Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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The musical term “fantasia” eludes precise definition. As a key term of the Renaissance, it is associated with freedom and play, a concept deriving from Marsilio Ficino (cf. Imagination). As a title for free instrumental pieces composed in an improvisatory style, the term is attested dating back to the early 16th century. Such pieces were also called tiento or ensalada in Spain, and “voluntary” or “division” in England. As well as such terms peculiar to certain countries, others also emerged by the 17th century that drew attention to particular aspects of timbre (toccata), of m…

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Schipperges, Thomas, “Fantasia”, 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 03 October 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_019134>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180126

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