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Canzona by Francesco da Milano. Francesco Canova da Milano (18 August 1497 – 2 January 1543) was an Italian lutenist and composer. He was born in Monza, near Milan, and worked for the papal court for almost all of his career. Francesco was heralded throughout Europe as the foremost lute composer of his time. More of his music is preserved than of any other lutenist of the period, and his work continued to influence composers for more than a century after his death. Literally “song” in Italian, a canzone is an Italian or Provençal song or ballad. It is also used to describe a type of lyric which resembles a madrigal. Sometimes a composition which is simple and songlike is designated as a canzone, especially if it is by a non-Italian; a good example is the aria “Voi che sapete” from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro.