Italian overture

From Academic Kids

The Italian overture is a piece of orchestral music with which in the late 17th and early 18th century several operas, oratorios and other large-scale works opened.

An Italian overture typically has a three-movement structure - the outer movements are quick, the middle movement slow.

This type of overture was particularly popular among Italian composers such as Alessandro Scarlatti: In the early 18th century such type of overture would usually be called sinfonia, later, to avoid confusion with other types of sinfonia/symphony, the term Italian overture was used more frequently.

The structure of the Italian overture/sinfonia was the base from which the classical form of the symphony developed around the middle of the 18th century. For more about the (18th century) relations between Italian overtures, other types of overtures (e.g. the French overture) and early syphonies: see sinfonia.

See also: divertimento.

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