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1. Music a composition free in structure and highly emotional in character
2. (in ancient Greece) an epic poem or part of an epic recited by a rhapsodist
3. a literary work composed in an intense or exalted style
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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a vocal or instrumental work that structurally resembles the performance of epics by ancient Greek rhapsodists or by reciters in other countries. Rhapsodies are free in form, consisting of a succession of diverse and sometimes sharply contrasting episodes. Epic in spirit, they utilize themes from folk songs.

Liszt’s 15 Hungarian Rhapsodies for piano (1846–85) and his Rhapsodie Espagnole (1863) have been especially popular. These works utilize genuine Hungarian gypsy and Spanish folk motifs. Brahms wrote several rhapsodies for piano (Op. 79 and Op. 119). Examples of rhapsodies written for orchestra are Dvořák’s Three Slavonic Rhapsodies and Ravel’s Rapsodie Espagnole. Other rhapsodies have been written for solo instruments with orchestra, such as Lalo’s Rapsodie Norvégienne for violin and orchestra. Among rhapsodies written for piano and orchestra are Liapunov’s Ukrainian Rhapsody, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, and Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Rhapsodies by Soviet composers include Karaev’s Albanian Rhapsody, written for orchestra.


Meien, E. Rapsodiia. Moscow, 1960.
Salmen, W. Geschichte der Rhapsodie Zürich-Freiburg im Breisgau, 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(operating system)
Apple Computer, Inc.'s next-generation operating system for PowerPC processor-based systems capable of running Mac OS. Rhapsody includes four components: the Core OS, the Blue Box (the implementation of the Mac OS within Rhapsody), the Yellow Box, and the Advanced Mac Look and Feel.

"Rhapsody for Intel" runs on Intel processors It includes the Core OS, the Yellow Box, and the Advanced Mac Look and Feel, but lacks the Blue Box and therefore is unable to run Mac OS software.

"Rhapsody Developer Release" is a developer-only release of Rhapsody, scheduled for release in late 1997. It will go to all members of the Macintosh Developer Program and the Apple Media Program worldwide who have signed nondisclosure agreements.

"Rhapsody Premier Release" will be the second release of Rhapsody, scheduled for early 1998. It is meant for early adopters and will include a partially finished human interface and a partial implementation of the Blue Box.

"Rhapsody Unified Release" will be the third release, scheduled for mid-1998. It will be the first public release, and it will include the first full implementation of the Rhapsody human interface and the Blue Box.

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(1) An earlier online music service that was the first to offer unlimited songs for a flat fee. It all started in 1999 with the development of a quality (for that time) music streaming engine first deployed by TuneTo.com Internet radio. TuneTo was acquired by Listen.com and renamed Rhapsody in late 2001. In 2003, RealNetworks acquired Listen.com, and Rhapsody was spun off as an independent company in 2010. Napster merged with Rhapsody in 2011 (see Napster).

(2) The code name of the next-generation operating system from Apple that evolved into Mac OS X. Rhapsody was a Unix-based operating system that supported the Mac OS (Blue Box) and OpenStep (Yellow Box) programming interface (API) from NeXT. See Mac OS X, Yellow Box and NeXT.
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