tessitura

[ tes-i-too r-uh; Italian tes-see-too-rah ]
/ ˌtɛs ɪˈtʊər ə; Italian ˌtɛs siˈtu rɑ /
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noun, plural tes·si·tu·ras, tes·si·tu·re [tes-i-too r-ey; Italian tes-see-too-re] /ˌtɛs ɪˈtʊər eɪ; Italian ˌtɛs siˈtu rɛ/.

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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tessitura

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

  • The tessitura of Butterfly is very high, and the rle is a strain for her.

    Interpreters|Carl Van Vechten

British Dictionary definitions for tessitura

tessitura

/ (ˌtɛsɪˈtʊərə) /

noun music

the general pitch level of a piece of vocal musican uncomfortably high tessitura
the compass or range of a voice

Word Origin for 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