Definition of tremolo in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtrɛm(ə)ləʊ/

noun (plural tremolos)

1A wavering effect in a musical tone, produced either by rapid reiteration of a note, by rapid repeated slight variation in the pitch of a note, or by sounding two notes of slightly different pitches to produce prominent overtones. Compare with vibrato.
Example sentences
  • In the second section the flute ignites sparks of tone through rapid tonguing, tremolos, staccatos and trills as the tape sounds ebb and flow, gradually evolving from one harmony to the next.
  • But he also interprets the shaking in musical terms using tremolos and trills, which can themselves be described as shakes.
  • It's a virtuoso performance full of muted notes, plucked resonance, bristling clusters, elliptical melodies, rolled chords and tremolos.
1.1A mechanism in an organ producing a tremolo effect.
1.2 (also tremolo arm) A lever on an electric guitar, used to produce a tremolo effect.
Example sentences
  • But then again I never use a tremolo arm anyway, although this might be because the standard tremolos such as the one on my Strat just send the guitar so out of tune that I can't be bothered with it.
  • It also had a tremolo arm, which kept working its way loose, so I'd wrench it round another time, so that it would sit nicely in place.


Mid 18th century: from Italian.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: trem|olo

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