Basso continuo, or continued bass.
The bass line of a Baroque work with instruments, and the instruments which play it. Same as thoroughbass. The standard body of continuo players consists of a cellist playing the bass line and a keyboard player playing and improvising on it, though the continuo line can be (and often is) double by any number of bass instruments. It provides the underpinning for Baroque composition. (See also figured bass.)
(cohn-TEE-noo-oh) (Italian) — An extemporized chordal accompaniment for recitativo secco, usually by a harpsichord, cello or double bass. Opera seria often used an ensemble of harpsichord and theorbo (a member of the lute family). Opera buffa used a single keyboard and string bass.