bel canto

bel canto

[bel kan-toh, -kahn-; Italian bel kahn-taw]
noun Music.
a smooth, cantabile style of singing.

Origin:
1890–95; < Italian: literally, fine singing, equivalent to bel (cognate with beau) + canto (see canto)

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To bel canto
Collins
World English Dictionary
bel canto (ˈbɛl ˈkæntəʊ)
 
n
music
 a.  a style of singing characterized by beauty of tone rather than dramatic power
 b.  (as modifier): a bel canto aria
 
[C19: Italian, literally: beautiful singing]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

bel canto
1894, from It., lit. "fine song."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

bel canto

style of operatic singing that originated in Italian singing of polyphonic (multipart) music and Italian courtly solo singing during the late 16th century and that was developed in Italian opera in the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries. Using a relatively small dynamic range, bel canto singing was based on an exact control of the intensity of vocal tone, a recognition of the distinction between the "diapason tone" (produced when the larynx is in a relatively low position) and the "flute tone" (when the larynx is in a higher position), and a demand for vocal agility and clear articulation of notes and enunciation of words

Learn more about bel canto with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature