intermezzo ĭntərmĕt´sō, –mĕd´zō [key].
Any theatrical entertainment of a light nature performed between the divisions of a longer, more serious work.
In the 17th and 18th cent., a short independent comic scene with everyday characters was interpolated between acts of serious operas. In the 18th cent. it developed into opera buffa (see
) a famous example is
La serva padrona.
In the 19th cent., a short independent piece having the character of an interlude, or a movement of such character in a larger work such as a symphony or sonata. It was a favorite form of Schumann and Brahms.
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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