Lasso

Lasso

[las-oh, la-soo]
Lasso, Orlando di, 1532-94, Franco-Flemish composer, b. Mons, also known as Orlandus Lassus or Roland de Lassus. Lasso represents the culmination of Renaissance musical art. At age 12, he entered the service of Ferrante Gonzaga, viceroy of Sicily. Thereafter, he worked variously in Naples (1550-53), Rome (1553-54), and Munich (1556-94). In 1570 he was raised to a hereditary rank of nobility by Emperor Maximilian II, and in 1574 he became one of the very few musicians to receive a papal knighthood. Lasso brought Flemish polyphony to its highest development in the Renaissance and distilled in his music the best elements of European music of his time. His more than 2,000 works in every form known to his day—masses, motets, French chansons, Italian madrigals, German lieder, and others—make him one of the most versatile and cosmopolitan composers in history. In contrast to the restrained mystical style of Palestrina, Lasso's music is vigorous, often passionate and earthy. Many of his love songs were set to poems by Petrarch and other poets. Undisputed master of the motet, he showed his skill at its richest in the Magnum opus musicum (pub. 1604), a selection of 516 sacred motets. His best-known works are his Penitential Psalms of David (c.1560; pub. 1584) and his last work, Lagrime di San Pietro (1594), completed three weeks before he died.

See A. Einstein, The Italian Madrigal (1949); G. Reese, Music in the Renaissance (2d ed. 1961); and studies by W. Boettiches (1958) and H. Leuchtmann (1976).

lasso, light, strong rope, usually with a smooth, hard finish, made of a fine quality of hemp or nylon. It is used primarily for catching large animals such as cattle and horses. Horsehair or rawhide lassos were formerly common in America, but they have almost completely given way to the hemp and nylon ropes, which are far more efficient roping tools. The rope varies in length from 35 to 50 ft (11-15 m). At one end of the rope is a running knot or a metal ring by means of which a loop or noose is made. The loop is thrown, from as far away as 30 ft (9 m), around the horns or the feet of an animal and drawn tight. The lasso was invented by Native Americans, who used it effectively in war against the Spanish invaders. In the W United States and in parts of Latin America the lasso is a part of the equipment of a cattle herder. To use it on horseback requires great skill of the rider and his horse—the pull of the captured animal may throw the rider's horse, or the horse or rider may become entangled in the rope. The lasso is often called a lariat; the term lariat is applied also to a rope used in picketing, or tethering, animals.

Reata redirects here. For the comic book character, see Reata (comics)

A lasso, lariat, or riata(from the Spanish reata) is a loop of rope that is designed to be thrown around a target and tighten when pulled. It is a well-known tool of the American cowboy. The word is also a verb; to lasso is to successfully throw the loop of rope around something. When referring to the entire length of rope used, before or after a loop is formed, the rope itself is more properly called a lariat. Many cowboys simply call it a "rope."

A lariat is made from stiff rope so that the noose stays open when the lasso is thrown. It also allows the cowboy to easily open up the noose from horseback to release the cattle because the rope is stiff enough to be pushed a little. A high quality lasso is weighted for better handling. The lariat has a small reinforced loop at one end, called a hondo, through which the rope passes to form a loop. The other end is usually tied simply in a small, tight, overhand knot to prevent fraying. Most modern lariats are made of stiff nylon rope, usually about 5/16" or 3/8" in diameter.

The lariat is used today in rodeos as part of the competitive events such as calf roping and team roping. It is also still used on working ranches to capture cattle or other livestock when necessary. After catching the cattle, the lasso can be tied or wrapped (dallied) around the horn, a typical feature on the front of a western saddle. With the lariat around the horn, the cowboy can use his horse as the equivalent of a towtruck with a winch.

Part of the historical culture of both the vaqueros of Mexico and the cowboys of the Western United States, is a related skill now called "trick roping", a performance of assorted lasso spinning tricks. Will Rogers was a well-known practitioner of trick roping and the natural horsemanship practitioner Buck Brannaman also got his start as a trick roper when he was a child.

History

Lassos are not only part of North American culture; relief carvings at the ancient Egyptian temple of Pharaoh Seti I at Abydos, built c.1280 BC, show the pharaoh holding a lasso, then holding onto a bull roped around the horns. They were also used by Tatars and are still used by the Sami people. In Mongolia, a variant of the lasso called an uurga (уурга) is used, consisting of a rope loop at the end of a long pole.

See also

External links

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