This type of overture was particularly popular among Italian composers such as Alessandro Scarlatti, and in the early 18th century 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 multi-movement cycle - used in genres including the symphony, concerto, and sonata - developed around the middle of the 18th century. For more about the (18th century) relationship between Italian overtures, other types of overtures (e.g. the French overture) and early symphonies, see sinfonia.
- Don Michael Randel (1999). The Harvard Concise Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Harvard University Press. p. 486.