adjective Music.

sung or played as though speaking or reciting (a musical direction).

Origin of parlando

1875–80; < Italian, present participle of parlare to speak; see parle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for parlando

Historical Examples of parlando

  • His words are parlando, but the orchestra illumines them with music clear as a calcium light.

    Stars of the Opera

    Mabel Wagnalls

  • He tried to imitate ordinary conversational speech with music half sung and half spoken—what came to be called "parlando."

    How Music Developed

    W. J. Henderson

  • Instead of broad, flowing, but intelligible themes, a mongrel breed of recitative and parlando was to take their place.

    Old Fogy

    James Huneker

  • Tonio comes forward and announces in parlando voice that "the comedy is finished!"

    Stars of the Opera

    Mabel Wagnalls

  • Parlando—well accented or enunciated; applied to melody playing.

British Dictionary definitions for parlando


adjective, adverb

music to be performed as though speaking

Word Origin for parlando

Italian: speaking, from parlare to speak
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