Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search


Wikipedia has an article on:


Nocturne: Blue and Silver – Chelsea (1871) by James Abbott McNeill Whistler


From French nocturne ‎(nocturnal), from Latin nocturnus.



nocturne ‎(plural nocturnes)

  1. A work of art relating or dedicated to the night.
    • 1908, E[lizabeth] R[obins] Pennell; J[oseph] Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, London: W[illiam] Heinemann; Philadelphia, Pa.: J. B. Lippincott Company, OCLC 933108772:
      He [James Abbott McNeill Whistler] was then asked for his definition of a Nocturne: “I have perhaps, meant rather to indicate an artistic interest alone in the work, divesting the picture from any outside sort of interest which might have been otherwise attached to it. It is an arrangement of line, form, and colour first, and I make use of any incident of it which shall bring about a symmetrical result. Among my works are some night pieces; and I have chosen the word Nocturne because it generalises and and simplifies the whole set of them.”
    • 1996, Peter Wagner, “Oscar Wilde’s ‘Impression du matin’ – an Intermedial Reading”, in Icons – Texts – Iconotexts: Essays on Ekphrasis and Intermediality [European Cultures; 6], Berlin, New York, N.Y.: Walter de Gruyter, ISBN 978-3-11-014291-4, page 287:
      When John Ruskin, a sort of pope among the art critics of the time, was faced with [James Abbott McNeill] Whistler’s canvases at the opening exhibition of The Grosvenor Gallery in 1877, he was so outraged that he attacked Whistler in a review, charging him with wilful imposture for “flinging a pot of paint in the public's face.” It seems that Ruskin's main target was Whistler’s Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (1875).
  2. (music) A dreamlike or pensive composition, usually for the piano.
    • 1907, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, “chapter VIII”, in The Younger Set (Project Gutenberg; EBook #14852), New York, N.Y.: A. L. Burt Company, published 1 February 2005 (Project Gutenberg version), OCLC 4241346:
      “My tastes,” he said, still smiling, “incline me to the garishly sunlit side of this planet.” And, to tease her and arouse her to combat: “I prefer a farandole to a nocturne; I’d rather have a painting than an etching; Mr. Whistler bores me with his monochromatic mud; I don’t like dull colours, dull sounds, dull intellects; [].”
    • 1999, John Rink, “‘Structural Momentum’ and Closure in Chopin's Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2”, in Carl Schachter and Hedi Siegel, editors, Schenker Studies 2, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-47011-7, page 109:
      For all its grace, charm, and apparent simplicity, [Frédéric] Chopin’s Nocturne in E♭ major, Op. 9, No. 2, poses fundamental problems on close inspection. The fact that so many analyses of the piece – including those of Heinrich Schenker and Felix Salzer – fail to explain certain idiosyncratic aspects, in particular an unusual distribution of structural weight, gives some indication of the Nocturne’s complexities at a profound level.
    • 2004, Halina Goldberg, editor, The Age of Chopin: Interdisciplinary Inquiries, Bloomington, Indianapolis, In.: Indiana University Press, ISBN 978-0-253-34319-2, page 222:
      The vocal nocturne, in other words, turns out to be no easier a genre to define than the piano nocturne. But its ambiguities are nevertheless helpful in making sense of those of the piano nocturne.


Related terms[edit]


See also[edit]


French Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia fr


Latin nocturnus



nocturne m, f ‎(plural nocturnes)

  1. nocturnal
    • 1857, Chalres Baudelaire, Je t'adore from Les Fleurs du mal
      Je t'adore à l'égal de la voûte nocturne,
      Ô vase de tristesse, ô grande taciturne,
      Et t'aime d'autant plus, belle, que tu me fuis,
      Et que tu me parais, ornement de mes nuits,


nocturne m ‎(plural nocturnes)

  1. (music) nocturne


External links[edit]



nocturne ‎(comparative plus nocturne, superlative le plus nocturne)

  1. nocturnal




  1. vocative masculine singular of nocturnus