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A madrigal is a multi-part vocal composition of Italian origin, for several voices, usually unaccompanied, but sometimes with instrumental accompaniment. Texts are usually secular (amorous, satirical, allegorical...) Madrigals were first sung in Italian towards the end of the 13th Century, and the form was revived in a different style in the 16th Century. It was superseeded by the baroque cantata. Monteverdi and Palestrina both wrote extensively in this style, and some examples of English language madrigals were written by Byrd, Morley, and Wilbye.

Further listening

  • Arcadelt, Ahime, dov'e bel viso, 1538
  • Morley, Thomas, Now is the month of Maying, 1595
  • Monteverdi, Il Combatimento di Tancredi et Clorinda, 1624