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Classical and Romantic Performing Practice 1750-1900$
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Clive Brown

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198161653

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198161653.001.0001

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(p.517) 14 Vibrato
Classical and Romantic Performing Practice 1750-1900

Clive Brown

Oxford University Press

Attitudes towards vibrato have changed radically since the 19th century. This chapter discusses terminology, such as Bebung, tremolo, balancement, ondulation, and the different meanings of the term vibrato, during the period (some only tenuously related to modern usage). It details changing attitudes over time and the types of ornamental wavering employed on various instruments and in singing, some of which involved an undulation of pitch and others a pulsation without pitch variation. The means by which the undulation was achieved (for example, by bow or left hand on strings, or by breath or finger on wind instruments) is illustrated. The speed and intensity of vibrato is investigated, and the manner in which it is sometimes notated is discussed. The use of vibrato in orchestral and ensemble music is also touched upon.

Keywords:   vibrato, Bebung, tremolo, balancement, ondulation

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