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1. (to be performed) in a singing style, i.e. flowingly and melodiously
2. a piece or passage performed in this way
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a songful or lyrical quality of a melody or a musical performance. Since the mid-18th century the direction“cantabile” is often placed at the beginning of a piece of music with the indication of tempo to specify the character of the music (andante cantabile in Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet, Opus 11).Occasionally the term is used alone as a title (Cui’s Cantabile for Cello and Piano).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.