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Sunday, 23 February 2014

Chamber Music

The phrase musica da camera, Italian for "music of the chamber," appeared in Italy late in the 16th century for music not intended for the church or for a dramatic or festive purpose. A “chamber” is a “room” (from the French word “chambre”).

The usual form in its early days was the chanson (French for "song") of four voices on a secular text, sometimes accompanied by the lute or for the lute alone.

Chamber music developed through Joseph Haydn, who wrote lots of string quartets into a private and often experimental medium, making unusual demands on players and audiences alike.

During the 20th century, the limitations of recording and radio encouraged many composers to scale down their orchestras to chamber proportions, as in Alban Berg's Chamber Concerto (1923–24) and Igor Stravinsky's Agon (1953–57).

Sources Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc, Hutchinson Enyclopedia

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