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ritornello

[rit-er-nel-oh; Italian ree-tawr-nel-law] /ˌrɪt ərˈnɛl oʊ; Italian ˌri tɔrˈnɛl lɔ/
noun, plural ritornellos, ritornelli
[rit-er-nel-ee; Italian ree-tawr-nel-lee] /ˌrɪt ərˈnɛl i; Italian ˌri tɔrˈnɛl li/ (Show IPA).
Music.
1.
an orchestral interlude between arias, scenes, or acts in 17th-century opera.
2.
a tutti section in a concerto grosso, aria, etc.
Origin
1665-1675
1665-75; < Italian, diminutive of ritorno return
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for ritornello
  • When the suite is scored with soloists, the fast section is generally in ritornello form.
British Dictionary definitions for ritornello

ritornello

/ˌrɪtəˈnɛləʊ/
noun (music) (pl) -los, -li (-liː)
1.
an orchestral passage between verses of an aria or song
2.
a ripieno passage in a concerto grosso
Word Origin
C17: from Italian, literally: a little return, from ritorno a return
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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Encyclopedia Article for ritornello

ritornel

a recurrent musical section that alternates with different episodes of contrasting material. The repetition can be exact or varied to a greater or lesser extent. In the concerto grosso the full orchestra (tutti) has the ritornello; the solo group (concertino) has the contrasting episodes.

Learn more about ritornel with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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