Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

Get access

(773 words)

1. Concept and origins

An overture (French ouverture, German Ouvertüre, Italian apertura, Spanish obertura; “opening”) is an introductory piece of instrumental music that may take any form from a short prelude to a three-movement sinfonia. The overture took shape in the 17th century, beginning with the notated opening pieces for court occasions (the first surviving operatic overture is regarded as the five-part toccata for Claudio Monteverdi’s L'Orfeo, Mantua 1607). Still independent…

Cite this page
Eggers, Katrin, “Overture”, 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 05 March 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_025182>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721

▲   Back to top   ▲