Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The prevailing range of a vocal or instrumental part, within which most of the tones lie.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In music, of a melody or a voice-part, that part of its total compass in which the greater number of its tones lie.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun music The vocal range of a singer.
  • noun music how a musical instrument sounds in different parts of its range

Etymologies

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

[Italian, from Latin textūra, web, structure; see texture.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Italian tessitura.

Examples

  • We know that by the height of G.F. Handel's career, mezzo-sopranos and contraltos were finally recognized on the public stage, and music from that time on seems to fill the gap in tessitura (the general range within which the notes of a piece lie).

    Archive 2007-01-01

  • We know that by the height of G.F. Handel's career, mezzo-sopranos and contraltos were finally recognized on the public stage, and music from that time on seems to fill the gap in tessitura (the general range within which the notes of a piece lie).

    A Mezzo-soprano Manifesto

  • I don't think a lyric tenor is the best choice or the original intent for Das Buch, though a Heldentenor with the ability to deal with the high end of the tessitura might be a little hard to find these days.

    Another Buch

  • I don't think a lyric tenor is the best choice or the original intent for Das Buch, though a Heldentenor with the ability to deal with the high end of the tessitura might be a little hard to find these days.

    Archive 2008-04-01

  • Some of the most expressive music is reserved for the cross-dressed Amastris, whose tessitura is so low that in the final ensemble it is she who takes the tenor line.

    George Heymont: Going For Baroque With Handel's Xerxes

  • Some of the most expressive music is reserved for the cross-dressed Amastris, whose tessitura is so low that in the final ensemble it is she who takes the tenor line.

    George Heymont: Going For Baroque With Handel's Xerxes

  • The role is no walk in the tenor park: it's written to be sung in the upper tessitura register.

    A Philadelphia Son Storms the Met

  • Marisol Montalvo, the soprano who took it on, is another Eschenbach favorite, and with reason: She has the musical chops to bring off this difficult piece, and the tessitura to reach the stratosphere of the high notes, where the score kept her much of the time.

    The National Symphony Orchestra audience directs its attention to Eschenbach

  • Some of the most expressive music is reserved for the cross-dressed Amastris, whose tessitura is so low that in the final ensemble it is she who takes the tenor line.

    George Heymont: Going For Baroque With Handel's Xerxes

  • Some of the most expressive music is reserved for the cross-dressed Amastris, whose tessitura is so low that in the final ensemble it is she who takes the tenor line.

    George Heymont: Going For Baroque With Handel's Xerxes

Comments

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  • The range of notes that compromises most of the vocal part of a song.

    February 2, 2008

  • Or, a whiz-bang, super-duper database, developed by the New York Metropolitan Opera House to manage ticketing, customer relations and philanthropic giving.

    September 1, 2008

  • Jack Benny's comedic tessitura
    Was marked by mastery of caesura.
    His persona was slick,
    His repartee quick
    But his silences truly bravura.

    September 16, 2014