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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)]
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L'Aubespine's surviving oeuvre is not vast: seventeen sonnets; one of a set of three villanellas by Desportes, l'Aubespine, and d'Aubigne a song; a comic dialogue; and three epigrammes.
(12) Simple songs such as wedding villanellas or funerary lieder were usually printed on a broad-sheet or bifolium.
It was in 1951 that a marked resemblance was noted between the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book and a manuscript recently acquired by the British Library containing more than 1,200 pieces (villanellas, madrigals, fantasias, dances and motets), as well as a collection of some 350 similar pieces in New York Public Library (see nn.