Ritornello

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ritornello

 

(1) In vocal music of the 17th through early 18th centuries, short instrumental sections serving as introductions, intermezzi or codas. Sometimes a ritornello used as an introduction is repeated at the end of a piece as a coda. If the same ritornello is heard in the middle of a work as well as in the beginning and end, it may be referred to as a refrain. In modern Italian the terms “ritornello” and ripresa are synonyms.

(2) In dance music, the introductory and concluding sections.

(3) In ballet of the late 17th through early 18th centuries, an instrumental introduction to a dance.

(4) In poetry (especially Italian folk and medieval poetry) a special three-line stanza.

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