(used as a musical direction) obligatory or indispensable; so important that it cannot be omitted.
an obbligato part or accompaniment.
a continuing or persistent subordinate or background motif.
a subordinate part of a solo.
- Also obligato.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use obbligato in a sentence
The earlier obbligato accompaniment gave way to an obbligato style of writing which rested to a greater extent on counterpoint.The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven, Volume I (of 3) | Alexander Wheelock Thayer
There ought to be a hint as to the identity of the two players with two eyeglasses obbligato.The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven, Volume I (of 3) | Alexander Wheelock Thayer
"Oh yes, oh yes," she agreed, in a voice like a quick flute obbligato.The Copy-Cat and Other Stories | Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
This bravura air with its trumpet obbligato still remains a favourite with competent vocalists and discriminating audiences.Dr. Arne and Rule, Britannia | William Hayman Cummings
The violin obbligato in Rimsky-Korsakov's Schéhérazade, though, is real violin music.Violin Mastery | Frederick H. Martens
British Dictionary definitions for obbligato
not to be omitted in performance
an essential part in a score: with oboe obbligato
- See also ad-lib
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