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a regularly recurring melody, such as the chorus of a song



(1) In poetry, a line or group of lines repeated at the end of a couplet. A refrain that forms an entire stanza is generally termed a pripev. The refrain and pripev developed in folk songs, in which the zapev (lead-in) was usually sung by a soloist and the refrain by the chorus. The refrain and zapev then entered literature, mainly genres that were meant to be sung or that were stylized in the manner of folklore. Such fixed verse forms as the triolet, rondeau, rondel, and French ballad are based on refrains.

(2) In music, a theme in an instrumental or vocal work that is stated at least three times and that unites the work structurally. It is characteristic of the rondo and rondo-like forms. Sometimes a refrain becomes the dominant theme and is repeated to emphasize a particularly important idea in the work.

References in periodicals archive ?
6 Refrain from sex and see your doctor, taking your condoms with you.
The post Councillors want Louroudjatis sign letter stating he refrains from duties appeared first on Cyprus Mail .
To refrain respects the usefulness of dwelling in misgiving and hesitation without always reaching for resolution, however difficult and humbling that pausing may be.
BEIRUT: Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt is recovering from a "minor operation" but has asked well-wishers to refrain from telephoning to congratulate him on his recovery.
Canberra: Australia's government will refrain from implementing 'savage' cuts to public-service expenditure in order to fulfill its pledge to return the budget to surplus in this election year, Treasurer Wayne Swan said.
We also urge that candidates who lose will do so gracefully, accept the result, and refrain from inciting violence or encouraging others to distance themselves from Somalia's new federal governmental institutions," according to the State department.
French President Nicholas Sarkozy, during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on September 21, called Israel to refrain from such actions because they pre-judge the final solution, since settlement activities are illegal under international law, whether it is in the West bank or East Jerusalem it undermines the trust and confidence between the two sides and forms a new threat to the two-state solution.
The EU urges Turkey to refrain from any kind of threat, sources of friction or action, which could negatively affect good neighbourly relations and the peaceful settlement of border disputes," Maja Kocijancic, the Commission's spokesperson for enlargement, told Europolitics energy, on 7 September.
Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule has called on Turkey to refrain from issuing threats against Cyprus with regard to its oil and gas exploration plans in the South-East Mediterranean Sea.
Kim expressed his willingness to return to the six-way talks without preconditions and refrain from conducting nuclear tests in his meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on the outskirts of the Siberian city of Ulan-Ude Wednesday.
But the book is much more than merely worthy of note: Golcmovic's many years of research enable him to deal with a hugely important topic--the meaning, context and realization of the refrain in Balkan song--in magisterial fashion.
The simple text and bright illustrations are augmented with the motif refrain of How do I feel?