: an instrumental composition typically with a refrain recurring four times in the tonic and with three couplets in contrasting keys
: the musical form of a rondo used especially for a movement in a concerto or sonata
Origin of RONDO
from Middle French rondeau
First Known Use: 1797
rondo noun (Concise Encyclopedia)
Musical form characterized by the initial statement and periodic restatement of a melody alternately with contrasting material. It originated in the French Baroque harpsichord rondeau, where a refrain of 8 or 16 measures is played in alternation with a succession of couplets (episodes) so as to form a chainlike structure of variable length. Most rondos fall into either a five-part (abaca) or a seven-part (abacaba) form. The rondo was very popular in the late 18th and the early 19th centuries, frequently providing the form for the final movements of sonatas, quartets, symphonies, and concertos.
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