Bel Canto

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bel Canto

 

a style of singing that arose in Italy by the middle of the 17th century and is the basis of the Italian school of singing.

Bel canto is characterized by beauty and plasticity of tone; maximum lightness, flexibility, and facility of singing; smoothness of transition from one note to another; and elegance and virtuosity of performance. These specific characteristics of bel canto, which were inherent in the Italian school of singing at all stages of its development, are related to the tonal color and structural peculiarities of the Italian language as well as to folk song traditions.

While preserving its artistic and aesthetic basis, bel canto was enriched by new techniques of performance. The basic stages in the development of bel canto are the birth of Italian opera, the work of C. Monteverdi, the flowering of the Neapolitan school (A. Scarlatti), the creative period of V. Bellini and G. Donizetti (so-called classical bel canto), the work of G. Verdi, and the verismo school.

Bel canto influenced other national schools of singing. Sometimes the term bel canto means the whole Italian vocal culture or the melodiousness of any vocal performance.

V. V. TIMOKHIN

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Sixteen-year-old Karma Alami, who has been training at Belcanto for five years, hopes to complete a bachelor's degree in professional acting, combining both acting and vocal studies.
If still alive were Tchaikovsky, And he heard how Buyanovskiy In his Cantabile Andante Performed with such belcanto I tell you without irony He would write another symphony.
Hebba Brown, 10, beat competition from scores of others to make it on to the singing and dancing course at the Belcanto London Academy.
On show will be the latest Series 6 Pageant from Bailey, Burstner's new nine-model Trecanto luxury range and upgraded and extended Belcanto (formerly the C-Class) line-up together with the completely revamped 2007 Avondale Dart.
Among them will be the latest Series 6 Pageant from Bailey, Burstner's new nine-model Trecanto luxury range and upgraded and extended Belcanto (formerly the C-Class) line-up together with the completely revamped 2007 Avondale Dart.
WHEN Performance, the Satellite TV arts channel, went on the air a year or two ago, they showed a series of programmes entitled Belcanto, The Tenors of the 78 Era.
Personally, I am tempted by the idea of taking all that historic baggage opera brings with it, from belcanto mannerisms to the various orchestral cliches, and getting them involved in the game.
"'Clodoveo' and 'Belcanto': Wyndham Lewis and James Joyce." Blast 3.