tarantella

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tarantella

(târ`əntĕl`ə), Neapolitan folk dance that first appeared in Taranto, Italy, in the 17th cent. It had rapid 6–8 meter with an increasing tempo and was thought to cure the bite of the tarantulatarantula
, name applied chiefly to species of the large, hairy spiders of the family Theraphosidae of North and South America, Africa, S and SE Asia, and Australia. The body of a tarantula may be as much as 4 in. (10 cm) long and, with legs extended, more than 10 in. (25.
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 (Lycosa tarantula, a wolf spider), which supposedly caused the disease tarantism. Chopin, Liszt, Weber, and others used the dance in the form of a perpetuum mobile.

Tarantella

 

an Italian folk dance. Written in 6/8 or 3/8 time, the tarantella is characterized by extended triplets and a very fast tempo. The dance is accompanied by guitar, tambourine, castanets (in Sicily), and occasionally singing. Vocal and instrumental music has been written in the form of the tarantella by G. Rossini, F. Liszt, F. Chopin, M. I. Glinka, A. S. Dargomyzhskii, Tchaikovsky, and S. S. Prokofiev. Many of these pieces are intended for virtuoso performances.

tarantella

1. a peasant dance from S Italy
2. a piece of music composed for or in the rhythm of this dance, in fast six-eight time