Canzona (It.: ‘song’)
- John Caldwell
A type of instrumental music of the 16th and 17th centuries that developed from the Netherlandish chanson.
The spelling ‘canzona’ was fairly frequently used in Italy after 1600 and has become standard in England and not infrequent in Germany; in older Italian sources, however, ‘canzone’ and ‘canzon’ (with the plural ‘canzoni’) are practically universal, and ‘canzone’ has subsequently remained the standard Italian form. It should be noted that ‘canzone’ as the plural of ‘canzona’ is rare. (For a discussion of the Italian poetic form, see Canzone.) The word ‘canzone’ or ‘canzona’ in its instrumental connotation originally denoted an arrangement of a polyphonic song, usually a French chanson, since although arrangements of Italian works were quite common these were usually called ‘frottola’ or ‘madrigale’. Although it was used at least until the end of the 16th century to mean a straightforward arrangement, there are quite early instances of new compositions based on existing chanson material, and the term eventually came to be applied to original compositions using idioms familiar through arrangements and reworkings. Since chansons of the type favoured for these purposes (i.e. the Parisian chanson as represented in the books of Attaingnant starting in ...