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development in the late 15th cent. of the English medieval morality play. Played between the acts of a long play, the interlude, treating intellectual rather than moral topics, often contained elements of satire or farce. The form developed in Italy as the intermedio and intermezzointermezzo
. 1 Any theatrical entertainment of a light nature performed between the divisions of a longer, more serious work. 2 In the 17th and 18th cent., a short independent comic scene with everyday characters was interpolated between acts of serious operas.
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, in France as the entremet or intermede and as the entrée, which involved only dance. In Spain the entremés became an independent form as in the work of Cervantes.


See E. K. Chambers, The Medieval Stage (1903); V. F. Hopper and G. B. Lahey, ed., Medieval Mysteries, Moralities and Interludes (1962).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) A short musical or connecting piece played between the two main parts of a work: between acts in an opera or a play (more frequently known as an intermedium or intermezzo), between stanzas in a hymn (improvised on the organ), or between movements in a long musical piece such as a sonata or a suite.

(2) A type of drama popular in England in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance. Initially a short stage play performed during festivals, the interlude (or intermedium) was one of the transitional forms between the morality play and the farce. In the early 16th century it became a vehicle of anticlerical satire in the works of J. Rastell and particularly of J. Heywood.

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


(computer science)
A small routine or program which is designed to carry out minor preliminary calculations or housekeeping operations before the main routine begins to operate, and which can usually be overwritten after it has performed its function.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. Theatre a short dramatic piece played separately or as part of a longer entertainment, common in 16th-century England
2. a brief piece of music, dance, etc., given between the sections of another performance
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
In this way, the interludes act as preludes, preparing the scene and creating anticipation for a new woman to speak on this stage still set in darkness.
Britten's Interludes on the other hand (and his Storm in particular) were much harsher, and rather nervy in places, reflecting perhaps the greater technical demands of the score.
After a brief historical overview of the history, function, and development of the genre of the orchestral interlude in opera over the centuries, from its entr'acte origins to its organic place in the Wagnerian music dramas, Morris discusses readings of specific orchestral interludes written between 1850 and 1922 by Wagner, Frederick Delius, Jules Massenet, Richard Strauss, Claude Debussy, Hans Pfitzner, Alban Berg, and Franz Schreker.
He lists the interludes and makes suggestions about their authorship, but confesses complete ignorance about the "Entremes de los romances."
July 3 - Organ Interludes: Barbara Baird, a recital of hymn-based works (noon, Beall Hall, 961 E.
Smith's Tasteful Interludes break cakes, rich indulgent cakes that are perfect for meetings and other periods of extended serving time.
The story largely concerns a missing fifteen-minute interlude in the life of an ordinary, bland, uncontroversial Juttish farmer, Jens Thorstensen, who resides in the rural community of Sem.
The book, which began as a series of ninety-second interludes on National Public Radio's WNYC in New York City, is a short but thoroughly delightful read.
N.'s letters also review the musical interludes of his company: Aunt Nancy, for example, is known to play a Paganini "Caprice," with an emphasis on the "pagan." For a woman whose name and presence signify on Anansi, the emphasis fits.
Forsyte Saga, The Sequence of three novels linked by two interludes by Galsworthy, John.
While most of the interludes on "A Seat at the Table" features people such as Master P and Tina Knowles talking, "I Got So Much Magic" is short clip of Kelly Rowland and Andrews showing off their vocals. 
Each production has lovely musical interludes between sections.