The History
Article Name: The Art-Forms of Music Letter: D-I
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


BIBLIOGRAPHY: From my Collection of Books: The New International Encyclopedia; 1902-1905 Dodd, Mead and Company-New York Total of 21 Volumes
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