fantasia (făntāˈzhə) [key] [Ital., = fancy], musical composition not restricted to a formal design, but constructed freely in the manner of an improvisation. In the 16th and 17th cent., however, the term designated a contrapuntal piece employing imitation and thus was one of the forerunners of the fugue. The term is also applied to improvisatory pieces based on earlier works, e.g., Vaughan Williams's Fantasia on "Greensleeves."

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on fantasia from Fact Monster:

  • Fantasia - Still considered a technical masterpiece
  • Disney Movies Slideshow - Mouse house favorites
  • Fantasia Barrino - Biography of Fantasia Barrino, 2004's American Idol winner
  • Fantasia (1940) - Starring Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor, Julietta Novis, Walt Disney, James MacDonald
  • Fantasia 2000 - Starring James Earl Jones, Quincy Jones, Angela Lansbury, Steve Martin, Penn & Teller

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Music: Theory, Forms, and Instruments

Play Hangman

Play Poptropica

Play Quizzes

Play Tic Tac Toe