Da capo ariaThe da capo aria () is a musical form for arias that was prevalent in the Baroque era. It is sung by a soloist with the accompaniment of instruments, often a small orchestra. The da capo aria is very common in the musical genres of opera and oratorio. According to Randel, a number of Baroque composers (he lists Hasse, Handel, Porpora, Leo, and Vinci) composed more than a thousand da capo arias during their careers.
FormA da capo aria is in ternary form, meaning it is composed of three sections. The first section is a complete musical entity, ending in the tonic key, and could in principle be sung alone. The second section contrasts with the first in its musical key, texture, mood, and sometimes also tempo. The third section was usually not written out by the composer, who rather simply specified the direction "da capo" (Italian for "from the head") - meaning from the beginning, which meant that the first section should be repeated in full.
The text for a da capo aria was typically a poem or other verse sequence written in two strophes, the first for the A section (hence repeated later) and the second for B. Each strophe consisted of from three to six lines, and terminated in a line containing a masculine ending.