Definition and background:
A French term meaning "beautiful era", it refers to a 'beautiful' time in that country's history from late 19th century to the beginning of World War I. France and its neighbors seemed to be on peaceful terms, and because of innovations and a general sense of contentment, life seemed to be easy and happy. Art Nouveau and Impressionism developed during this period as did the cabaret, cinema, and cancan dance. The spirit of "La Belle Epoque" spread to other countries as well. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belle_??poque
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary