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A villanella was a light-hearted, generally simple type of Neapolitan madrigal popular during the 16th century. It was similar to the Italian frottola and English ayre in that it usually consisted of a number of verses sung all to the same tune and, like them, was less contrapuntal than the true madrigal or chanson of the time.


“Oxford Companion to Music”

“The Grove Concise Dictionary of Music”