The art of Serenata: Lassus, Strozzi, Stradella, etc.
Song of love, political military or private celebrations, the serenade is a kind of multiple facets which changes to its historical context. The most notorious form of the lover singing below the window of his beloved find its origin in the Middle Ages with the courteous songs of the minstrels . But at the end of the 16th century the serenade becomes a major cantata intended to celebrate a special event: coronation, wedding, military victories, christening or official visits. Its name derives from the Italian word sereno because it is being played in open air with a clear(serene) sky. Due to a delightful etymological error, it has been wrongly forever associated to sera (evening) thus becoming the most charming musical compliment of love.
Draw on, sweet night - John Wilbie