Reference Entry

Bel canto

Owen Jander and Ellen T. Harris

in Grove Music Online

Volume Grove Music Online, issue Published in print January 2001 |
Published online January 2001 | e-ISBN: 9781561592630

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The phrase ‘bel canto’, along with a number of similar constructions (‘bellezze del canto’, ‘bell’arte del canto’), has been used without specific meaning and with widely varying subjective interpretations. It did not take on special meaning as a term until the mid-19th century: ‘neither musical nor general dictionaries saw fit to attempt definition until after 1900’ (Duey). Even so, the term remains ambiguous and is often used nostalgically in its application to a lost tradition.

Reference Entry.  819 words. 

Subjects: Music

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