American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The highest singing voice of a woman or young boy.
- n. A singer having such a voice.
- n. The tonal range characteristic of a soprano.
- n. An instrument that sounds within this range.
- n. A vocal or instrumental part written within this range.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In music, the highest variety of the female voice; treble. It ranges easily from about middle C upward two octaves or more, and is characterized by a comparatively thin and incisive quality, usually combined with marked flexibility. Soprano is also the higher voice of boys, and is sometimes accidentally or artificially preserved among men. It is the most important and effective voice for all kinds of solo singing, and is that to which is assigned the chief melody in modern choral music. A voice whose compass and quality are intermediate between soprano and alto is called
- n. A singer with such a voice.
- n. A voice-part for or sung by such a voice.
- Pertaining to the soprano: as, soprano music: a soprano voice; the soprano compass.
- n. Musical part or section higher in pitch than alto and other sections.
- n. Person or instrument that performs the soprano part.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The treble; the highest vocal register; the highest kind of female or boy's voice; the upper part in harmony for mixed voices.
- n. A singer, commonly a woman, with a treble voice.
- n. the pitch range of the highest female voice
- n. the highest female voice; the voice of a boy before puberty
- adj. having or denoting a high range
- n. a female singer
- From Italian, from Latin superanus, adjective from preposition super ("la"). (Wiktionary)
- Italian, from sopra, above, from Latin suprā; see uper in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The word soprano comes from the Italian 'sopra' meaning above," explains Elin, who called the CD Soprano World.”
“The prima donna soprano is the Signora de Ricci; and the second donna is called”
“Anne Sofie von Otter's mezzo-soprano is perhaps a touch ethereal for Dido, but she didn't try and compete with the orchestra, instead confidently drawing the drama to her, with a stage presence and an unfailingly intelligent musicality that anchored the human dimension of Part II.”
“The statement quoted one of the singer-protesters, Deborah Fink, whom it identified as a soprano, describing the group's first disruption as "intricately interwoven" with the Israel Philharmonic's first piece, Webern's Passacaglia.”
“Her soprano is a shade light, but she negotiates every stylistic variation with fire and grace.”
“I recall the soprano in Ann Patchett's Bel Canto making the comment that she never allowed people to see/hear her practice.”
“Kim Jong-il, the unpredictable paranoid dear leader of a country which U.S. officials have dubbed the soprano state because of its involvement in organized crime.”
“The singing part of the audition went well, she said I had a beautiful voice and made me a second soprano, which is strange because Ive been an alto my whole life, but whatever.”
“My soprano is a young married woman and is temporarily indisposed.”
“For example, in playing a hymn-tune we describe (on the keyboard) the four separate melodies known as the soprano, alto, tenor and bass voices.”
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