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Thursday, December 12, 2013


The Strambotto has three primary versions:
All are presented here.
The Siciliano,  rhymed abababab
The Tuscano,  rhymed ababccdd (preferred), abababcc,  aabbccdd
and the Romagnuolo, rhymed ababccdd

It is:
Lyrical - Written as one octave, or with the Tuscano, possibly one sestet.  It you wish to write several stanza it becomes an Ottava Rima.

Rhymed - Each with its specific pattern(s).

Isosyllabic - Each line has precisely eleven syllables.

Below are additional resources with history and added information.  At the end you will find my Visual Templates.


This was an early form of Italian poetry that was set to music by composers of the frottola and madrigals of the 16th century. The poetry is set into very strict stanzas of eight lines of eleven syllables. This type of stanza is known as rispetto or ottava rima. The musical rispetto was usualy dedicated to a lady love, Aside from the fact the ottava rima had no set form length and later became Iambic it also came from literature and generally had multiple stanzas, but musical version, the strambotto was typically created with a single stanza.
There are three basic types of strambotto and they are identified by their rhyme scheme.

1. Strambotto Siciliano
It will be noted that this is similar to the Sicilian Octave, but follows the Strombotto rules and consists of eight strict hendecasyllable lines (11 syllables), and similarly for multi stanzas.

a. b. a. b. a. b. a. b. 

2. Strambotto Toscano
This form is most used for stand alone poetry, but can be used for multiple stanzas. When writing muliple stanzas (as in a song), it is usual to link each stanza by either a refrain or using the whole or part of the last line of the previous stanza as the first line of the next stanza:

a. b. a. b. a. b. c. c. 

3. Strambotto Romagnuolo
This form has the octave constructed from a Sicilian quatrain and a quatrain of two couplets. The same rules apply about stand alone poems, and multiple stanzas.

a. b. a. b. c. c. d. d

My thanks to the poetsgarret.

The Strambotto is thought to have influenced the development of the Sicilian Octave and the birth of the sonnet. The Strambotto is one of the earliest Italian verse forms and can be found in works from the 12th through the 19th centuries usually set to music. The name comes from the Occitan,estrabot which refers to sentimental and or amorous rhymes. Sources suggest the early Strambotto varied between 6 or 8 lines long however it was eventually recognized as an 8 line form holding fast to a strict 11 syllable line. Rhyme seems to be delineated by territory, Tuscan, Sicilian and Romano. The frame appears to be the same as the Ottavo Rima Stanza. However, the forms are quite different in that the Strombotto is limited to a single lyrical, octave while the Ottavo Rima is a narrative, stanzaic verse written with any number of octaves. 
The Strambotto is:
  • lyrical.
  • an octastich, a poem in 8 lines. (When written in narrative stanzas it is better known as Ottava Rima)
  • syllabic, strict hendecasyllabic lines. In English it has been found in iambic pentameter.
  • rhymed, most often follows the Tuscan patterns of abababcc and occasionally aabbccdd and is sometimes called Strambotto Tuscano. TheSicilian Strambottos followed the rhyme pattern of abababab and the Strambotto Romagnuolo carries a rhyme scheme of ababccdd.

My thanks to PoetryMagnumOpus

Strambotto (Sicilian)
Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Other Requirement, Stanzaic
Hendecasyllabic lines rhymed abababab. Usually is lyrical and sentimental or amorous.
Rhyme: abababab
Meter: xxxxxxxxxxx
Rhythm/Stanza Length:
See Also:

Strambotto (Tuscan)
Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Other Requirement, Stanzaic
Stanzas of 6 or 8 hendecasyllabic lines rhymed ababccdd (preferred), abababcc, aabbccdd, ababcc, ababab, or aabbcc. Usually is lyrical and sentimental or amorous.
ababccdd (preferred),
ababab, or
Meter: xxxxxxxxxxx
See Also:

My thanks to Poetry Base.

VISUAL TEMPLATES. These show the rhyme patterns and syllable count.
                                      No specfic meter is mandated, I have shown both

                                      iambic and trochaic possibilities.

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