virelay

virelay

[vir-uh-ley]
noun Prosody.
1.
an old French form of short poem, composed of short lines running on two rhymes and having two opening lines recurring at intervals.
2.
any of various similar or other forms of poem, as one consisting of stanzas made up of longer and shorter lines, the lines of each kind rhyming together in each stanza, and having the rhyme of the shorter lines of one stanza forming the rhyme of the longer lines of the next stanza.
3.
a medieval song form providing a musical setting for a virelay but having a formal structure different from that of the poem.
Also, virelai.


Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English < Old French virelai, alteration (see lay4) of vireli, virli jingle used as the refrain of a song

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virelay (ˈvɪrɪˌleɪ)
 
n
1.  an old French verse form, rarely used in English, consisting of short lines arranged in stanzas having only two rhymes, and two opening lines recurring at intervals
2.  any of various similar forms
 
[C14: from Old French virelai, probably from vireli (associated with lailay4), meaningless word used as a refrain]

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Encyclopedia Britannica
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virelay

one of several formes fixes ("fixed forms") in French lyric poetry and song of the 14th and 15th centuries (compare ballade; rondeau). It probably did not originate in France, and it takes on several different forms even within the French tradition. Similar forms can be found in most of the literatures of medieval and early Renaissance Europe: in the Galician cantiga, the Arabic muwashshah, the Italian lauda and frottola, the Spanish villancico, and the English carol (qq.v.), as well as in the Arabic zajal and the Italian hallata.

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