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obbligato

[ob-li-gah-toh; Italian awb-blee-gah-taw] /ˌɒb lɪˈgɑ toʊ; Italian ˌɔb bliˈgɑ tɔ/ Music.
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 of obbligato
1715-1725
1715-25; < Italian: bound, obliged < Latin obligātus; see obligate
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for obbligato

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 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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