One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural ricercari, Plural ricercarsMusic
An elaborate contrapuntal instrumental composition in fugal or canonic style, typically of the 16th to 18th centuries.
- ‘Those familiar with the term ‘ricercare’ may wonder why Seeger titled her pieces so, since the ricercare is, generally speaking, a composition with relies heavily on contrapuntal imitation.’
- ‘And the ricercars, though performed instrumentally here, were actually printed at the end of a volume of madrigals.’
- ‘In the Mulliner Book the term is applied in this way, and voluntaries there are seen to be a sort of contrapuntal fantasia or ricercar without any cantus firmus.’
- ‘In the music, a complex web of ricercars, or intricate contrapuntal studies, seems to reflect the labyrinth of Saragossa's subterranean corridors through which the prisoner stumbles.’
- ‘At this point I compared the structures of Bach's two ricercars with that of Handel's Fuga V.’
From Italian ricercare ‘search out’.
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