Definitions for a cappellaˌɑ kəˈpɛl ə
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word a cappella
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
a cap•pel•laˌɑ kəˈpɛl ə(adv.; adj.)
without instrumental accompaniment.
Origin of a cappella:
1875–80; < It: in the manner of a chapel (choir)
Performed by a soloist or choir with no instrumental accompaniment; literally "in the style of the (Sistine) Chapel (in Rome)"; such as a musical Mass done a cappella.
A time indication, equivalent to alla breve.
Performed vocally without instrumental accompaniment.
sung without instrumental accompaniment
(of a choir) singing solely or mainly without instrumental accompaniment.
Origin: * First attested in 1876.
in church or chapel style; -- said of compositions sung in the old church style, without instrumental accompaniment; as, a mass a capella, i. e., a mass purely vocal
a time indication, equivalent to alla breve
A cappella music is specifically solo or group singing without instrumental sound, or a piece intended to be performed in this way. It contrasts with cantata, which is accompanied singing. A cappella was originally intended to differentiate between Renaissance polyphony and Baroque concertato style. In the 19th century a renewed interest in Renaissance polyphony coupled with an ignorance of the fact that vocal parts were often doubled by instrumentalists led to the term coming to mean unaccompanied vocal music. Today, a cappella also includes sample/loop "vocal only" productions by various contemporary music producers.
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