Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A lively Italian dance with a skipping step at the beginning of each measure.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A lively medieval Italian dance with a leaping step.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A popular Italian dance in quick 3-4 or 6-8 time, running mostly in triplets, but with a hop step at the beginning of each measure. See tarantella.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In music: In old dances generally, a second section or part, usually danced as a round dance, the music being in triple rhythm. Saltarelli were appended to all sorts of dances, most of them being contre-dances.
  • n. A very animated Italian and Spanish dance for a single couple, characterized by numerous sudden skips or jumps.
  • n. Music for such a dance or in its rhythm, which is triple and quick, and marked by abrupt breaks and skips and the rhythmic figure .
  • n. In medieval counterpoint, when the cantus firmus is accompanied by a counterpoint in sextuplets, it was sometimes said to be in saltarello. Compare salteretto.
  • n. In harpsichord-making, same as jack, 11 .

Etymologies

Italian, from saltare, to leap, from Latin saltāre; see saltation.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Italian (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Not everything was high drama, though, and the lilting dance rhythms of the Romanza and the saltarello of the finale had a warm and, by now, rather welcome, exuberance.

    Royal String Quartet

  • A basse-dance, a tourdion, a saltarello; bransles in sets of threes, and allemandes.

    In the Garden of Iden

  • This cheered my heart so much, I danced a saltarello all the way to the bottom of the stairs and ran breathless into the great hall.

    In the Garden of Iden

  • How I wish I could see them dance the saltarello again!

    A romance of the republic

  • Though she was really tired with the exertions of the day, the sight of the new tambourine, after supper, proved too tempting; and she was soon practising the saltarello again, with an agility almost equal to that of the nimble

    A romance of the republic

  • Sometimes rapid thumps on the tambourine might be heard, indicating that the saltarello was again in rehearsal.

    A romance of the republic

  • The saltarello enchants me; in this is really the Italian wine, the Italian sun.

    Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli

  • The _saltarello_ enchants me; in this is really the Italian wine, the Italian sun.

    Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Volume II

  • These he applied with more zeal than precision, just as an American composer might indiscriminately swap a Sicilian tarantella for a Romagnan saltarello.

    NYT > Home Page

  • _saltarello_, and perhaps might have done so if we had been in less princely presences.

    The Sunny Side of Diplomatic Life, 1875-1912

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