Strambotto

DEFINITION

An early form of Italian poetry that was set to music by composers of the frottola and madrigals of the 16th century. The poetry is set into very strict stanzas of eight hendecasyllabic lines (or eight lines with eleven syllables). This type of stanza is known as rispetto or ottava rima. When set to music, the rispetto dealt with the composer paying his respects to his lady love and can be found in one or more stanzas, the ottava rima came from literature generally in multiple stanzas, and the strambotto was typically created with a single stanza. There are three basic types of strambotto that are identified by their rhyme scheme, but there are also a few examples of the strambotto being through-composed. The strambotto toscano is identified by the rhyme scheme abababcc. This was the more common poem set to music in the 15th and 16th centuries. In the 17th century, the rhyme scheme of abababab was more common and called strambotto siciliano or arie siciliano (see siciliana #2). The last (and least common) was the strambotto romagnuolo with a rhyme scheme of ababccdd.

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