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Related to ostinatos: Basso ostinato, Ostinati


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.]


(Classical Music)
a. a continuously reiterated musical phrase
b. (as modifier): an ostinato passage.
[Italian: from Latin obstinātus obstinate]


(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]
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
References in periodicals archive ?
Shrock gives a compositional overview of each work as well as important compositional characteristics including imitation, ostinatos, accents and metric changes.
Glass maintains a minimalist aesthetic throughout much of the work, and his delicately layered ostinatos, undulating rhythms, and long lyrical lines thoughtfully complement Disney's nostalgic ruminations and creeping paranoia.
Simplistic ostinatos, simple motifs, layered with low register instruments, played at their lowest notes, then electronically pull the sound down even lower.
After this passage, the horns play ostinatos and seem to travel in and out of the dense texture, serving as part of an overall aural effect.
units as though extracted from the musical process--figurations and ostinatos whose rational provenience is beyond any doubt".
Janacek's 1926 expressionist masterpiece offers inexhaustible possibilities, starting with the overture with its thematic and sonorous density, obsessional ostinatos and relentless tonal meanderings.
Dramatizar una Cumbiamba: el docente puede interpretar al piano, los alumnos/as cantan y acompanan ritmicamente con instrumentos de percusion corporal tomando como referencia los ostinatos ritmicos improvisados previamente durante las audiciones.
It doesn't take more than passing familiarity with Russian music to realize that the piece - full of high-pitched, playful woodwind figurations and fleet string ostinatos - sounds like the work of Sergei Prokofiev, the composer's great rival.
Cascades of arpeggios and rhythmic ostinatos are dominant characteristics in a post-modern mix of classical and rock/pop traditions.
Mawer does well to mention the lost manuscript Deux poimes tupis, inspired by Indians from Brazil and Paraguay, for four women's voices and handclap, as an example of the use of rhythmic ostinatos.
In the music room, students work in teams to compose their own ostinatos and then perform their original music for other groups.
It's grown more supple and encompassing, incorporating bluesy vamps and jazzy voicings and minimalist ostinatos and even the occasional full-throated Romantic melody.