symphony = long classical work?

Herb Stahlke hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM
Sat Dec 4 03:07:43 UTC 2010

Actually, in my score it's "Sinfonia," in contrast to the "Pastoral
Symphony" somewhat later in the work. I don't know if that distinction
was significant in the Baroque musical world.


On Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 8:24 PM, Michael Covarrubias <mcovarru at> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Michael Covarrubias <mcovarru at PURDUE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: symphony = long classical work?
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> On Dec3, 2010, at 12:39 AM, Herb Stahlke wrote:
>> In an Advent liturgy built around selections from Handel's Messiah, I
>> came across the wording
>> Quiet descends upon the concert hall as the conductor raises his baton
>> to begin the overture of a familiar symphony--Handel's Messiah.
>> I googled "Handel symphony" and the first several pages were all links
>> to performances of Messiah and the names of the symphony orchestras
>> performing.  I didn't find symphony used in this sense.  OED also does
>> not have this meaning, although there are one or two meanings found up
>> into the mid 19th c. that are close.  I couldn't find the usage in
>> Wiktionary or Urban Dictionary.
>> Is "symphony" going the way of "novel" or is this a nonce occurrence?
>> Herb
> possibly complicating matters is that the overture to the messiah is titled 'symphony'.
> michael
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