Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Incidental music
(806 words)

1. Concept

Incidental music is a generic term first used in the early 19th century to describe music introducing or accompanying stage performances in spoken theater. Along with stage design, costumes, and props, it has been an integral part of theatrical performance practice since antiquity. Dramatic authors generally stipulated it directly in stage directions, whereupon it would ultimately be written by a composer, often as a single work comprising several numbers, or else be arranged by a Kapellmeister or musical d…

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Schmidt, Beate Agnes, “Incidental music”, 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 24 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_027032>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180915

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