A Capella

Word Origin & History

a capella
1876, earlier alla capella (1847), from It., "in the manner of the chapel," lit. "according to the chapel," from cappella "chapel." Originally in ref. to older church music (pre-1600) which was written for unaccompanied voices; applied 20c. to unaccompanied vocal music generally.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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