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canzona(–nä), in literature, Italian term meaning lyric or song. It is used to designate such various literary forms as Provençal troubadour poems and the lyrics of Dante, Petrarch, and other Italian poets of the 13th and 14th cent. The term was revived in the 19th cent. by Italian lyric poets, among them Giosuè Carducci.
canzona,in music, a type of instrumental music in Italy in the 16th and 17th cent. The term had previously been given to strophic songs for five or six voices; usually the canzone had three sections. The instrumental canzone was written in imitation of lute or keyboard transcriptions of French chansons, whose brief imitative sections became characteristic of the genre. Frescobaldi used it in a series of fugal sections, each a rhythmic variation of the same theme. The thematic unity of his example was adopted by Froberger and other German composers, and this development led to the fugue. The canzone for instrumental ensemble became, in the hands of Giovanni Gabrieli and his followers, a structure consisting of sections of imitation in duple meter alternating with passages in triple meter.
a lyric poem of the medieval Provencal troubadours about knightly love; originally developed in Italy in the 13th to 17th centuries. The canonical canzoni had strophic construction (five or six strophes); the last strophe was short and addressed the person to whom the canzone was dedicated. The classical models of canzoni were created by Dante and Petrarch.
The canzone was always closely associated with music; polyphonic vocal canzoni were related to the frottola and villanelle. In the 16th and 17th centuries in Italy, instrumental canzoni appeared, originally as adaptations of the French chanson and later as original compositions in the chanson style. Composers of canzoni included A. Gabrieli, C. Merulo, and G. Frescobaldi in Italy and D. Buxtehude and J. S. Bach in Germany.
The 17th-century development of canzoni for instrumental ensembles led to the formation of the concerto grosso; canzoni for keyboard instruments evolved into the fugue; and canzoni for solo instrument with accompaniment became the sonata. In the 18th and 19th centuries “canzone” was sometimes used for vocal and instrumental lyrical musical pieces (“The Heart Is Stirred by Ardent Blood,” from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, or the slow movement of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4). Canzoni appear as stylized pieces in the work of such 20th-century poets as V. Ia. Briusov and M. A. Kuzmin.