Pronunciation: OE-ver-chur

What is an Overture?

An overture is a short musical composition played before the official beginning of a musical program. It is performed to set the stage for action, preparing the audience for the opera or the musical performance.

Key Takeaways

  1. An overture is a musical composition played before the official start of the program.
  2. An overture is typically an instrumental composition that is self-existing and played to prepare the audience for what is to come.
  3. An overture is performed as an introduction to the opera or ballet and sets the stage for action.

Understanding Overture

Overture comes from the French word, “opening,” and thus, depicts the “opening” of the show. It was widely used in the early Romantic era, where composers such as Beethoven and Mendelssohn used the word “Overture” to define an independent, self-existing instrumental.

Among the most famous overtures in classical music include Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, and Leonard Bernstein’s Candide: Overture.

Related Terms

Hymn A hymn is a type of song specifically used for religious purposes and sung in a place of public worship. more

Gospel Music Gospel music is composed and performed for the purpose of Christian worship and is typically sung by a choir. more

Bridge  A bridge is a section of a musical composition that contrasts the rest of the composition of the song. more

Encore An encore is a performance played at the end of a concert, which is often a response to an audience’s prolonged applause or request. more

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