One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In Italy: the chief musician at a chapel; a choirmaster.
Early 18th century; earliest use found in Short Explication of Foreign Words in Musick Books. From Italian maestro di cappella, lit. ‘master of the chapel’ from maestro + di of + cappella; compare kapellmeister.
maestro di cappella/ˈmʌɪstrəʊ diː kəˈpɛlə/
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