Definitions for sotto voceˈsɒt oʊ ˈvoʊ tʃi; It. ˈsɔt tɔ ˈvɔ tʃɛ
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word sotto voce
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
sot•to vo•ceˈsɒt oʊ ˈvoʊ tʃi; It. ˈsɔt tɔ ˈvɔ tʃɛ(adv.)
in a low, soft voice so as not to be overheard.
Category: Foreign Term
Origin of sotto voce:
1730–40; < It: lit., under (the) voice
sotto voce, in a low voice(adverb)
in an undertone
"he uttered a curse sotto voce"
A direction in a score that a passage in a piece should be played softly (or sung 'under the voice', when applied to vocal music).
(spoken or played) softly
In soft tones; quiet.
with a restrained voice or moderate force; in an undertone
spoken low or in an undertone
Sotto voce means intentionally lowering the volume of one's voice for emphasis. The speaker gives the impression of uttering involuntarily a truth which may surprise, shock, or offend. Galileo Galilei's utterance "Eppur si muove", spoken after recanting his heliocentric theory, is an example of sotto voce utterance. In music, sotto voce denotes a dramatic lowering of the vocal or instrumental volume — not necessarily pianissimo, but a definitely hushed quality. An example of sotto voce occurs in the Lacrimosa from Mozart's Requiem Mass in D Minor. The singers lower their volume for emphasis. In literature, drama, and rhetoric, sotto voce is used to denote emphasis attained by lowering one's voice rather than raising it, similar to the effect provided by an aside. For example, in Chapter 4 of Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë uses the term sotto voce to describe Mrs. Reed's manner of speaking after arguing with Jane: — Jane Eyre In law, "sotto voce" on a transcript indicates a conversation heard below the hearing of the court reporter.
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