couplet

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couplet

two successive lines of verse, usually rhymed and of the same metre
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Couplet

 

in a song or poem, a lyric strophe. In a musical couplet, a self-contained melody covers the lines of one strophe of a poem. With repetition through subsequent lines of the text, the melody may remain unchanged or may be slightly varied. In polyphonic songs based on couplets, the secondary voices may be subject to variations in subsequent verses; in songs with accompaniment, the accompaniment may change. Couplets are frequently begun with a lead-in antiphonal and rounded off by a refrain.

The Russian plural form of “couplet,” kuplety, is the name for a ballad of a jovial, humorous, or satirical type with a recurring refrain. It is found in vaudeville and musical comedy and in the 20th century became a genre of variety-stage song. Outstanding Soviet kuplety performers include V. Ia. Khenkin, B. S. Borisov, and L. O. Utesov.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.