One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
usually with or as modifier An instrumental part, typically distinctive in effect, which is integral to a piece of music and should not be omitted in performance.‘with piano obbligato’‘the obbligato part’
backing, support, background, soundtrack, compView synonyms
- ‘The sequence of choruses, solos and duets accompanied by muted strings with, in turn, obbligato solo flute, oboe and horn, all supply inspiration and underline the work's deep spirituality.’
- ‘Look, if you want a descending obligato, do it in the privacy of your own home away from us normal people.’
- ‘The skilful use of obligato, the counter melody flowing around the main melody, is an unfailing attraction of his music.’
- ‘Her voice joined in; softly working it's way through the obbligato, increasing in volume gradually.’
- ‘It is not sung, but only declaimed, and the music is like an obbligato recitative.’
Italian, literally ‘obligatory’, from Latin obligatus, past participle of obligare (see oblige).
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