Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A lyrical poem of French origin having 13 or sometimes 10 lines with two rhymes throughout and with the opening phrase repeated twice as a refrain.
  • n. A medieval French song, either monophonic, as in the songs of the trouvères, or polyphonic in construction.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A fixed form of verse based on two rhyme sounds and consisting usually of 13 lines in three stanzas with the opening words of the first line of the first stanza used as an independent refrain after the second and third stanzas.
  • n. A monophonic song with a 2-part refrain.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A species of lyric poetry so composed as to contain a refrain or repetition which recurs according to a fixed law, and a limited number of rhymes recurring also by rule.
  • n. See Rondo, 1.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A poem in a fixed form, borrowed from the French, and consisting either of thirteen lines on two rimes with an unriming refrain, or of ten lines on two rimes with an unriming refrain.
  • n. In music. See rondo.
  • n. A game in which nine small balls are placed in front of a stick and propelled diagonally across a billiard-table. At least one ball must fall into the corner pocket and at least one must remain on the table. The players bet on whether the number will be odd or even, the bank taking ten per cent. of all the wagers.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a musical form that is often the last movement of a sonata
  • n. a French verse form of 10 or 13 lines running on two rhymes; the opening phrase is repeated as the refrain of the second and third stanzas

Etymologies

French, alteration of Old French rondel; see rondel.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French rondeau. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The next morning I sat down at my computer and in two hours turned a decades-old dead-in-the-water villanelle into a working rondeau.

    The Best American Poetry 2010

  • In addition to the virelai there are, among other things, examples of rondeau, ballade, romance and free song-forms.

    Archive 2009-07-01

  • His surviving works include 28 mass movements, 32 psalms, motets, and small sacred works, and 54 chansons, 47 in rondeau form and seven in ballade form.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • In its presumably original three-voice version the rondeau S'il vous plaist consists in large part of a series of shifting duos.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • Prioris also wrote two motet-chansons, both for four voices, in which as usual for the genre the cantus firmus is dispersed so as to accommodate the rondeau structure of the whole.

    Archive 2009-05-01

  • The earliest of them, the Missa ‘Allez regrets’ in circulation by the late 1480s, may have been the first to be based on Hayne van Ghizeghem's rondeau.

    Archive 2009-05-01

  • Hayne was no doubt with him in October when the duke stopped at Cambrai on his way to battle; this may have been the occasion of the performance there by Hayne and his colleague Robert Morton referred to in the anonymous rondeau La plus grant chiere de jamais.

    Archive 2009-05-01

  • The rondeau Sans regretz veul entretenir/Allez regretz is ascribed ‘Jaspar’ in its only source and could be by either composer.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • Machaut was especially influential in the development of the motet and the secular song particularly the lai, and the formes fixes: rondeau, virelai and ballade.

    Archive 2009-10-01

  • The poppy is an ancient symbol, brought to fresh and lasting life in the popular mind by John McCrae's famous rondeau, In Flanders Fields.

    Dawg's Blawg

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