(plural: canzoni)
   The canzone was a late medieval lyric form popular in Italy among poets influenced by the Provençal TROUBADOURS. Derived largely from the Occitan CANSO, particularly as practiced by the troubadour GIRAUT DE BORNEIL, the canzone was usually a poem of five to seven stanzas with an identical rhyme scheme. Stanzas could range from seven to 20 lines, generally of 11 syllables, often ending with a commiato (similar to the envoi of a French BALLADE)—a short stanza half the length of the others, serving as a summary or closing. In De VULGARI ELOQUENTIA, DANTE calls the canzone the noblest form of Italian verse, and says it is the ideal genre for dealing with the three highest subjects of poetry: valor, virtue, and love. But in practice, the chief subject of the canzoni that survive from late medieval Italy is love. The form seems to have been used first by GUITTONE D’AREZZO, chief poet of the Sicilian School, and then by his followers, most notably Guido GUINIZELLI and poets of the new style of Tuscan poetry, the DOLCE STIL NOVO, including Guido CAVALCANTI and DANTE himself. Perhaps most influential of all were the canzoni composed by PETRARCH in his Canzoniere. Petrarch’s canzoni, always five or six stanzas with a commiato, established a fixed form for the genre and influenced Italian poets well into the Renaissance. The standard Italian canzone came thus to be called the canzone petrarchesca. The most influential structural aspect of the canzone is described by Dante in De vulgari eloquentia. Dante describes the canzone as having a three-part structure within a two-part structure: The form, he says, is divided into two parts, the fronte (or frons in Latin), or head, and the sirma (cauda in Latin), or tail. However, the frons is further subdivided into two piedi, or feet, which are identical in structure. The cauda might contain a final commiato. Thus the structure of the canzone might be described as AA/B. This structure was to influence the development of the sonnet (with its subdividable octave followed by a sestet), and therefore the whole history of European poetry.
   ■ Barber, Joseph A. “Rhyme Scheme Patterns in Petrarch’s Canzoniere,”MLN 92 (1977): 139–145.
   ■ Wilkins, Ernest Hatch. “The Canzone and the Minnesang,” in The Invention of the Sonnet, and Other Studies in Italian Literature. Roma: Edizioni de Storia e letteratura, 1959.

Encyclopedia of medieval literature. 2013.

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  • canzone — [ kɑ̃tzɔne ] n. f. • déb. XIXe; mot it., du lat. cantare « chanter » ♦ Didact. Petit poème italien divisé en stances égales, et terminé par une stance plus courte. Des canzones [ kɑ̃tzɔne ]. ● canzone, canzones ou canzoni nom féminin (italien… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • canzone — /kan tsone/ (ant. canzona) s.f. [lat. cantio onis, der. di canĕre cantare (supino cantum )]. 1. (crit.) [componimento lirico formato da un numero indeterminato di stanze o strofe che hanno tutte lo stesso schema della prima e che si chiude con un …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • canzone — 1580s, from It. canzone, from L. cantionem (nom. cantio) singing, song, from stem of canere to sing (see CHANT (Cf. chant)). In Italian or Provençal, a song resembling the madrigal but less strict in style …   Etymology dictionary

  • Canzone — Can*zo ne, n. [It., a song, fr. L. cantio, fr. canere to sing. Cf. {Chanson}, {Chant}.] (Mus.) (a) A song or air for one or more voices, of Proven[,c]al origin, resembling, though not strictly, the madrigal. (b) An instrumental piece in the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Canzōne — (ital., fr. Chanson), 1) jedes Lied od. Liedchen; 2) (Poet.), lyrische Dichtart, provenzalischen Ursprungs, schon im 13. Jahrh. in Italien gebräuchlich, von Petrarca in bestimmte Form gebracht (daher C. Petrarchesca) u. von den Toscanern… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Canzone — Canzone, Canzonetta, s. Kanzone …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Canzone — Canzone, eine Form der italien. Lyrik, begründet durch die provençalischen Dichter, dann besonders von Petrarca und Alamanni ausgebildet. Die C. des Petrarca besteht aus beliebig vielen Strophen (Stanzen), die Stanze aus zwei Hälften (fronte und… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • canzone — [kän tsô′nä΄kän tsô′ne] n. pl. canzoni [kän tsô′nē] [It < L cantio, song < canere: see CHANT] 1. a lyric poem of Provençal or early Italian troubadours 2. a musical setting for this: Also canzona [kän tsô′nä΄] …   English World dictionary

  • Canzone — Literally song in Italian, a canzone (plural: canzoni ) (cognate with English to chant ) is an Italian or Provençal song or ballad. It is also used to describe a type of lyric which resembles a madrigal. Sometimes a composition which is simple… …   Wikipedia

  • canzone — can·zó·ne s.f. FO 1. breve composizione vocale accompagnata da una melodia orecchiabile: intonare, cantare una canzone; il festival della canzone italiana Sinonimi: 1canto. 2. fig., situazione o discorso che si ripete in modo monotono: è ora di… …   Dizionario italiano

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