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Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Isosyllabic


As usual, the experts agree to disagree on exactly what this form is. One says that it is written in seven-syllable line couplets, or in Blank Verse pentameters, hexameters, or hendecasyllabics. So, it can be rhymed or not. It can be seven, ten, twelve, or eleven syllable lines. And it uses internal rhyme and is stuffed chock full of poetic devices such as aphorisms, witticisms, didacticisms, and kitchen-sinkisms.

Of course, that’s only one expert disagreeing with himself. The other says that it was originally a type of carnival song called frottola that had irregular meter and rhymes, which might explain the other expert’s certain declaration that it could be all sorts of forms. As time went on, the frottola often had lessons injected into it, so it changed name to barzelletta This second expert does suggest that the Barzelletta is written for musical setting in eight-syllable lines often having a refrain with rhyme scheme abba.



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