Definition and background:
A Cuban dance that came to Spain in the mid-19th century and named after Havana (Habana). The most famous Habanera, El Arresglito, was written by Sebastian Yradier and used by Georges Bizet in his opera Carmen in 1875. The Habanera is performed in a slow 2/4 meter and has a dotted rhythm pattern unique to the dance. One of the most famous examples is found in Bizet's Spanish opera Carmen, where Carmen herself sings a seductive habanera. Ravel includes a habanera in his rhapsody Espanola and also wrote a vocalize en forme de habanera, while Debussy makes use of the characteristic rhythm of the dance.
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary