mélodrame

Definition

Theater

  • A type of play combining spoken dialogue with passages of instrumentalmusic. An influential example was Pygmalion (1770) with wordsby Jean-Jacques Rousseau and music by Horace Coignet (1735 - 1821).Mélodrame influenced the development of popular melodramabut failed to develop as an independent form.

    In opera the term means the use of spoken words for dramaticeffect, either during a break in the music or to instrumental accompaniment.An example of mélodrame in this sense is the dungeonscene of Beethoven's Fidelio (1805).

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