[First attested in the late 19th century. The phrase came to English around the 18th century. A collection of 30 choral songs for SATB unaccompanied, both secular and sacred. A cappella (Italian for "in the manner of the church" or "in the manner of the chapel", [1] also see gospel music and choir) music is specifically solo or group singing without instrumental sound, or a piece intended to be performed in this way. "a cappella" is Italian term taken as is into English. Diversity and eclecticism are the hallmarks of this collection: the pieces range from two to eight voices; from monuments of the Renaissance to miniature canons from the Romantic period. It originally applied only to choral music but was soon used to describe any type of singing without instrumental accompaniment, 1 and that is its most commonly used sense today. Note that the entry points to the correct two-p spelling "Cappella." (for the origin of the word, see chapel); a cappella, alla cappella, ‘in the church style’, meaning that a piece of choral music is to be sung unaccompanied (or, if accompanied, the instrument—probably an organ—should simply double the voice parts). That Merriam-Webster reports it only reflects "usage," meaning that there are … A cappella definition, without instrumental accompaniment. The Scholes Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music has only "a cappella". (music) In a manner of a choir with no instrumental accompaniment; literally, "in the style of the (Sistine) Chapel (in Rome)", such as a musical Mass done a cappella. Meaning, pronunciation, picture, example sentences, grammar, usage notes, synonyms and more. Definition of a-cappella adjective in Oxford Advanced American Dictionary. We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website, including to provide targeted advertising and track usage. music that uses no instruments besides vocal ones. There are notes on each piece, and prose translations for non-English texts. In the style of music composed for a church or chapel, especially the restrained style of 16th century choral music typified by Palestrina; specifically (a) = a cappella; (b) = "alla breve". The Kennedy Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music has only "a cappella". A term referring to choral music without instrumental accompaniment. A CAPPELLA. The Lathem edition of Oxford Companion to Music (2002) has only "a cappella". adverb. Translate a cappella into Spanish. It is occassionally seen as "a capella", but no one said that all English-writers are decent spellers in either English or Italian. Definition of a cappella in English: a cappella (also alla cappella) Pronunciation /ä kəˈpelə/ /ɑ kəˈpɛlə/ /a kəˈpelə/ /æ kəˈpɛlə/ See synonyms for a cappella. 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