Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,580 words)

1. Definition

A libretto is the text of a major vocal work in script form, usually cast as a dialogue. The term gained currency at first in reference to stage works, but it is also used for concert works, especially where they have poetical texts. Published libretti first arose along with opera itself, but early printed texts of oratorio and church pieces (Music, ecclesiastical) are also known. They aided understanding, made a work known beyond its…

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Scheitler, Irmgard, “Libretto”, 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_023382>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190801

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