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Nineteenth-century character piece for piano. The name was first used c. 1812 by the Scottish composer John Field (1782–1837) for works employing a lyrical melody over an accompaniment of broken chords. Frédéric Chopin's romantic nocturnes, similar in style, are the most celebrated.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on nocturne, visit Britannica.com.