Air: A solo melody or tune, with or without accompaniment.
Ballad: A narrative poem intended to be sung, consisting of multiple stanzas and usually including a refrain. The subject matter of the poem usually related to chivalric adventures, love stories, or tales of horror. The ballads used in John Gay's opera were viewed as bawdy.
Ballad Opera: This dramatic form is made up of a combination of spoken dialogue and popular ballads. Gay's opera is the first ballad opera of its kind.
Canon: Composition or passage in which a melody is imitated by one or more voices at fixed intervals of pitch and time.
Carol: Carols, or Nowells, were Christmas songs.
Catch: Canonic, often rhythmically intricate composition for three or more voices, popular especially in the 17th and 18th centuries
Concerto: A concerto is an instrumental work that alternates between an orchestra and a smaller group of instruments, or a solo instrument. This musical form showed virtuosity, especially in the cadenza section, in which the solo instrument ornaments the final cadence.
Covent Garden Theatre: This London theatre was one of the two companies issued a patent by Charles II during the Restoration. After the Licensing Act of 1737, performances were limited to Drury Lane and Covent Garden Theatres.
Drury Lane Theatre: This London theatre was one of the two companies issued a patent by Charles II during the Restoration. Colley Cibber, who served as manager when John Gay brought The Beggar's Opera to the Drury Lane Theatre, turned the work down. After the Licensing Act of 1737, performances were limited to Drury Lane and Covent Garden theatres.
Glee: Part song for three or more unaccompanied voices, usually male.
Grand Tour: The Grand Tour was an opportunity for a young gentleman to explore the world and make his official entrance into society. The tour was a chance for young men to travel to far-away places, learn about culture and art, and refine his tastes and manners. It was also a chance to be free of supervision, a fact of which many of the men took advantage. For more information, visit an ECE student project on The Grand Tour!
Recitative: Recitative is text that is sung in a spoken style. In opera, recitative is the dialogue that furthers the action of the plot. The Beggar's Opera did not contain recitative.
Restoration Drama: This period of drama began when Charles II issued two patents to two companies of actors after the Puritans outlawed theatre in 1642. Plays were often witty and satirical, catering to the preference of the King. View an ECE student project on the Restoration Theater!
Sentimentalism: This literary movement was very popular in the eighteenth century. In drama, Sentimentalism is marked by melodramatic tendencies, excessive emotion, and ideal characters. The first instance in drama occurred in 1696 with Colley Cibber's Love's Last Shift or The Fool in Fashion performed at the Drury Lane Theatre.
Sonata: A sonata is an instrumental piece consisting of several movements,
designed to be performed by a soloist or a small ensemble.