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obbligato

[ob-li-gah-toh; Italian awb-blee-gah-taw] /ˌɒb lɪˈgɑ toʊ; Italian ˌɔb bliˈgɑ tɔ/
adjective
1.
(used as a musical direction) obligatory or indispensable; so important that it cannot be omitted.
noun, plural obbligatos, obbligati
[ob-li-gah-tee; Italian awb-blee-gah-tee] /ˌɒb lɪˈgɑ ti; Italian ˌɔb bliˈgɑ ti/ (Show IPA)
2.
an obbligato part or accompaniment.
3.
a continuing or persistent subordinate or background motif.
4.
a subordinate part of a solo.
Also, obligato.
Origin
1715-1725
1715-25; < Italian: bound, obliged < Latin obligātus; see obligate
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for obbligati

obbligato

/ˌɒblɪˈɡɑːtəʊ/
adjective
1.
not to be omitted in performance
noun (pl) -tos, -ti (-tiː)
2.
an essential part in a score: with oboe obbligato
See also ad-lib
Word Origin
C18: from Italian, from obbligare to oblige
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for obbligati

obbligato

adj.

musical instruction, 1724, from Italian obbligato, literally "obligated," from Latin obligatus, past participle of obligare "to bind" (see oblige). In reference to a necessary accompaniment by a single instrument.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for obbligati

obbligato

(Italian: "obligatory"), in music, essential but subordinate instrumental part. For example, in an 18th-century aria with trumpet obbligato, the trumpet part, although serving as accompaniment to the voice, may be as brilliant in its writing as that of the voice itself. The term obbligato accompaniment has a more specialized meaning in some 18th-century music (see accompaniment)

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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