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I never thought about this. I just got used to saying lied/lieder to refer to everything, German term giving some additional weight to my words...

On this illiterate side of the pond, and probably having easily caved in to the Hegemony of the German Music Cartel of the time, Lieder is used generally for "art song." Most of the population doesn't have a clue it is plural, either.

In Britain, its a Song.
In France, its a Chanson.
In Italy, its a Canzone etc.

Classical, the classical era / classical, all classical eras -- God help you if you want the general term and are starting a sentece with the word :)
I thought the French refer to art song as Melodie, whereas Chanson just means a song. Actually, in German, I believe, lied just means 'song' (and lieder is of course plural). Kunstlied if you wanna be a fop.

I am not sure if the Russians have a unifying term for art songs. Different composers called their compositions песни, романсы, мелодии... Does anyone know more about this?

Senior Member (Ret)
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Yes lied is the German for song. But in classical music it is taken to mean the musical settings of German romantic poems of especially the 19th century.
Wikipedia defines this as above and then quotes one of the composers as being Loewe who strictly speaking composed ballads.
But earlier in this thread we have people talking about Benjamin Britten and other highly unlikely people as being lieder composer.
I have already covered the melodie point--have you actually read through this thread as a matter of interest?
As I have indicated I have never heard this stuff before and have managed to get to the age of 75 knowing exactly what lieder means.
I have on my bookshelf The Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau Book of Lieder and Song On Record Vol.! Lieder. I can assure you that they contain no Britten, Stephen Foster,Samuel Barber or Copland.
I suppose that I can call a piano concerto a symphony if I feel so inclined but it doesn't make it right.
The other thing that I find strange is that when I have doubts about a subject I look it up--but looking at many threads here some people just write in quite oblivious to the facts.
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