Definition of canzonetta in English:


Pronunciation /ˌkantsəˈnɛtə//ˌkanzəˈnɛtə/


  • A short, light vocal piece, especially in the Italian style of the 17th century.

    • ‘Vecchi composed some excellent church music, but his fame rests on his light madrigals and canzonettas, written in an eminently singable and attractive style.’
    • ‘Whether in strophic arias, simple canzonettas or elaborate madrigals, Kiehr's singing is effortlessly lush and nicely emotionally understated.’
    • ‘Berg also embeds within the score a number of self-contained closed forms: sonata-allegro, rondo, variation, canzonetta, cavatina, etc.’
    • ‘It is a vivacious, playful blend of salsa and canzonetta.’
    • ‘There remains one composition by Buxtehude, a canzonetta in A minor that is clearly similar to the opening of the first fugue of the A major toccata in both the shape and treatment of its subject and countersubject.’


Late 16th century: from Italian ‘little song’, diminutive of canzone (see canzone).