tessitura

[tes-i-too r-uh; Italian tes-see-too-rah]
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/.
  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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tessitura

Historical Examples of tessitura

  • 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

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


British Dictionary definitions for tessitura

tessitura

noun music
  1. the general pitch level of a piece of vocal musican uncomfortably high tessitura
  2. 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