Definition of tiento in English:


nounPlural tientos

  • (in 16th- and 17th-century Spanish music) a contrapuntal piece resembling a ricercar, originally for strings and later for organ.

    • ‘Is there something specific that is supposed to be included in the song for it to be considered a tiento?’
    • ‘In this volume, which deals with tientos, he examines the meter, guitar playing, singing and dancing in this flamenco form.’
    • ‘The tientos are ‘essays’ and the form is not that different from the Elizabethan fantasia, a sort of improvisation on a musical phrase obeying its own internal rules.’
    • ‘Among his best pieces are tientos of great structural variety, glosas, and diferencias.’
    • ‘Musically, tientos and all flamenco songs employ a variety of challenging techniques.’


Spanish, literally ‘touch, feel’.