A vocal music form that flourished in the Renaissance, originating in Italy. The madrigal is generally written for four to six voices that may or may not be accompanied. In modern performance madrigals are usually presented a cappella. Madrigals are usually set to short love poems, though the words are occasionally about death, war, etc. They were extremely popular in England and Italy, and also produced in France, Germany, and a few in Spain. The madrigal is characterized by word painting and harmonic and rhythmic contrast. In the madrigal, each line has its own tune, rather than the entire composition having a single tune with harmonic accompaniment.