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[hyoo-muh-resk or, often, yoo-] /ˌhyu məˈrɛsk or, often, ˌyu-/
a musical composition of humorous or capricious character.
1875-80; humor + -esque, modeled on German Humoreske
Related forms
humoresquely, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for humoresque


a short lively piece of music
Word Origin
C19: from German Humoreske, ultimately from English humour
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for humoresque

a type of character piece, generally a short piano composition expressing a mood or a vague nonmusical idea, usually more good-humored than humorous. Robert Schumann, the first composer to use the term as a musical title, called his Opus 20 (1839) Humoreske (it is atypically like a long suite). His Opus 88, No. 2, is a humoresque for violin, cello, and piano. The best-known is Antonin Dvorak's Humoresque in G-flat, the seventh in his collection Eight Humoresques for piano (1894). Gustav Mahler originally called his Des Knaben Wunderhorn (1888-99; Songs From the Youth's Magic Horn) "Humoreske."

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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