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

  • transitive v. To read or perform (music, for example) without preparation or prior acquaintance.
  • intransitive v. To read or perform something on sight without preparation or prior acquaintance.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. perform music from a score without having seen the score before


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Through my chorus teacher, I went for the NYSSMA Evaluation Festivals where I was to perform a song and sight-read notes that were relevant to my level of singing in front of a judge that gave me a grade and comments on a long sheet of paper.

    Sarah Yu: You Don't Have to Win 'American Idol' to be a Singer!

  • "But," he said, "the more you play auditions the less you have to sight-read, because at this point I know 85% to 90% of the songs people bring me."

    Didn't Get That Role? Don't Blame the Piano Player

  • And after the applicants sing arias in the vocal style of a soloist, they are asked to sight-read the selection with a more self-effacing choral tone.

    The Master of Many Choruses

  • Then we look for basic ability to sight-read tonal music i.e., in the classical style of Bach, Brahms or traditional folk song.

    The Master of Many Choruses

  • Because of prior arrangements, or perhaps because of laziness, Mozart did not get the sheet music to Strinassachi until the day of the performance, meaning she sight-read the entire sonata.

    Author Carrie Lofty on When Regina Met Mozart

  • I mean, I'd find it fun to read through new stuff, but an awful lot of new music is too hard for me to sight-read.

    Compare and Contrast 16

  • The guy for whom it was commissioned has this amazing gift to sight-read.

    Even Bach Needed Goldberg

  • Singing with them was a unique experience — unlike Indian musicians they calculate beats, they sight-read, nothing is memorized.

    The Vocal Vamp of Bollywood

  • I did scales, I sight-read music, and talked about my goals.

    Archive 2008-08-01

  • Snowball learns to sight-read "Nether Lands" by Dan Fogelberg.

    September 2006


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