One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A time signature indicating two or four minim beats in a bar.
- ‘During the first half of the eighteenth century, German theorists and composers regarded the stately 4/4 frequently employed in fugues as a notational variant of large alla breve.’
- ‘All the alla breve movements of the Mass really are played here alla breve.’
- ‘The old complete edition, which altered several of Mozart's tempo markings arbitrarily, transformed the alla breve in the first movement of the Concerto in F major K.459 into 4/4 time.’
- ‘The Fuga alla breve appears at the end of Part I, suggesting that it serves as the capstone of the ‘basic course.’’
- ‘Another scherzo arabesque contrasts with the sombre seventh canon, which in turn joins on to the alla breve variation.’
Italian, literally ‘according to the breve’.
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