Article

Solo Secular Vocal Music

David Tunley

in Music

ISBN: 9780199757824
Published online June 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199757824-0071
Solo Secular Vocal Music

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Singing being the most natural and spontaneous form of music making, its universal cultivation knows no bounds in time or place. However, for practical purposes, the following references are mainly concerned with European-style solo secular vocal music from medieval times to the present day. Yet even within that time frame and geography it is not easy to define solo secular vocal music, often known as “art song,” a slightly broader term, as that repertory sometimes includes songs with a religious or spiritual text. The difficulty in finding a watertight definition of solo secular vocal music is that there is often an overlap with other forms and types. Folk songs, for example, have often been incorporated into classical repertory, but folk song is an enormous area in its own right and needs its own bibliographical resources. A similar overlap occurs with indigenous songs from various cultures, as do popular songs. Into the latter category are those by George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, and others in the early years of the 20th century. However, most of the songs of these brilliant composers—even those whose compositions became classics of their kind—were originally written for musicals and as such are better treated as music for theater or cabaret rather than in the present category. Thus, with some exceptions, the sources listed below relate to solo songs not primarily composed for liturgical, religious, or theatrical purposes.

Article.  9261 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Applied Music ; Ethnomusicology ; Music Theory and Analysis ; Musicology and Music History ; Music Education and Pedagogy

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