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1. a composition evocative of rural life, characterized by moderate compound duple or quadruple time and sometimes a droning accompaniment
2. a musical play based on a rustic story, popular during the 16th century



in music:

(1) An opera, pantomime, or ballet having a plot that gives an idealized picture of rural life. Pastoral music, which emerged under the influence of pastoral literature, enjoyed popularity in the 17th and 18th centuries, especially at the Italian and French courts. The composers of pastoral operas included Gluck, Mozart, J.-B. Lully, and J.-P. Rameau. In the opera The Queen of Spades, Tchaikovsky re-created the pastorale “The Shepherdess’ Sincerity.” Pastoral operas were occasionally composed even in the 20th century.

(2) A vocal or instrumental work presenting scenes from nature or from rural life. Characteristic of the instrumental pastorale are a serenely flowing melodic movement, often doubled in thirds; sustained bass notes suggesting the sound of bagpipes; and 6/8 or 12/8 meter. The pastorale was sometimes included as a movement in the concerto grosso, but it was usually composed as a separate work. Among the composers of instrumental pastorales are Vivaldi, D. Scarlatti, F. Couperin, and J. S. Bach. Symphonic pastorales were composed as parts of cyclical compositions, or they were complete cycles in themselves (for example, Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony).

References in periodicals archive ?
The Virgin in the ballads is neither a disruptive nor transgressive figure like Marian of the pastourelles or the May games, however.
Paden that opens: "In a stimulating article in the Romanic Review for 1985, Kathyrn Gravdal proposed a feminist interpretation of the medieval French pastourelle as a celebration of rape [.
Essential to the pastourelle is the clear social divide, the mixture of noble and vilain characters that distinguishes it from courtly works where both lady and knight are of necessity nobles.
This closely resembles the pattern of a principal genre of medieval love poetry, the pastourelle, describing an outdoor, unexpected encounter of a knight with a shepherdess (cf.
Heinzle finds no parallel in Middle High German, but there is one in an anonymous Old French pastourelle, in which the girl cries: 'par sainte Marie, | tenez vo main coie
An examination of the entire pastourelle corpus permits a broader understanding of the pastourelle than as a single-minded celebration of rape (6): the suitor is successful in only one-half of the extant pastourelles, and as it evolves, the pastourelle becomes subsumed by concerns of lyric performance to the extent that the latter eclipses the original struggle.
Paden's essay, "The Figure of the Shepherdess in the Medieval Pastourelle," is an example of the transition of the figure of shepherdess in medieval French pastourelle.
7) Kathryn Gravdal, "Camouflaging Rape: The Rhetoric of Sexual Violence in the Medieval Pastourelle," The Romanic Review 76 (1985), 361-73.
The most dominant feature of the pastourelle that reappears in the Heptameron is the debat amoureux, the battle of the sexes played out in dialogic form.
Smith (French, US Military Academy, West Point) traces how three well known medieval authors combined tradition and innovation by recasting lyric poetry as theater, using the lyric context to express political views and record history, and fusing the pastourelle with a lyrico-narrative dit that also reversed the conventional gender paradigms.
She makes a convincing case in arguing that the alba particularly deserves attention for its portrayal of an unusually expressive female voice: the lady who must part from her lover with the coming of the dawn has all the dignity of the domna in the canso but none of her silent passivity; she has all the dynamism of the shepherdess in the pastourelle but none of her lewdness.
Shorter poems ascribed to Henryson include Orpheus and Eurydice; a pastourelle, Robene and Makyne; and moral narratives and meditations.