noun \ˈmä-nə-dē\
plural mon·o·dies

Definition of MONODY

:  an ode sung by one voice (as in a Greek tragedy)
:  an elegy or dirge performed by one person
a :  a monophonic vocal piece
b :  the monophonic style of 17th century opera
mo·nod·ic \mə-ˈnä-dik\ or mo·nod·i·cal \-di-kəl\ adjective

Origin of MONODY

Medieval Latin monodia, from Greek monōidia, from monōidos singing alone, from mon- + aeidein to sing — more at ode
First Known Use: circa 1623


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

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 also opera; recitative.


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