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music drama

an opera having more or less continuous musical and dramatic activity without arias, recitatives, or ensembles.
Compare number opera.
Origin of music drama
1875-80 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for music-drama
Historical Examples
  • music-drama in three acts, words and music by Richard Wagner, who calls the work, "eine Handlung" (an action).

  • This is the first milestone on the road from opera to music-drama.

  • Nor did he construct his music-drama to expound a philosophy.

    Richard Wagner John F. Runciman
  • music-drama in three acts, words and music by Richard Wagner.

  • The music-drama opens on board the vessel in which Tristan bears Isolde to Cornwall.

  • music-drama in a prologue and three acts, words and music by Richard Wagner.

  • A music-drama, for which he had designed the settings, was due to open here in Dhergabar in another ten days.

    Time Crime H. Beam Piper
  • Now, such a character may be interesting in a spoken tragedy, but not in music-drama.

    My Austrian Love Maxime Provost
  • He had schemes for a music-drama on an Arthurian subject, and sketched a single act of it.

    Edward MacDowell Lawrence Gilman
  • Wagner, the high priest of the music-drama; a great scene-painter in tones.

    Unicorns James Huneker
British Dictionary definitions for music-drama

music drama

an opera in which the musical and dramatic elements are of equal importance and strongly interfused
the genre of such operas
Word Origin
C19: translation of German Musikdrama, coined by Wagner to describe his later operas
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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