Definition of sonata da chiesa in US English:

sonata da chiesa

(also sonata de chiesa)

noun

  • A musical composition for one or more solo instruments and continuo, popular in the 17th and 18th centuries, usually consisting of four alternately slow and fast movements and considered suitable for performance in a church or similar setting.

Origin

Early 18th century; earliest use found in Nathan Bailey (d. 1742), lexicographer and schoolmaster. From Italian sonata da chiesa from sonata + da of + chiesa church.