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A bicinium (plural bicinien ) is a mostly vocal composition for two voices, from which the duo and the duet developed. Today the term is also used more for the entire music of the Renaissance and Baroque , which is set for two voices or instruments.

While unaccompanied duets are rare in modern music, the older a cappella composition uses the bicinia quite often, especially in Germany , the Netherlands, and Italy , where the pedagogical value of the bicinia was quickly recognized.

The term bicinium appears for the first time in an essay by Jan z Lublina in 1540 . Bicinias were used as a teaching aid for music and for the psalms , with mostly two students performing, less often student and teacher. This is what Martin Luther describes , and so many bicinias are also part of the Protestant hymns .

Orlando di Lasso was a master of this genre . Erich Doflein published an anthology with easily playable bicinias for two instruments (violins, flutes) .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Bicinia. 20 two-part fantasies , Mainz 1960.