or lay A form of song popular in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, usually consisting of 12 unequal stanzas sung to different tunes. The lai was often composed as an instrumental piece.
A medieval narrative or lyric poem which flourished in 12th century France, consisting of couplets of five-syllable lines separated by single lines of two syllables. The number of lines and stanzas was not fixed and each stanza had only two rhymes, one rhyme for the couplets and the other for the two-syllable lines. Succeeding stanzas formed their own rhymes. (See also Lay, Virelay)
a secular song of the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries in which the characteristics of the stanza (line lengths, number of lines per stanza, rhyme scheme, musical setting) change from strophe to strophe. Machaut wrote twenty-four lais.