Get our exclusive Word of the Day images!
(Italian: "hunt," or "chase"), one of the principal Italian musical forms of the 14th century. It consisted of two voices in strict canon at the unison (i.e., in strict melodic imitation at the same pitch), and often of a non-canonic third part, composed of long notes that underlay the canonic voices, followed by a ritornello. Caccia texts were typically realistic, animated scenes such as the hunt or the marketplace, and horn calls, bird calls, shouts, and dialogue frequently animated the musical settings. The caccia was related in name to a 14th-century French genre, the chace, a setting of a text in three-part canon. The English catch, a 17th-century type of round, may derive its name from caccia.