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continuo

[kuh n-tin-yoo-oh]
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.
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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

    Charles Francis Abdy Williams

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

    Bach

    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

    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

    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
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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