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[pas-ij-wurk] /ˈpæs ɪdʒˌwɜrk/
noun, Music.
writing that is often extraneous to the thematic material of a work and is typically of a virtuosic or decorative character:
passagework consisting of scales, arpeggios, trills, and double octaves.
the performance of such writing:
The pianist's passagework is brilliantly clear and smooth.
Origin of passagework
1860-65; passage1 + work Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for passage work
Historical Examples
  • Mr. Cohn brought out all the passage work clearly enough, though the rapid tempo caused a certain dryness in the string tone.

    Musical Criticisms Arthur Johnstone
  • Certain things are very difficult for me, things requiring absolute evenness of passage work, or sustained calm.

    Vocal Mastery Harriette Brower
  • The automatism inherent in all passage work he almost eliminated, and he spiritualised ornament and arabesque.

    Unicorns James Huneker
  • Except for three lines of passage work in the first part, the concerto remains to-day precisely as MacDowell finished it then.

    Edward MacDowell Lawrence Gilman
British Dictionary definitions for passage work

passage work

(music) scales, runs, etc, in a piece of music which have no structural significance but provide an opportunity for virtuoso display
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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