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bel canto

[bel kan-toh, -kahn-; Italian bel kahn-taw] /ˌbɛl ˈkæn toʊ, -ˈkɑn-; Italian bɛl ˈkɑn tɔ/
noun, Music.
a smooth, cantabile style of singing.
Origin of bel canto
1890-95; < Italian: literally, fine singing, equivalent to bel (cognate with beau) + canto (see canto) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for bel canto
Historical Examples
  • From the beginning they have insisted that the art of bel canto is lost.

  • When we put the words in the voice, in an easy, natural way, we have bel canto.

    Vocal Mastery Harriette Brower
  • I, for my part, have never cared much for the bel canto as such, because it is so often wasted on trashy compositions.

  • He loses the sustained quality of the organ tone, which is the true singing tone, and bel canto is out of the question.

  • If the singer has the patience to work the problem out in this way he can apply the principles of bel canto to dramatic singing.

  • The reason is that they have not given sufficient attention to bel canto in their early training.

  • Fear not, lover of the golden age of song, bel canto is not passing as swiftly as that.

    The Merry-Go-Round Carl Van Vechten
  • The very first principle of bel canto, an equalized scale, is a false one.

    The Merry-Go-Round Carl Van Vechten
  • There are teachers today who thoroughly understand the art of bel canto.

  • And yet, for me, a singer who has mastery of the beautiful art of bel canto, is a great joy.

    Vocal Mastery Harriette Brower
British Dictionary definitions for bel canto

bel canto

/ˈbɛl ˈkæntəʊ/
  1. a style of singing characterized by beauty of tone rather than dramatic power
  2. (as modifier): a bel canto aria
Word Origin
C19: Italian, literally: beautiful singing
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bel canto

1894, Italian, literally "fine song."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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