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cabaletta (cabbaletta, cavaletta) (It., from cavata, extraction). A term with a number of meanings: (1) Short aria of simple and much reiterated rhythm, generally with repeats. (2) Type of song in rondo form, sometimes with variations. (3) Recurring passage in a song, first appearing simply and then varied (some authorities make a triplet acc. a necessary qualification for the title). (4) Final section of elaborate operatic duet or aria in which mus. often settles down to a steady rhythm, e.g. ‘Ah! non giunge’ in La sonnambula.

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