AskDefine | Define pastorale

Dictionary Definition

pastorale n : a musical composition that evokes rural life [syn: pastoral, idyll] [also: pastorali (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. a play or a musical product which has a pastoral subject
  2. art that is suggestive of pastoral themes
    • She was in the country, painting her first pastorale.

See also

Extensive Definition

For Beethoven's Pastoral symphony, see Symphony No. 6 (Beethoven)
Pastorale refers to something of a pastoral nature in music, whether in form or in mood.
In baroque music, a pastorale is a movement of a melody in 3rds over a drone bass, recalling the traditional Christmas playing of pifferari (players of traditional bagpipes and flutes) in Italy. Pastorales are generally in 6/8 or 12/8 metres. Common examples include the last movement of Corelli's Christmas Concerto (op.6 no.8), the third movement in Vivaldi's Spring concerto from The Four Seasons, the Pifa movement in Handel's Messiah and the first movements of Bach's Pastorella (BWV 590) for organ. Scarlatti wrote some examples in his keyboard sonatas, and many other baroque composers, particularly French, used this technique.

Other uses

A pastorale, also spelled pastoralli, and pastorali, is a also long handled metal tool used for holding a plate to preheat glass in a furnace for glassblowing.
pastorale in German: Pastorale
pastorale in Dutch: Pastorale (compositie)
pastorale in Japanese: パストラール
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