from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An elaborate melody, particularly in vocal music and especially in operatic singing of the 18th and 19th centuries, with runs, trills, leaps, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Vocal music colored, as it were, by florid ornaments, runs, or rapid passages.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A general term for runs, trills, and other florid decorations in vocal music, in which single syllables of the words are to be sung to two or more tones. Also called coloring.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • 'colorature' singer of the latest style -- Madame Spatser

    My Life — Volume 1

  • The Lehmann's voice was as yours in her youth, light at first and colorature; and it grew!

    The Black Cross

  • Already the development of colorature singing had reached a high degree of perfection.

    Some Forerunners of Italian Opera

  • Numerous singers had risen to note, and the records show that their distinction rested not only on the beauty of their voices and the elegance of their singing, but also on their ability to perform those instrumental feats which have from that time to this been dear to the colorature singer and to the operatic public.

    Some Forerunners of Italian Opera

  • The colorature or florid style, however, is only one of the varieties of Italian song.

    Chopin and Other Musical Essays

  • The other obstacle alluded to -- the love of colorature song -- is a thing that will cure itself with the advance of musical culture.

    Chopin and Other Musical Essays

  • "Aida" and "Otello," in which there is hardly a trace of colorature, while the style often approaches to that of genuine dramatic song.

    Chopin and Other Musical Essays

  • On the contrary, they can, like Vogl and Schroeder-Devrient, even aspire to guide composers and help to mark out new paths in art: which surely, ought to be more gratifying to their pride than the cheap applause which the sopranists and prima donnas of the _bel canto_ period used to receive for the meaningless colorature arias which they compelled the enslaved composers to write, or manufactured for themselves.

    Chopin and Other Musical Essays

  • It is a miracle; and after the drawn-out chord of the dominant seventh and the rain of silvery fire ceases one realizes that the whole piece is a delicious illusion, but an ululation in the key of D flat, the apotheosis of pyrotechnical colorature.

    Chopin : the Man and His Music

  • By-and-by the nimble motions of the colorature become slower, and finally glide into the original form of the melody, which, however, already after the third bar comes to a stand - still, is resumed for a short phrase, then expires, after a long - drawn chord of the dominant seventh, on the chord of the tonic, and all is rest and silence.

    Frederic Chopin as a Man and Musician


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