bel canto

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See also: belcanto



Borrowing from Italian: bel (preconsonantal masculine singular form of bello (beautiful) + canto (singing) = “beautiful singing”


  • IPA(key): /ˌbɛlˈkantəʊ/


bel canto (uncountable)

  1. (music) An elegant style of singing characterized by beautiful tone and an effortless technique.
    • 2012 March 22nd, David Blockley, Engineering: A Very Short Introduction (309), Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780199578696, chapter 1: “From idea to reality”, page 5:
      Bel canto, or the art of beautiful singing, in 17th- and 18th-century Italy cultivated embellishment through ornaments such as cadenzas, scales, and trills which declined as the size, power, and volume of the orchestra increased.


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