American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A bass singer, especially an operatic bass.
- n. An instrumental part written for a bass instrument.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In music, the Italian word for bass.
- n. One who sings bass.
- n. An obsolete form of bashaw.
- n. music A bass singer, especially in opera.
- n. music An instrumental part written for a bass instrument.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The bass or lowest part.
- n. One who sings the lowest part.
- n. The double bass, or
- n. an adult male singer with the lowest voice
- n. the lowest adult male singing voice
- From Italian, from Latin bassus ("short, low"). (Wiktionary)
- Italian, from Medieval Latin bassus, low. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Mr. LISLEVAND: Well, this is all music based on what we call basso spinato (ph), obstinate (ph) basses.”
“Ludovico Grossi, called Viadana from the place of his birth, seems to have been the first to use the term basso continuo and on the authority of Prætorius and other writers was long credited with the invention of the thing itself.”
“These types of roles, and their singers, were eventually called basso buffo, and few composers were better at writing these parts than Donizetti also provided a generous number of hilarious examples.”
“Deep, rich and sonorous, it was the kind of basso profundo that ricocheted around the tile walls with stunning clarity, like the Whispering Gallery atop St. Paul's Cathedral.”
“Deep, rich and sonorous, it was the kind of basso profundo that ricocheted around the tile walls with stunning clarity, like the Whispering Gallery atop St. Paul's Cathedral." has to be the most eloquent writing on the topic I have ever read.”
“She’s done some interesting BL under the penname basso (no caps – trés avant-guarde); perhaps if these two do well someone will pick up Amato Amaro or Orso e Intellettuale.”
“pictures" would probably be called basso-relievos.”
“There is the continuous shake, handed on from instrument to instrument, the slashing figure of the upper strings, the kind of basso ostinato, conventionally indicating the galloping of horses, and the chief melody, a mere bugle-call, altered by a change of rhythm into a thing of superb strength.”
“In two or three of the apartments, were rudely-carved and clumsy figures of shields, in a kind of basso-relievo on the painted wainscoat; and over several of the chimney-pieces were arched niches, in which were crosses, old Romish bishops with their crosiers; — friars, some headless, some armless, with mutilated rosaries.”
“Outside my window it's tranquil, quiet, only the hum of tires on the highway over yonder as a kind of basso continuo, the occasional bird song I can't identify [I'm no John Clare, you know].”
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Words taken from Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.
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