ranz des vaches (räNz dā väsh) [key], type of Alpine folk melody of irregular melodic and rhythmic form used to call cattle. It is played on the alphorn by Swiss herders, or sung, with or without words. There are about 50 or more regional variations on the basic melodic pattern. Beethoven, in the Pastoral Symphony, Berlioz, in the Symphonie fantastique, and Rossini, in William Tell, are among the composers who have used the ranz des vaches in compositions.
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