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The prevailing range of a vocal or instrumental part, within which most of the tones lie.

[Italian, from Latin textūra, web, structure; see texture.]
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.


1. (Classical Music) the general pitch level of a piece of vocal music: an uncomfortably high tessitura.
2. (Classical Music) the compass or range of a voice
[Italian: texture, from Latin textura; see texture]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌtɛs ɪˈtʊər ə)

n., pl. -tu•ras, -tu•re (-ˈtʊər eɪ)
the general pitch level or average range of a vocal or instrumental part in a musical composition.
[1890–95; < Italian: literally, texture < Latin textūra; see texture]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The piece does not ascend about g", but many of the different tessituras in this piece are prepared by leap, requiring developed flexibility from the player.
In any case, with various arias or aria sections for a single singer, if we add up the respective tessituras, we will find an interval of notes that does not depend on the particularities of a given piece and must be very close to the singer's real tessitura.
In place of the temperature-chart lines that many a singer has had to cope with from British hard-liners, here are melodic phrases in appropriate tessituras, strongly supported rather than overwhelmed by the orchestra.
For example, in the case of down-tuned guitars (i.e., the tuning of the whole guitar downward a second or third), Cope claims that Black Sabbath's consistent use of lower tessituras makes their music "heavy metal" (and thus an influence on later artists) whereas the broad absence of down-tuning in Led Zeppelin is evidence of that group's status in hard rock.
A set of informative appendices that are concerned with vocal health, vocal function exercises, a "choral tessituras" statement from the American Academy of Teachers of Singing, and other useful aids, conclude the book.
This is particularly problematic in Carver editions, given this composer's partiality to lush textures and wide (sometimes extremely wide) vocal tessituras. Carver's style is also prolix and rhythmically dense, raising problems not only of editorial presentation but also of performability; these two questions are intrinsically related.
Vecchi's rhythmically vivacious settings are edited with meticulous care and among them are exceptionally attractive pieces with high tessituras that will appeal to both amateur and professional performers.
Every part has interesting things to do and say, balanced with adequate rest, and the tessituras in the high voices are notably humane without sacrificing any of the musical integrity and appeal of the composition.
The tessituras of the high voices rest mostly in the middle of the treble staff.
If difficult texts are written in high tessituras, singers may be forced to choose between making the text intelligible and singing freely and beautifully.
While this setting is reminiscent of the Alec Wilder Nonet, the tessituras of the descant parts are not quite as high in Broughton's work--the implication here is one of color, not of range--and the use of tuba, like in Wilder's work, is especially effective in creating a full ensemble sound.
The relentless upper tessituras in which the majority of these works reside, pose tremendous challenges.