barcarole

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barcarole

, barcarolle
1. a Venetian boat song in a time of six or twelve quaver beats to the bar
2. an instrumental composition resembling this

Barcarole

 

the original name of the songs of Italian, primarily Venetian, boatmen (gondoliers). Later, any musical work (such as a song, piano piece, or choral piece) associated with boating.

The barcarole is sometimes called a gondola song. The music is usually light, lyric, and dreamy. The tempo is moderate, and the measure is 6/8 or 12/8. The melody of the barcarole is distinguished by its smoothness; elements of musical expressiveness are often used in the accompaniment. The composers of the most famous vocal barcaroles include Schubert and M. I. Glinka. Composers of barcaroles for the piano include Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff. Barcaroles are also found in several Italian and French operas.

E. M. TSAREVA