fixed form of verse developed by French poets of the 13th to the 15th century. Its standard form consisted in the 14th century of five stanzas of from 8 to 16 lines of equal measure, without refrain, but with an identical rhyme pattern in each stanza and an envoi using rhymes from the stanzas. In the 15th century the chant royal acquired a refrain, and the envoi was normally about half the length of the stanza, which had usually from 10 to 12 lines, the number being dictated by the number of syllables in the refrain.
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