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Cantata
(1,082 words)

[German Version]

The term cantata now refers especially to the polyphonic church music with multiple movements as specified by J.S. Bach and whose text is based on the proprium of the Sundays and festival days of the church year. In contrast to the sonata (a “sounding” instrumental piece), the cantata is a choral piece that developed in the 17th century largely in Italy as secular music. Textually, non-strophic, so-called madrigal poetry is used for arias and recitatives. In Germany, cantatas are closely linked to the development of Protestant church music (IV, 4). The motet-like f…

Cite this page
Petzoldt, Martin, “Cantata”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 05 December 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1877-5888_rpp_SIM_11263>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013



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