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Serenade
(786 words)

1. Definition

A serenade is a musical piece with the function of wooing or paying amorous homage. Three dimensions of meaning are apparent from the etymology: the context of time of day (Italian sera, “evening”), which explicitly defines the serenade as evening music; the prescription of the musical character as simple, cheerful, and unaffected (Latin serenus, “serene”), and customs of performance practice, in which the serenade was performed outdoors (Italian al sereno, “in the open air”) [4].

On the one hand, the seren…

Cite this page
Bork, Camilla, “Serenade”, 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 23 January 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_027445>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210601



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