a boating song of the Venetian gondoliers.
a piece of music composed in the style of such songs.
Also, barcarolle.

1605–15; < Venetian barcarola boatman's song, feminine of barcarolo, equivalent to barcar- (< Late Latin barcārius boatman; see bark3, -ary) + -olo (≪ Latin -eolus) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
barcarole or barcarolle (ˈbɑːkəˌrəʊl, -ˌrɒl, ˌbɑːkəˈrəʊl, ˈbɑːkəˌrəʊl, -ˌrɒl, ˌbɑːkəˈrəʊl)
1.  a Venetian boat song in a time of six or twelve quaver beats to the bar
2.  an instrumental composition resembling this
[C18: from French, from Italian barcarola, from barcaruolo boatman, from barca boat; see barque]
barcarolle or barcarolle
[C18: from French, from Italian barcarola, from barcaruolo boatman, from barca boat; see barque]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Britannica


(from Italian barcarola, "boatman" or "gondolier"), originally a Venetian gondolier's song typified by gently rocking rhythms in 68 or 128 time. In the 18th and 19th centuries the barcarole inspired a considerable number of vocal and instrumental compositions, ranging from opera arias to character pieces for piano. The term surfaced as early as 1710, when the French composer Andre Campra included a "Fete des barquerolles" in a stage work (Les Fetes venitiennes, 1710). Subsequently, operas by Giovanni Paisiello, Carl Maria von Weber, Daniel-Francois-Esprit Auber, Gioachino Rossini, Giuseppe Verdi, and Johann Strauss, among others, featured barcaroles.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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