alla breve

[ah-luh brev-ey; Italian ahl-lah bre-ve]

adverb, adjective Music.

using the half note as the basic time unit; 2/2 time. Symbol:

Nearby words

  1. all-terrain vehicle,
  2. all-time,
  3. all-weather,
  4. all-wheel drive,
  5. all-year,
  6. alla marcia,
  7. alla prima,
  8. alla vostra salute,
  9. allachesthesia,
  10. allah

Compare common time.

Origin of alla breve

1800–10; < Italian: in short time, accelerated. See brief

Also called cut time. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for alla breve

alla breve


a musical time signature indicating two or four minims to a bar

adjective, adverb

twice as fast as normal
Usual symbol: Symbol:

Word Origin for alla breve

C19: Italian, literally: (according) to the breve

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