HumanitiesWeb.org - Glossary definition: Virelai
Virelai

One of the French formes fixe, cultivated in the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. A strophic piece with an internal structure of A b b a A, where a capital letter designates a repetition of both text and music and lower case designates new text. The virelai typically had three stanzas; its refrain could easily lead into the new text of successive stanzas or serve to conclude the piece.

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