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n, pl -las
(Classical Music) a type of part song originating in Naples during the 16th century
[C16: from Italian, from villano rustic, from Late Latin vīllānus; see villain]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌvɪl əˈnɛl ə, ˌvi lə-)

n., pl. -nel•le (-ˈnɛl i, -ˈnɛl eɪ)
a rustic Italian part song without accompaniment.
[1590–1600; < Italian, derivative of villano peasant, boor (see villain)]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Mozart used the symphony as an overture for a Vienna performance of Francesco Bianchis opera La Villanella Rapita.
Two large windows reveal the little hill of San Miniato, with its Basilica and Convent, and 'la Bella Villanella', for D'Annunzio the purest vessel of Franciscan simplicity.
Rose e viole nello stesso mazzolino campestre d'una villanella, mi pare che il Leopardi non le abbia potute vedere.
Schleuse portrays works of this kind as recreational polyphony meant to bridge the gap between the rustic villanella tradition and the more elevated madrigal.
The tracks are "Jesce Sole", "The Closing Of Our Eyes", "Cammina Cammina", "Cradle to the Grave", "Quicksilver Daydreams of Maria", "Villanella Di Cenerentola", "A Half of Me", "Mange Pou Le Coeur", "Cicerenella", "Wenn Ich Mir, Was Wunschen Durfte", "Everyday Away From You", "Dicitencello Vuje", and "Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor".
THE moresca is a literary-musical form that appeared in 16th-century Naples as an offshoot of a genre variously called canzone villanesca, villotta, villanella or napolitana, all of these describing a secular song in the Neapolitan dialect (Cardamone, 25-27; 155).
[CS: 24880; ESTC: TT12312]; La villanella rapita (1790-2) GB-Lbl 907.k.3.(1.) [CS: 24916; ESTC: T90004]; I zingari in fiera (1793-2) PL-Kj Lit.
In the end, the old men lose and the happy ending is sung to a traditional villanella.
In the Renaissance and until the nineteenth century, "villanelle" was simply the French word for an Italian country song (a "villanella"), and the word still carries that meaning today in the vocabulary of early music.