Definition of scordatura in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌskôrdəˈto͝orə/


The technique of altering the normal tuning of a stringed instrument to produce particular effects.
Example sentences
  • In his instrumental music, he was renowned for his use of scordatura, or alternate string tunings.
  • The strings of a four-string cello are usually tuned in fifths, but scordatura tunings were used in the baroque era, and so tuning in fifths cannot be taken for granted.
  • Some of the tracks here were intensely experimental, featuring the electric keyboard equivalent of scordatura tuning, lush quasi-orchestral Hammond organ backdrops, haunting saxophone and ethereal wordless vocals.


Late 19th century: Italian, from scordare 'be out of tune'.

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.