Musical Terminology Of The Early Nineteenth Century Essay

1160 Words Oct 20th, 2016 5 Pages
Genre, as defined by its Latin etymology, implies categorizing a work as defined by its style and character. As Kallberg points out, the usage of the term nocturne was only defined from 1830 onwards, around the same time genres in music started losing relevance in historical context due to the individualization of the artist. Musical terminology in the early nineteenth-century was evolving and composers were exploring on different forms and styles. Thus, innovation and expansion of variety in works under the same title were growing trends in the nineteenth century. The shaky start of defining the nocturne genre is seen in Jousse’s Compendious Dictionary of Italian and Other Terms used in Music where it is defined as “certain operatic pieces which have the character of the nocturne and are sung in a nocturne scene.” However, no mention of the nocturne as a work for solo piano is seen. Czerny also echoes the connection of this genre to vocal models in his School of Practical Composition. Indeed, vocal models can easily be identified in the melodic line of a nocturne and resembles the French tradition of the romance. Perhaps this contributed to the delay of defining the genre exactly. Although there is a wide array in style and function, the nocturne is characterized by a continuous left hand accompaniment and a lyrical right-hand melody.
Turning to Chopin’s nocturnes, the audience is not drawn to the music by the virtuosity of the performer, rather by the beauty of the…

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