The critic Gale Sigal provides a strict generic distinction between the alba and the aubade. Quoting from Hatto’s ground-breaking study of Medieval dawn songs, she makes the following informative remarks:
The alba’s theme of separation, its preference for dialogue, its “almost obligatory refrain containing the word alba” (Hatto 31). These elements also differentiate the alba from the aubade, a distinction lost to all but the most specialised literary critics. The word aubade does not appear before the fifteenth century and technically designates a waking song addressed to the sleeping beloved from a window or door. Many English-speaking literary critics use the term …
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Martiny, Erik. "Dawn Poetry - Alba and Aubade". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 February 2011
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=14899, accessed 20 August 2017.]