Rondeau (music)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The rondeau (French; plural form rondeaux) was a Medieval and early Renaissance musical form, based on the contemporary popular poetic rondeau form. It is distinct from the 18th century rondo, though the terms are likely related. With the virelai and the ballade, it is one of the three formes fixes of French music and poetry in the 14th and 15th centuries.

The rondeau form calls for a rigid pattern of repetition of verse and refrain, following the evolving rhyme-scheme of the poetic form, ranging from eight lines to as many as 21. The most commonly used form is ABaAabAB, where capital letters refer to repetition of the (two-part) refrain text and music while lowercase letters refer to repetition of music alone with a new text. The following short song by Machaut, "Doulz viaire gracieus", illustrates the pattern in its simplest, 8-line form, where each musical part corresponds to a single line of lyrics.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Rondeau (music)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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