A fantasy (also fantasia, fantaisie, fantazy, phantasie) is a composition rooted in the practice of improvisation. For that reason, even though fantaisies can be written according to a formal plan and not strictly improvising, they rarely approach any traditional musical form. The term was coined in the early 1500s, referring to the imaginative musical idea in itself, rather than to a particular genre. According to the Oxford Dictionary of Music, it was used during the 16th century as a title for instrumental imitations of the vocal motet. During the baroque, the term adopted its current meaning.

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