A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Divisions

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DIVISIONS, in the musical nomenclature of the 17th and 18th centuries, were rapid passages—slow notes divided into quick ones—as naturally takes place in variations on a theme or ground. Hence the word can be applied to quick consecutive passages like the long semiquaver runs in Handel's bravura songs, as:—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \key d \major \partial 4 \relative f'' { \autoBeamOff fis8 fis fis4. fis8 fis4 ~ fis16[ g fis e] d[ e d cis] b[ cis b a] gis[ a gis a] b[ cis b cis] a[ b a b] cis[ d cis d] } \addlyrics { an -- gel trum -- pets blow __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ } }
etc.