obbligato

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obbligato

(ŏbləgä`tō) [Ital.,=obligatory], in music, originally a term by which a composer indicated that a certain part was indispensable to the music. Obbligato was thus the direct opposite to ad libitum [Lat.,=at will], which indicated that the part so marked was unessential and might be omitted. Misunderstanding of the term obbligato, however, resulted in a reversal of its meaning; when a violin part, for example, is added to a song it is called a violin obbligato, whereas it may be a superfluous ornament for which ad libitum would be a more precise direction.

Obbligato

 

an instrumental part in a musical work that must not be omitted; it is obligatory that it be performed. Obbligato parts can be of varying importance—ranging from those that are significant but still form part of the accompaniment to parts that share equal significance with the featured solo part. In 17th- and 18th-century operas, oratorios, and cantatas (for example, in Bach’s Mass in B Minor) one often encounters arias, and sometimes even duets, with the participation of an obbligato instrument (or several instruments) and the orchestra. The opposite of obbligato is ad libitum (“at will”).

obbligato

, obligato Music
1. not to be omitted in performance
2. an essential part in a score
References in periodicals archive ?
INFINITO SENZA PREPOSIZIONE: "sijno obbligati soddisfare a detta obbligatione"; "che sij tenuto far restaurare le Case, migliorare .
Tenor Anthony Rolfe Johnson sang with a creditable intensity of tone and delivery, instrumental obbligati were brilliantly rendered, the exposed strings were fearless; but this strait-jacketed account never took off.
Its mythological story need not concern us, but its music is delightful, with a typical 'Signor Crescendo' overture, lively choral writing, and delicious woodwind obbligati to accompany the soloists.
Instrumental obbligati are persuasively rendered (one example being the smiling oboe in Laudamus te, complementing the bright-toned, exuberant soprano.
the structurally and emotionally important chorales built a fine cumulative effect, and the many instrumental obbligati became virtual vocal partners to a fine array of soloists too uniformly excellent for individual mention.
This was certainly the case in Saturday's demanding all-Mozart programme from the Birmingham Choral Union, with a compact and spirited orchestra boasting in particular some delicious woodwind obbligati and athletic horns to grace the mighty torso which is the incomplete but magnificent Mass in C minor.
Lorin Maazel's Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra collaborated with subtle refinement, with particularly mellow obbligati from clarinet and bassoon.