Since the Baroque era, the concerto has played a vital role in the music world. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, a concerto is “a composition for one or more soloists and orchestra with three contrasting movements.” There are two main types: the concerto grosso and the classical concerto; both will be discussed later. While the term concerto is relatively easy to understand in context, when put into use the term becomes more complicated to define.
The basic elements that make up a concerto include three movements with one movement usually dedicated for a solo instrument such as the piano or violin with orchestra accompaniment. Since the late 18th century, the first movement is most likely in the sonata form while the second movement is in the ternary form. The third movement is in the ronde form. In the first movement in particular, there are typically three major parts. These components are categorized based on the thematic and harmonic tonal materials that are defined in the exposition, elaborated on in the development, and harmonically resolved in the recapitulation. Each part of the first movement plays a significant role in the structure and progression of the piece. In the exposition stage, the dominant or secondary key is stated as well the principal theme. Following this stage, a transition occurs and then the development section begins. In this section, the themes stated in the exposition are altered and sometimes juxtaposed to include a new theme. Another transition occurs and the recapitulation ends the first movement. In this stage, the themes that were in the exposition are repeated in the tonic key of the movement.
The concerto grosso was a key player in the baroque era. According the...
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... found in contemporary uses such as the piano concerto. In the 20th century in particular, Bartok's “Concerto for Orchestra” and Zwilich's “Concerto Grosso 1985” were pieces that found their beginnings in the concerto movement. It was a style that was used for both soloists and the orchestra.
"Concerto - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary." Dictionary and Thesaurus - Merriam-Webster Online. Web. 10 Mar. 2011.
"Concerto Grosso - New World Encyclopedia." Info:Main Page - New World Encyclopedia. Web. 10 Mar. 2011.
Megill, Donald D., David W. Megill, and Jeffrey Ainis. "Lesson Eleven Musical Themes and Developments Topics 1-5." Music Appreciation Online. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt, 2007. 101. Print.
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