I'm looking for the term (jargon) that used in music or orchestra and says where the singer stops singing and lets the orchestra playing instrumentally. What's it called?

2 Answers 2


You can use tutti (Italian for “all”) to describe the sections where the ensemble plays without the soloist, the complement being, unsurprisingly, solo (Italian for “alone”) to describe the sections where the soloist performs alone or with accompaniment. Orchestral parts will have the words solo & tutti written to designate parts where the ensemble accompanies the soloist (solo) as opposed to where the band plays together with or without the soloist (tutti). You can use the term as a normal noun, e.g. At the tutti the winds continue the soloist’s line or Let’s go from the tutti after letter G.

An older term that you may also see, in music of the Baroque period, is ripieno (form the Italian for “padding”) which designates passages for the whole band rather than the smaller, accompanying or solo ensembles (the “concertino”). In the player parts you might see the instructions con rip. or con ripieno (“with the ripieno”) for the tutti passages & senza rip./senza ripieno or conc/concertino for the passages where the concertino plays alone or accompanying a soloist. That said, in music of the period composers would also use solo/tutti to convey the same meaning as senza rip/con rip. Note, however, that ripieno more properly describes the ensemble rather than the passage of music.

Another old term is ritornello, which is used in the context of Baroque opera or concerti grossi to designate a returning passage. It describes a returning, tutti section coming after a solo interlude. This is probably the specific word you're looking for, but it does describe a compositional device used in the Baroque period & isn’t much used in contexts outside of music of that period.

Besides these, i can’t recall any single musical term that describes your exact circumstance. You could call an extended orchestral section after the soloist ends an orchestral interlude.

  • 1
    Thank you Dean for the answer. But according to Wiktionary the definition of "tutti" is: "(music) All together. Indicates that the remainder of a group should join in playing after a solo or other passage with a reduced number of voices. It says that it is for all to join together, and not one stops and the other starts, that it's what I'm looking for. Dec 10, 2018 at 18:03
  • @UbiquitousStudent, i'm not sure that the Wiktionary definition accurately reflects the usage of the word tutti amongst musicians. Wiktionary is far from my favourite source for definitions. I've expanded on my answer, which should clarify the usage of tutti & solo as well as added a couple of other options to describe the tutti passage after a solo. Dec 10, 2018 at 21:35
  • Thank you very much! By the way, if it will be group of singers (not soloist) opposed to a group of instruments. What's call the passage from the group of people to the group of instruments? Dec 11, 2018 at 11:23
  • @UbiquitousStudent, neither of those instances have a jargon word that I can think of. I would talk about “the entry or the chorus after the solo” in the first; as for the second you would use language around differentiating between the ensemble of voices & ensemble of instruments (e.g. “an orchestral tutti after an a cappella chorus”). PS. Don’t forget to accept that answer if you believe it answers your question. Dec 15, 2018 at 3:22

In pop/rock? Just 'instrumental' will do nicely. 'Tutti' isn't used in this context.

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    I wouldn't call a rock group an "orchestra" , ELO notwithstanding. Dec 10, 2018 at 13:38

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