Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. Music Without instrumental accompaniment.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. In alla breve time.
  • adj. alla breve.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • In church or chapel style; -- said of compositions sung in the old church style, without instrumental accompaniment.
  • A time indication, equivalent to alla breve.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In the style of church or chapel music.
  • n. In music, noting a species of time which employs four minims or half-notes in each measure.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adv. without musical accompaniment
  • adj. sung without instrumental accompaniment

Etymologies

Italian : a, in the manner of + cappella, chapel, choir.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian alla cappella ("in the manner of the [Sistine] chapel"), referring to non-instrumental choirs; from Latin a-, ad, "to", + cappella, "chapel". (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Next morning outside the hotel two ancient sisters in long overcoats, one tall, one short, stand on the pavement singing folksongs in a cappella harmony.

    Wildwood

  • The lyrics to one of my favorite songs, More Than a Paycheck, by the a cappella group Sweet Honey in the Rock, go like this: We bring more than a paycheck to our loved ones and families...

    THE STORY OF STUFF

Comments

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