rococo (music)

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ro·co·co / rəˈkōkō; ˌrōkəˈkō/ • adj. (of furniture or architecture) of or characterized by an elaborately ornamental late baroque style of decoration prevalent in 18th-century Continental Europe, with asymmetrical patterns involving motifs and scrollwork. ∎  extravagantly or excessively ornate, esp. (of music or literature) highly ornamented and florid. • n. the rococo style of art, decoration, or architecture.

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rococo (from Fr. rocaille, fancy rock-work in architecture). In visual arts term is applied to the delicate, diverting style of Watteau and his contemporaries. Mus. application refers to the decorative style e.g. of F. Couperin, and of certain works by Rameau and J. C. Bach. Musically it is a vague term, almost synonymous with galant and the 18th cent. and referring to works which are no longer baroque and not yet classical.

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