Definition of parlando in English:

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Pronunciation: /pɑːˈlandəʊ/

adverb& adjective

(With reference to singing) expressive or declamatory in the manner of speech.
Example sentences
  • The nocturnes in particular respond to Italian bel canto, in their widely spanning melodic arcs, their fioriture, and their stylization of such vocal embellishments as portamento and parlando repetitions of a single note.
  • This scheme is similar to the structure of the Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies in that the first section is generally slow, rhapsodic and lyrical, often in a parlando style, while the second section is fast and technically brilliant.
  • The main tendency of Professor Miller's guidance is probably very sound - the insistence, for example, on legato, giving notes their full singing-value and not resorting, except in some very special cases, to a parlando style.


[mass noun]
Composition or performance in a parlando manner: the high-lying parlando of Siegfried’s narration
More example sentences
  • Glass' score trades in many of his familiar musical fingerprints - pulsing ostinatos, repeating rhythms, short vocal lines based on simple melodic ideas treated in parlando, or conversational, style.
  • Do we have to emphasize that this highly complex mode of recitation with accompaniment has nothing to do with the rhythmical parlando practiced by vaudeville singers in the 19th century?
  • But if you are not careful, the music never really gets a chance to speak; vocal lines which are a constant parlando with orchestral accompaniment produce something more akin to a play with incidental music.


Italian, literally 'speaking'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: parl|ando

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