a cappella

a cappella

[ah kuh-pel-uh; Italian ah kahp-pel-lah]
adverb, adjective Music.
1.
without instrumental accompaniment.
2.
in the style of church or chapel music.

Origin:
1875–80; < Italian: in the manner of a chapel (choir)

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Collins
World English Dictionary
a cappella (ɑː kəˈpɛlə)
 
adj, —adv
music without instrumental accompaniment
 
[Italian: literally, according to (the style of the) chapel]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
a cappella [(ah kuh-pel-uh)]

Choral singing performed without instruments. The expression means “in chapel style” in Italian. Centuries ago, religious music composed for use in chapels — which, unlike large churches, had no organs — was usually for voices only.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

a cappella

(Italian: "in the church style"), performance of a polyphonic (multipart) musical work by unaccompanied voices. Originally referring to sacred choral music, the term now refers to secular music as well.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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