Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,952 words)

1. Music

1.1. Concept

The noun compositio, derived from the Latin componere (“to compose,” “to author”) is found in Classical Latin rhetoric as far back as Cicero. From there, it entered the medieval Latin tradition. A school rhetoric placed compositio in the sphere of elocution (elocutio). From an early date, the term was used non-specifically in music theory, denoting for example the fitting together of melodic sequences or, in polyphony, of multiple voices [6].

The word emerged as a specialist musical term from the se…

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Meyer, Andreas and Egle, Steffen, “Composition”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 21 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_022484>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170206

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