5

I was trying to look up the definition of tessitura, and it seems as though it refers to the range within which most notes fall in a piece. I thought this was what range was though? or are they the same thing?

  • 1
    Tessitura carries a connotation of where the notes are clustered. A lowish tenor might technically have all the range for most tenor arias, but he couldn't necessarily sing them all, as some lie too high on average and they would tire him out. – user207421 Jun 11 '16 at 13:24
-3

Yes, "tessitura" is a posh term meaning "range".

As always, niceties can be discovered. An individual singer has an overall range, outside which he CAN'T sing. But he will generally be able to sing a particular song in several keys, without exceeding those limits. We might say he can use a higher or lower "tessitura" within his "range".

  • 1
    This has attracted downvotes, as it's inaccurate - even wrong! And spelled wrongly too. Yet the OP was happy with the answer given. – Tim Jul 29 '18 at 9:11
9

The difference between tessitura and range is distinct. The range is the lowest to highest note, either of the piece, or the pitch at which one can comfortably sing, or play on the instrument in question.. Tessitura is the general position, most used register, or lie, of the vocal lines.If a piece has a lot of high parts, that may well tax a singer's vocals, the high tessitura is what's mentioned when talking about it. It will also influence which clef is used for certain instruments. Thus a piece can have a high or low tessitura. Seems to have more bearing on the pitch limits of a piece than those of the vocalist.

  • 1
    Mathematically speaking: "Range" is an interval;"tessitura" is a distribution. – Kilian Foth Jun 12 '16 at 6:38
  • @KilianFoth - the word, Italian, is associated with weaving, but I'm not sure how it fits with how we use it! I can see how 'distribution' works. A bit like 'mean/average/median'? – Tim Jun 12 '16 at 7:10
  • Yes, a distribution models things like "The grades go from A to F, with a large peak at C" (normal distribution) or "There are a lot of very rich and a lot of very poor citizens, with a smaller middle class" (binomial distribution). This expresses more information than just an average value. – Kilian Foth Jun 12 '16 at 13:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.