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continuo

[kuh n-tin-yoo-oh]
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noun, plural con·tin·u·os. Music.
  1. a keyboard accompanying part consisting originally of a figured bass, which in modern scores is usually realized, and serving to provide or fill out the harmonic texture.

Origin of continuo

1715–25; < Italian: literally, continuous
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for continuo

Historical Examples

  • Continuo summas se tollit caetus ad undas, T. stire, moves; comp.

    Selections from Early Middle English 1130-1250: Part II: Notes

    Various

  • In some cases Bach writes an organ obbligato part in addition to the continuo, or figured bass.

    Bach</p>

    Charles Francis Abdy Williams

  • The orchestra consists of two flutes, two oboi damore, two bassoons, strings and continuo.

    Bach</p>

    Charles Francis Abdy Williams

  • It was probably intended for the open air (perhaps for a funeral) as it is the only cantata with no continuo part.

    Bach</p>

    Charles Francis Abdy Williams

  • In all Bachs church compositions in which there is an organ obbligato part, there is another organ part for the continuo.

    Bach</p>

    Charles Francis Abdy Williams


British Dictionary definitions for continuo

continuo

noun plural -os
  1. music
    1. a shortened form of basso continuoSee thorough bass
    2. (as modifier)a continuo accompaniment
  2. the thorough-bass part as played on a keyboard instrument, often supported by a cello, bassoon, etc

Word Origin

Italian, literally: continuous
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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