Today's Musical Annotation of the Week is:


Usually when I see vivace, something along the lines of "HOLY CRAP FAST" goes through my head. A lot of people, in my experience, confuse vivace with presto. presto is what I'm thinking of when I think "HOLY CRAP FAST"; vivace has a much more subtle meaning.

vivace means "lively" or "brisk"; often times, this goes along with a quick tempo. vivace is more about style than speed, however, so it frequently appears with a tempo marking like allegro vivace. I've never actually encountered presto vivace in my recollection -- but someone must have used it sometime!

While I was writing this post, the first example of vivace that came to mind was the first section of Brian Balmages's Summer Dances. I cannot quite recall if this piece is actually marked vivace, but the style is certainly what I think of.

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