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tessitura

[tes-i-too r-uh; Italian tes-see-too-rah] /ˌtɛs ɪˈtʊər ə; Italian ˌtɛs siˈtu rɑ/
noun, plural tessituras, tessiture
[tes-i-too r-ey; Italian tes-see-too-re] /ˌtɛs ɪˈtʊər eɪ; Italian ˌtɛs siˈtu rɛ/ (Show IPA)
1.
the general pitch level or average range of a vocal or instrumental part in a musical composition:
an uncomfortably high tessitura.
Origin of tessitura
1890-1895
1890-95; < Italian: literally, texture < Latin textūra; see texture
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tessitura
Historical Examples
  • The tessitura of Butterfly is very high, and the rle is a strain for her.

    Interpreters Carl Van Vechten
  • This octave, however, represents merely the compass (ambitus or tessitura) of the melody: it has nothing to do with its tonality.

    The Modes of Ancient Greek Music David Binning Monro
  • One should never try to change the tessitura, or natural character of the voice.

    Caruso and Tetrazzini on the Art of Singing Enrico Caruso and Luisa Tetrazzini
British Dictionary definitions for tessitura

tessitura

/ˌtɛsɪˈtʊərə/
noun (music)
1.
the general pitch level of a piece of vocal music: an uncomfortably high tessitura
2.
the compass or range of a voice
Word Origin
Italian: texture, from Latin textura; see texture
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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