Definition of top note in English:

top note


  • 1The highest or a very high note in a piece of music or a singer's vocal range.

    ‘she responded with some of her most skilful top notes’
    • ‘Firmly in the groove, her life now seems to revolve around minor and major chords, the seven octaves and the five top notes.’
    • ‘While the NCH is whooping it up Irish-style, The Helix at DCU is hitting the top notes Polish-style with two of the most popular of all operas performed by the Polish State Opera of Wroclaw, which is on its first touring visit to Ireland.’
    • ‘It's all there: the fearless attack, the gleaming metal, top notes that never fail, and that glamorous, utterly distinctive vocal personality.’
    • ‘The top note of the chord identifies major, while the middle note identifies minor.’
    • ‘Hyperion's recording is excellent with just the right amount of reverberation for the top notes.’
    • ‘He voices the top notes of the chords, playing the other notes noticeably quieter.’
    • ‘‘You can't go out on a top note, but you can go out on a high note,’ he told her.’
    • ‘Janet's soaring, operatic voice sailed high over the altos, hitting all the top notes.’
    • ‘In the besotted tenor-role of Ermanno, he had some less than convincing top notes but plenty of lyric skill and a fine ability to balance his part in the ‘patter’ ensembles.’
    • ‘If a top note occasionally goes haywire or a passage of soft singing curdles, Guleghina's fearless, even reckless account of this impossible role is surely the best we can hope for in the here and now.’
    • ‘Her top notes, in particular, were molten silver.’
    • ‘I can't listen to the DTS, but the 5.1 was lush and full, the bottom timbres of the guitars and top notes of Adams' voice coming through in a nicely layered sound.’
    • ‘I thought, during the interval, someone might have had a quiet word, but the noise level kept rising, until by the final number, a dramatic rendition of Monteverdi's Ed e puer dunque vero, her top notes could have cut through steel.’
    • ‘She is a brilliant Isolde with clear, ringing, top notes that easily cut through the lush Wagnerian orchestration.’
    • ‘I started an octave too high but instead of stopping and beginning again I decided to tough it out and ‘go for it’ by trying to reach the top note of a particularly challenging musical piece.’
    • ‘Not a moment was phoned in, the top notes were on target, the role's lyricism came to him as easily as its declamatory rhetoric, and a real character emerged.’
    • ‘I cry back before screeching the top note of the chorus.’
    • ‘At his best, despite the odd tricolour top note and some bleating, he clearly has a fine voice.’
    • ‘‘Dr Klemperer,’ she gasped, ‘in Bach's B-minor mass, rehearsal figure 48, is that top note F or F-sharp?’’
    • ‘Her top notes resounded well in the cupola - where they were joined, as usual, by the lovably familiar sounds of nesting birds.’
  • 2(in perfumery) the dominant initial element of a fragrance, which dissipates quickly.

    ‘fragrant musk with a fresh citrus top note’
    • ‘The top note will be floral - jasmine, honeysuckle, rose.’
    • ‘The perfumers preference, is for a grain based alcohol to produce the ethereal and elusive top notes of fine perfumes.’
    • ‘A delicious blend of exotic fruit and floral essences, the fresh top notes of Bergamot and mandarin are complemented by the warm and sumptuous bottom note blended from Tahiti vanilla and milky sandalwood.’
    • ‘A big bottle that delivers plenty of aromatic top notes that mask any of the wine's failings.’
    • ‘As a fragrance evaporates, you smell scents in three stages, starting with the top notes and ending with the bottom notes.’
    • ‘There are no top notes, as with an alcohol-based perfume, and you don't have to wait for the dry-down.’
    • ‘The tarragon gives a top note to the flavours that lifts this sandwich out of the ordinary.’
    • ‘Is there a conspiracy, a kind of Masonic handshake between design houses and perfume-makers, that each new fragrance has to have clean citrus top notes, floral heart notes and a base of edible, comforting warmth?’
    • ‘There are some great ozonic nuances to the male version - with undertones of olibanum, musk and benzoin - while the female variety has a fresh and fruity top note, with hints of papaya flower, aquatic melon and moss.’
    • ‘The scent is composed around the essence of sandalwood with a hint of ginger, with top notes of Calabrian bergamot, Sicilian mandarin and Tunisian neroli.’
    • ‘Some fragrances contain additional elements, which fall under the category of middle notes, while others have more top notes or base notes.’
    • ‘Although it delivers a lively, spiralling peat twist, the dominant top notes are red fruits and peppery spice.’
    • ‘Catherine Walker C also has leafy top notes, combined with jasmine, lily of the valley and black pepper.’
    • ‘After being spritzed, moisturised and made drunk, I staggered home reeking base notes of foetor and top notes of fermented grape.’
    • ‘The top notes are musky and woody, quite grown up and sensual; underneath hum softer, almost soapy, floral hints which make it ideal to wear day or night.’
    • ‘This updated version has less musk an provides more emphasis on the fruit-based top notes.’
    • ‘This Chianti reveals subtle, gamey top notes backed by rich cherry and liquorice flavours.’
    • ‘To appeal to a 15-year-old, fragrances generally need a pleasing, unsophisticated, somewhat fruity or floral top note.’