Stile concitato

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Stile concitato (rather Genere concitato[1]) or "agitated style" is a Baroque style developed by Claudio Monteverdi with effects such as having rapid repeated notes and extended trills as symbols of bellicose agitation or anger.

Kate Van Orden points out a precedent in Clément Janequin's "La Guerre" (1528).

Agathe Sueur points out similarities and ambiguities between Monteverdi's genere concitato and stile concitato in rhetoric and poetry.[2] [3]

Some examples of stile concitato can be found in the following works:


The earliest description of stile concitato comes from the forward to Madrigali guerrieri, et amorosi ("Madrigals of war and love"), Claudio Monteverdi’s eighth and final book of madrigals, published in 1638. Monteverdi wrote the following:

“I have reflected that the principal passions or affections of our mind are three, namely, anger, moderation, and humility or supplication. . . The art of music also points clearly to these three in its terms “agitated,” “soft,” and “moderate” (concitato, molle, and temperato). In all the works of former composers I have indeed found examples of the “soft” and the “moderate,” but never of the “agitated."[4]

Monteverdi developed the musical style of stile concitato to represent the human emotion of agitation. He considered Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, one of the pieces from Madrigali guerrieri, et amorosi, to be the first instance of stile concitato.[5] Stile concitato is represented musically in Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda through the rapid repetition of sixteenth notes.

Example of stile concitato in Monteverdi's Il combattimento de Tancredi e Clorinda, mm.172-173.


  1. ^ Gerald Drebes: ‘‘Monteverdis „Kontrastprinzip“, die Vorrede zu seinem 8. Madrigalbuch und das „Genere concitato“.‘‘ In: ‘‘Musiktheorie‘‘, Jg. 6, 1991, S. 29–42, online: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2017-07-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Agathe Sueur, Le Frein et l'Aiguillon. Eloquence musicale et nombre oratoire (XVIe-XVIIIe siècle), Paris, Classiques Garnier, 2014, « Lectures jésuites du genere concitato de Monteverdi ».
  3. ^ Almeida, Vicente Casanova de. Monteverdi e o Stile Concitato – uma poética guerreira no Oitavo Livro de Madrigais de 1638. Dissertação. 2014. Disponível em:
  4. ^ Source readings in music history. Strunk, W. Oliver (William Oliver), 1901-1980., Treitler, Leo, 1931- (Rev. ed.). New York: Norton. 1998. ISBN 9780393966978. OCLC 38303611.
  5. ^ 1946-, Chafe, Eric Thomas, (1992). Monteverdi's tonal language. New York: Schirmer Books. ISBN 9780028704951. OCLC 24142319.