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- Noun

A smoothly running passage of short notes (as semiquavers, or sixteenths) uniformly grouped, sung upon one long syllable, as in Handel's oratorios.

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    A roulade (/ruːˈlɑːd/) is a dish of filled rolled meat or pastry. Roulade can be savory or sweet. Swiss roll is an example of a sweet roulade. Traditionally found in various European cuisines, the term roulade originates from the French word "rouler", meaning "to roll".

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    A roulade is an elaborate embellishment of several notes sung to one syllable. It is most associated with (but not restricted to) the operatic coloratura vocal style. It consists of a single phrase, or could even be part of a longer phrase. It is more extended than ornaments such as a trill, mordent or turn, but not to the extent that it could be called a cadenza (which is usually more than one phrase and is extended enough to be considered a musical section in itself). It is usually performed in a rhythmically free style, either by use of rubato or over a musical pause and it is in this way that it is distinguished from a melisma. Examples are in the operatic works of Bellini and Donizetti and the Nocturnes of Chopin. Extended embellishments found in modern-day Gospel vocalisations could be said to be roulades.

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