Expression of choral chant which needs no instrumental accompaniment, but only uses human voice.
Until the 18th century, the word “A cappella”, born in Europe, nominates a liturgical piece for 4 mixed voices, which uses simple harmony, strict counterpoint or imitation.
During the 19th century, the “A cappella” chant is not any more used in sacred music area and is related to any polyphonic vocal practise without instrument (like madrigal).
In the 20th century, “A cappella” is also used to qualify popular vocal music.
Main examples (music trend/composers/music pieces) :
Lotti, “Missa brevis”
Post written and published by Françoise Delsaux (Arpege Music Software Development)