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Accompanied solo song style of the early 17th century. It represented a reaction against the contrapuntal style (based on the combination of simultaneous melodic lines) of the 16th-century madrigal and motet. Ostensibly in an attempt to emulate ancient Greek music, composers placed renewed emphasis on proper articulation as well as expressive interpretation of texts, and they thus replaced counterpoint with simply accompanied recitative. This resulted in a decisive distinction between melody and accompaniment, which coincides with the early appearance of basso continuo. A collection of songs published by Giulio Caccini in 1602 exemplifies early monody. See alsoopera; recitative.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on monody, visit Britannica.com.