[ tes-i-toor-uh; Italian tes-see-too-rah ]

noun,plural tes·si·tu·ras, tes·si·tu·re [tes-i-toor-ey; Italian tes-see-too-re]. /ˌtɛs ɪˈtʊər eɪ; Italian ˌtɛs siˈtu rɛ/.
  1. the general pitch level or average range of a vocal or instrumental part in a musical composition: an uncomfortably high tessitura.

Origin of tessitura

1890–95; <Italian: literally, texture <Latin textūra;see texture

Words Nearby tessitura

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use tessitura in a sentence

  • This octave, however, represents merely the compass (ambitus or tessitura) of the melody: it has nothing to do with its tonality.

    The Modes of Ancient Greek Music | David Binning Monro
  • The tessitura of Butterfly is very high, and the rle is a strain for her.

    Interpreters | Carl Van Vechten
  • One should never try to change the tessitura, or natural character of the voice.

    Caruso and Tetrazzini on the Art of Singing | Enrico Caruso and Luisa Tetrazzini
  • The high tessitura of the music allotted to the Siegfried Brnnhilde is a strain for most singers.

    Interpreters | Carl Van Vechten

British Dictionary definitions for tessitura


/ (ˌtɛsɪˈtʊərə) /

  1. the general pitch level of a piece of vocal music: an uncomfortably high tessitura

  2. the compass or range of a voice

Origin of tessitura

Italian: texture, from Latin textura; see texture

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