Frottola

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The frottola (plural: frottole) was the most popular kind of secular (non-religious) song in Italy during the late 15th and early 16th centuries.

Frottole were quite simple and fun. They were often sung by small groups of singers. They were not contrapuntal, but they had a tune in the top part while the other singers sang chords to accompany the tune. Sometimes they might have been sung by a solo voice with a lute accompaniment.

The most famous composer of frottole was Bartolomeo Tromboncino. The great composer Josquin also composed frottole, although that is not what he called them. For example, there is a well-known one called El Grillo ( The Cricket) in which the singers try to sound like the chirping of a cricket in the grass.

About the year 1530 the frottola developed into the madrigal.