Definition of alla breve in English:

alla breve


  • A time signature indicating two or four minim beats in a bar.

    • ‘The old complete edition, which altered several of Mozart's tempo markings arbitrarily, transformed the alla breve in the first movement of the Concerto in F major K.459 into 4/4 time.’
    • ‘During the first half of the eighteenth century, German theorists and composers regarded the stately 4/4 frequently employed in fugues as a notational variant of large alla breve.’
    • ‘The Fuga alla breve appears at the end of Part I, suggesting that it serves as the capstone of the ‘basic course.’’
    • ‘All the alla breve movements of the Mass really are played here alla breve.’
    • ‘Another scherzo arabesque contrasts with the sombre seventh canon, which in turn joins on to the alla breve variation.’


Italian, literally according to the breve.


alla breve

/ˈbrɛveɪ//ˌalə ˈbreɪvi/