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Poetry Guide: Ballata

The ballata (plural: ballate) is an Italian poetic and musical form, which was in use from the late 13th to the 15th century. It has the musical structure ABBAA, with the first and last stanzas having the same words. It was one of the most prominent secular musical forms during the trecento, the period often known as the Italian ars nova.

The most notable composer of ballate is Francesco Landini, who lived in the second half of the 14th century. Other composers of ballata include Andrea da Firenze, a contemporary of Landini, as well as Bartolino da Padova, Johannes Ciconia, and Zacara da Teramo. In the 15th century both Arnold de Lantins and Guillaume Dufay wrote ballate; they were among the last to do so.