|1.||a piece of music appropriate to the evening, characteristically played outside the house of a woman|
|2.||a piece of music indicative or suggestive of this|
|3.||an extended composition in several movements similar to the modern suite or divertimento|
|4.||(tr) to play a serenade for (someone)|
|5.||(intr) to play a serenade|
|[C17: from French sérénade, from Italian serenata, from sereno peaceful, from Latin serēnus calm; also influenced in meaning by Italian sera evening, from Latin sērus late]|
originally, a nocturnal song of courtship, and later, beginning in the late 18th century, a short suite of instrumental pieces, similar to the divertimento, cassation, and notturno. An example of the first type in art music is the serenade "Deh! vieni alla finestra" ("Oh, Come to the Window"), from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Don Giovanni. The instrumental serenade gradually lost its association with courtship and became (about 1770) primarily a collection of light pieces such as dances and marches suitable for open-air, evening performance
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