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n. pl. os·ti·na·tos
A short melody or pattern that is constantly repeated, usually in the same part at the same pitch.

[Italian, from Latin obstinātus, stubborn, past participle of obstināre, to persist; see obstinate.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Classical Music)
a. a continuously reiterated musical phrase
b. (as modifier): an ostinato passage.
[Italian: from Latin obstinātus obstinate]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌɒs tɪˈnɑ toʊ)

n., pl. -tos.
a musical pattern, as a melodic figure, repeated continuously throughout a composition.
[1875–80; < Italian: literally, obstinate < Latin obstinātus obstinate]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ostinato - a musical phrase repeated over and over during a composition
ground bass - a short melody in the bass that is constantly repeated
musical phrase, phrase - a short musical passage
riff - a jazz ostinato; usually provides a background for a solo improvisation
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The letter "M" serves as a good example, where one finds M1, major scale, MIDI, Minimoog, minor scales, Mixolydian mode, and modal scales; the list for "O" includes octaves, Omnisphere, open triads and ostinato. In general, one to three pages are devoted to each topic, including notated musical excerpts with surprisingly thorough explanations along with audio tracks.
Acoustic double bass, sometimes bowed and reeds added essential textures to their sound while vibraphone gave it that John Carpenter-esque ostinato.
Entre os livros desenvolvidos, Armando Alves destaca o livro Ostinato Rigore, edicao Editorial Inova Limitada, de 1971, com poemas de Eugenio de Andrade, que, para alem do design, inclui um desenho da sua autoria.
Jenni Brandon's Dawn is a beautiful single movement work that starts out with a pointillistic piano ostinato underneath wildly expressive horn phrases requiring the performer to flutter tongue, play stopped, and bend pitches, among other extended techniques.
The music by Charalambous meets almost all fields of both classical and modern harmony by using ostinato notes in most melodic lines to emphasise the verse and to create enough stress to bring about the phenomenon of the creation.
The five corporations are Almada Brazilian Spices; Nutrire; FIB Halal (Brazilian Federation for Halal Certification); Primo Logistics; and Ostinato - all of which, along with more than 100 Brazilian firms, have successfully taken their products and services to the global centre stage via the Gulfood platform.
World class musicians Kees Wieringa and Sonja Park will perform the Dutch musical masterpiece 'Canto Ostinato' on two grand pianos.
2 comprises four movements: Jig, Ostinato, Intermezzo and Finale - the last movement uses two English folk tunes in combination, "The Dargason" and "Greensleeves".
Setting Shakespeare is never a straightforward undertaking for a composer, but the OOTS Chamber Choir sang with clarity and conviction, with Curtis and his orchestra bringing out Tabakova's lush textures and instrumental flights of fantasy - a splash of vibraphone here, a harp ostinato there, and in the latter stages just a hint of the icy epilogue to Vaughan Williams's Sixth Symphony.
From the first military-style drum ostinato to the last angelic sounds of Better in Peace, the gigantic musical forces took us on an emotional rollercoaster through the horrors of war to the hope for peace, all enhanced with very effective laser and lighting effects.
images and speech, is underscored by an insistent ostinato like all our hearts beating as one.