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The canzona is an instrumental musical form of the 16th and 17th centuries that developed from the Netherlandish chanson (Caldwell 2001). It differed from the similar forms of ricercare and fantasia in its livelier, markedly rhythmic material and separation into distinct sections (Grout 1960, 299).

In music, a canzona (also canzone) was a 16th-century multipart vocal setting of a literary canzone[citation needed] and a 16th- and 17th-century instrumental composition. At first based on Franco-Flemish polyphonic songs (chansons), later independently composed, the instrumental canzonas, such as the brass canzonas of Giovanni Gabrieli and the keyboard canzonas of Girolamo Frescobaldi, influenced the fugue,[citation needed] and the ensemble canzonas were the direct ancestors of the 17th-century sonata da chiesa (Grout 1960, 252).


  • Caldwell, John. 2001. "Canzona". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers.
  • Grout, Donald Jay. 1960. A History of Western Music. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.