scher·​zo | \ ˈskert-(ˌ)sō How to pronounce scherzo (audio) \
plural scherzos or scherzi\ ˈskert-​(ˌ)sē How to pronounce scherzo (audio) \

Definition of scherzo

: a sprightly humorous instrumental musical composition or movement commonly in quick triple time

Examples of scherzo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Only in the tricky scherzo did orchestral coordination slip slightly and briefly. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Engaging Bernstein, earthbound Mozart from Fort Worth Symphony and guest conductor Brett Mitchell," 31 Oct. 2020 Tempos one notch faster than Trevino’s would have given the opening more urgency, and the lush trios of the scherzo more coherence. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Fort Worth Symphony delivers expert and expressive performance for conductor Robert Trevino," 29 Feb. 2020 There was no doubting the scherzo’s rhythmic buoyancy, Masur and friends conjuring its high spirits with vigor and clarity. Howard Reich,, "Review: Ken-David Masur starts a promising new chapter with Civic Orchestra," 22 Oct. 2019 The Allegro appassionato scherzo is an intense wintry waltz, the Andante a reflection and a meditation, the Allegretto grazioso a light-hearted finale with a tinge of melancholy., "For Boston Philharmonic, a satisfying start to the 2019-20 season - The Boston Globe," 19 Oct. 2019 His warm shaping of phrases, his hesitations and hushes before particularly poignant chords, his playful jabbings, just so, in the scherzo — music-making doesn’t get any more entrancing or heartwarming than this. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Dallas Symphony musicians reverse perspectives in a chamber music concert," 19 Feb. 2020 Muti brought a spirit of whimsy and considerable rhythmic buoyancy to the second movement scherzo, the orchestra’s seemingly nonchalant virtuosity evident in the brass’s power and precision and the ensemble’s grandeur en masse. Howard Reich,, "CSO review: Riccardo Muti opens his 10th season with vivid Shostakovich," 20 Sep. 2019 From the emphatic opener to the scherzo’s heroic chords, the pianist’s versatility and inventiveness were evident. Washington Post, "Zoltan Fejervari shows off his technique with a program of gems," 18 Nov. 2019 To a young listener, the belligerent scherzo or the supremely peppy and vigorous final movement may have the most appeal. Daniel Gelernter, National Review, "The Irresistible Beauty of Schubert," 2 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scherzo.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of scherzo

1830, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for scherzo

Italian, literally, joke, from scherzare

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Time Traveler for scherzo

Time Traveler

The first known use of scherzo was in 1830

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Cite this Entry

“Scherzo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of scherzo

formal : a lively, humorous piece of music that is played quickly

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