from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An instrumental musical composition, fugal in style but in a more serious character and with longer notes.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • In a contrapuntal work such as a fugue (or ricercar), the leading phrase226 that sets the pattern of movement for the other voices was called the Dux.

    Architecture and Memory: The Renaissance Studioli of Federico da Montefeltro

  • Lighter works include chansons, songs in Neapolitan dialect villanellas, and some important early examples of the instrumental ricercar.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • The centerpiece of the Cantata (1952) is a ricercar to a fifteenth-century "Sacred History" entitled "To-morrow shall be my dancing day."

    'Jews and Geniuses': An Exchange

  • In the numerous instrumental and secular vocal forms which were developed at this time and later (ricercar, canzone, tiento, toccata, præambulum, capriccio, chanson, strambotto, madrigal), original melodies were often substituted for a cantus flrmus taken from the

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 7: Gregory XII-Infallability

  • Tellingly, the elegance seems equally as at home in the decorative filigree of the sonata as in the expansiveness of the six-voice ricercar.

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  • The entire work, therefore, is a ricercar in the original, literal sense of the word. "

    The Dream of Mind and Machine


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