BASSO

continuo

[kuhn-tin-yoo-oh]
or basso continuo

In Baroque music, a special subgroup of an instrumental ensemble. It consists of two instruments reading the same part: a bass instrument, such as a cello or bassoon, and a chordal instrument, most often a harpsichord but sometimes an organ or lute. Its appearance in the early 17th century reflected the radically new musical texture of accompanied melody that was especially typical of the new vocal genre of opera. The continuo (which has a counterpart in the bass and rhythm guitar of a rock band) came to be employed in virtually all ensemble music of the Baroque era.

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Francesco Antonio Begnudelli-Basso (born at Trento; died at Freising, 9 October1713) was an Austrian canon lawyer.

Life

From 1675 he was Vicar-General of the Diocese of Trent, his native place. In 1679, however, he held a canonry in Freising Cathedral, where also he became in 1696 vicar-general of the diocese, and where he died.

Works

His "Bibliotheca juris canonico-civilis practica seu repertoium quaestionum magis practicarum in utroque foro" established him among the canonists of his day. He speaks in the clearest terms of papal infallibility. The work was published in Freising in 1712, for vols. in folio; Geneva, 1747; Modena and Venice, 1758. It was made effectively obsolete by later editions of Lucius Ferraris's "Bibliotheca".

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