tes·​si·​tu·​ra | \ ˌte-sə-ˈtu̇r-ə How to pronounce tessitura (audio) \

Definition of tessitura

: 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

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Kathleen Kim’s soprano sparkled in Josephine’s high tessitura; bass-baritone Wayne Tigges was appropriately brutal as Sgt. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘An American Soldier’ and ‘Regina’ Reviews: Prejudice and Power," 12 June 2018 Maxim Mironov proves capable of handling the high tenor tessitura while suavely sashaying with his scarf. Mark Swed, latimes.com, "Joffrey Ballet dazzles in L.A. Opera's 'Orpheus and Eurydice'," 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, "In world premiere, looking in the mirror with Opera Philadelphia's Lawrence Brownlee," 21 Feb. 2018 Hye Jung Lee carried off the high tessitura of Ah Sing, Paul Appleby was a buoyantly brutal Joe, Elliot Madore’s Ramón was best in his romantic duet with Josefa. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘Girls of the Golden West’ Review: Panning for Pageantry," 4 Dec. 2017 The dearth of tenors capable of doing justice to the murderously high tessitura of Orphee, a role written for high French tenor (haut-contre), helps to explain why the Paris version of Gluck’s masterpiece is seldom performed. John Von Rhein, chicagotribune.com, "Triumphant new 'Orphee' presages strong partnership of Lyric Opera, Joffrey Ballet," 24 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tessitura.' 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 tessitura

1875, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tessitura

Italian, literally, texture, from Latin textura

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The first known use of tessitura was in 1875

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