musica reservata

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musica reservata (Lat.). Reserved music. (1) Term coined in early 16th cent., possibly for expressive style of composers such as Desprès and for its method of perf., but exact meaning is unknown. One view applies it to mus. employing exceptional reserve in use of ornamentation and another theory is that it meant mus. reserved for what would now be called ‘highbrows’.(2) Name of London ens. formed 1960 to perform early mus. in authentic manner.