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Monodramas (Music)

LC control no.sh2013000709
Topical headingMonodramas (Music)
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Variant(s)Melodramas (Music)
See alsoMonologues with music (Orchestra)
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Found inNew Grove dict. of mus. online, Mar. 11, 2013 (In its narrow meaning, a form of Melodrama which features one character, sometimes with chorus, using speech in alternation with short passages of music, or sometimes speaking over music. Simultaneously with melodrama, the initial enthusiasm for monodrama occurred chiefly in Germany during the 1770s and 80s, and the two terms are often used interchangeably, since many of the early melodramas had only one character on stage at a time...In modern times, the term has lost its exclusive association with the combination of speech and music characteristic of melodrama and is most often used as a synonym for a one-character opera, as in Schoenberg's Erwartung (1909) and Poulenc's La voix humaine (1958); as a non-staged dramatic work for singer and orchestra, as in Poulenc's La dame de Monte Carlo (1961), Floyd's Flower and Hawk (1972), Rochberg's Phaedra (1973--4), J.E. Ivey's Testament of Eve (1976) and Peter Maxwell Davies's The Medium (1981); or even as a purely instrumental work.)
New Harvard dict. of mus.: under Melodrama (A musico-dramatic technique in which spoken text alternates with instrumental music or, more rarely, is recited against a continuing musical background. There are examples of entire works using this technique (sometimes called monodrama if there is only one character or duodrama if there are two characters).)