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rococo

rococo, in music, 18th-century reaction against the baroque style. Less formal and grandiose in structure, it was a graceful rather than a profound style, more hedonistic than venturesome. Extreme manifestations were in French keyboard music, the finest composer in the style being François Couperin (1668–1733). Jean Philippe Rameau represented the less frivolous French musical thought of the period. In Germany the style was adopted to some extent by Georg Philipp Telemann, Johann Mattheson (1681–1764), and the sons of J. S. Bach, and it was an element in the keyboard sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti. Traces of rococo are present in the early works of Haydn and Mozart.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Music: Theory, Forms, and Instruments


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