Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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1. Europe

1.1. Concept

The German Singspiel (sung play) was coined in the 16th century by Jakob Ayrer the Elder (inspired by the performances of visiting English Comedian players) for his own comedic popular works, which incorporated passages of music and songs. Until the second half of the 18th century, the term was used in a general sense, and without clear aesthetic definition, to denote genres of musical theater. Singspiel became a versatile and multifaceted synonym for opera, operetta (see Light music), posse, comedyLustspiel, or Tra…

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Busch-Salmen, Gabriele, Mittag, Achim and Shan, Kunqin, “Singspiel”, 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 07 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_027538>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180208

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