tes·​si·​tu·​ra ˌte-sə-ˈtu̇r-ə How to pronounce tessitura (audio)
: the general range of a melody or voice part
specifically : the part of the register in which most of the tones of a melody or voice part lie

Examples of tessitura in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As a performer, Allison has a strong stylistic command of her vibrato, demonstrates good pitch and bow control across her full tessitura, and can perform with great musicality. Heide Janssen, Orange County Register, 17 Mar. 2024 Mozart pleased his singers by giving them glittering music that showcased their virtuosity and highlighted their tessituras. Christian Hertzog, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 July 2023 Does faster music tend to have a wider tessitura? Mark Changizi, Discover Magazine, 15 Mar. 2012 That is, does music with a faster tempo—more beats, or footsteps, per second—tend to have a wider tessitura? Mark Changizi, Discover Magazine, 15 Mar. 2012 The fast-ascendant baritone Jarrett Ott, as Seward, mastered a demanding tessitura and vividly conveyed the character’s arrogance and agony. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 9 Aug. 2021 Kathleen Kim’s soprano sparkled in Josephine’s high tessitura; bass-baritone Wayne Tigges was appropriately brutal as Sgt. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, 12 June 2018 Maxim Mironov proves capable of handling the high tenor tessitura while suavely sashaying with his scarf. Mark Swed, latimes.com, 13 Mar. 2018 In the premiere of this work, Cycles of My Being by composer Tyshawn Sorey and poet Terrance Hayes, Brownlee repurposed his remarkably solid middle-high tessitura to angst-ridden ends. Peter Dobrin, Philly.com, 21 Feb. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tessitura.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Italian, literally, texture, from Latin textura

First Known Use

1875, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tessitura was in 1875

Dictionary Entries Near tessitura

Cite this Entry

“Tessitura.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tessitura. Accessed 18 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on tessitura

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!