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A three-verse verse is described as a trio, also a three-string version. Characteristic is the trio, especially for the baroque sonnet, which consists of two quartets and two terzets. In the sonnet the terzets often follow the rhyme schema cdc / dcd, cde / cde and ccd / eed, whereas a three-line poem can have all the rhyme schemata, aba, rarer abb or aab. Nevertheless, there are no stipulated specifications. In music, the term means a composition for precisely three concurrent singing voices.

The term goes back to the Latin order number tertius (see Numerals) and can be translated with the third. As a result, the translation already refers to what is at issue: a three-line stanza [in the sonnet] or even a three-line poem. Let’s look at an example:

But I still keep silent about what is worse than the dead,
What grimmer the pest vndt glutt vndt hungers noth,
That now the selenium treasured so many.
The above example is the second third of the Sonnet’s Tears of the Fatherland by Andreas Gryphius, a German poet and dramatist. The example follows the rhyme scheme aab (in the context of the principal eed) and shows in all the verses a six-lobed yambus, which is thus characterized by alternating cadences. The unstressed as well as stressed syllables are therefore alternating (changeable). All lines have a caesura after the third elevation. According to this the strophe is written in Alexandrin.

The key feature, however, which explains the stanza to the third is the fact that it consists only of three verses. Consequently, any stanza of a poem, no matter what kind, if it consists only of three verses, can basically be called a trance. In addition to the sonnet, such terzets are particularly characteristic of the terzine and tercet.

The trio in the sonnet
As already written, typical sonnets are composed of two quartets and two terzets. These often fulfill a function in terms of the sonnet. Above all, the Italian sonnet usually assigns particular tasks to the individual verses.

This is primarily about the following structure: in the first quartet a statement (thesis) is made up, a thought is picked up or an experience is described. In the second quartet, this antithesis is compared with an antithesis which shows a counter-design, rejects the thesis or contains a contrasting picture. Sometimes the whole thing culminates in a paradox.

The function of the terzette is now to form a synthesis of thesis and antithesis. This means that a kind of result, ie a result, summarizes what is being said or a compromise is presented. In part, the thesis also stands in the quartet, the antithesis in the terzets – the synthesis is then missing.

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