Definition of ricercar in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌriːtʃəˈkɑː/
Pronunciation: /ˈriːtʃəˌkɑː/
(also ricercare /ˌriːtʃəˈkɑːreɪ/ /ˌriːtʃəˈkɑːri/)

noun (plural ricercars or ricercari)

An elaborate contrapuntal instrumental composition in fugal or canonic style, typically of the 16th to 18th centuries.
Example sentences
  • In the Mulliner Book the term is applied in this way, and voluntaries there are seen to be a sort of contrapuntal fantasia or ricercar without any cantus firmus.
  • In the music, a complex web of ricercars, or intricate contrapuntal studies, seems to reflect the labyrinth of Saragossa's subterranean corridors through which the prisoner stumbles.
  • At this point I compared the structures of Bach's two ricercars with that of Handel's Fuga V.


From Italian ricercare 'search out'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ri¦cer|car

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