berceuse

play
noun ber·ceuse \ ber-ˈsœz , -ˈsüz \

Definition of berceuse

plural berceuses play \-ˈsœz; -ˈsüz, -ˈsü-zəz\
1 :a musical composition usually in ⁶/₈ time that resembles a lullaby
2 :lullaby

berceuse was our Word of the Day on 05/02/2013. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of berceuse from the Web

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Did You Know?

The lullaby is a standard of classical music. German composer Johannes Brahms is perhaps best known for his "Wiegenlied: Guten Abend, gute Nacht" ("Good evening, good night"), Op. 49, No. 4, published in 1868, purportedly written for a friend to celebrate the birth of her son. Compositionally, a berceuse is similar to a lullaby, particularly in its soothing refrain often set to a rocking rhythm usually in 6/8 time. Among the earliest examples of works known by that name is Frédéric Chopin's Berceuse in D-flat Major (1843-44), written for piano; Franz Liszt, Camille Saint-Saëns, and Maurice Ravel also composed berceuses. The word berceuse is indicative of its use as an aid to sleep-it derives from the French bercer ("to rock") and ultimately from the Old French bers ("cradle").

Origin and Etymology of berceuse

French, from bercer to rock, from Old French bercier, from bers cradle



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