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Article summary:

1. The art song of the 17th through 20th centuries reflects the mutual influences of music and literature, with composers showing sensitivity to the words and overall character of the text.

2. Composers often selected a group of poems by a particular author or on a single topic to create a collection of related songs, with some cycles designed to be performed as integrated compositions.

3. Different methods can be used for setting strophic poetry, including simple-strophic setting, modified-strophic setting, and through-composed setting. The nature and role of the accompaniment in art songs have also evolved over time.

Article analysis:

The article titled "Vocal music - Baroque, Classical, Romantic" on Britannica provides an overview of vocal music from the 17th to the 20th centuries. While it offers some valuable information about the development and characteristics of art songs during this period, there are several aspects of the article that warrant critical analysis.

One potential bias in the article is its focus on Western classical music traditions, particularly those from Germany and Austria. The article mentions Elizabethan England briefly but fails to acknowledge other important vocal music traditions from different parts of the world during this time period. This narrow focus limits the scope of the article and presents a biased view of vocal music history.

Additionally, the article makes unsupported claims about the relationship between music and literature. It states that most enduring masterpieces show an extraordinary sensitivity of composers to individual words, prosody, or overall character of their texts. While this may be true for some compositions, it is not a universal characteristic of all vocal music throughout history. The claim lacks evidence and fails to consider other factors that may have influenced composers' choices in setting texts to music.

Furthermore, the article does not explore counterarguments or alternative perspectives on the relationship between text and music in art songs. It presents a one-sided view that suggests composers should strive for a simple musical setting that reflects the original nature of a poem. However, there are valid arguments for more elaborate musical elaborations that reinterpret or enhance the message or character of a poem. By not acknowledging these differing viewpoints, the article presents a limited understanding of art song composition.

The article also contains promotional content by highlighting specific composers and their works without providing a comprehensive overview of vocal music during this time period. While it briefly mentions Beethoven's "An die ferne Geliebte," Schumann's "Frauenliebe und -leben," Brahms's "Magelone," Schubert's "Die schöne Müllerin," and Wolf's "Kennst du das Land," it fails to mention other significant composers and their contributions to vocal music. This selective promotion of certain works undermines the article's credibility and objectivity.

Moreover, the article lacks a critical analysis of potential risks or limitations associated with vocal music during this time period. It does not address issues such as gender representation, cultural appropriation, or the exclusion of marginalized voices in art song composition. By omitting these considerations, the article presents an incomplete and potentially biased view of vocal music history.

In conclusion, while the article provides some valuable information about vocal music from the 17th to the 20th centuries, it is important to critically analyze its content. The article exhibits biases in its focus on Western classical traditions, unsupported claims about the relationship between text and music, one-sided reporting, promotional content, and a lack of consideration for potential risks or limitations. A more comprehensive and balanced approach would enhance the article's credibility and provide a more nuanced understanding of vocal music history.