Pronunciation: vuh-BRAA-tow

What is Vibrato?

Vibrato is a musical effect characterized by a pulsating change in pitch, either done vocally or through a string or wind instrument. Vibrato is Italian for “to vibrate,” thus defining the vibrating element of the sound.

Key Takeaways

  1. Vibrato is a musical effect that can be performed vocally or with a musical instrument.
  2. Vibrato is a vibration or pulsation of sound, resulting from a change of pitch.
  3. Vibrato adds a full, warm, and expressive sound to the singing voice or musical instrument.

Understanding Vibrato

The musical effect of vibrato is defined in terms of two factors, which are: the amount of variation of the pitch, and the variation of the speed of the pitch.

The resulting sound is a full, resonant quality of tone, adding warmth and expressiveness to the voice. When it comes to the musical instrument, the vocal sound is imitated through the vibration of the instrument.

To sing in vibrato is a good sign of vocal technique.

Related Terms

Dynamics Dynamics is the term that conveys the variation in loudness between notes or phrases in musical composition. more

Tremolo Tremolo is a musical effect defined as the production of rapid modulation of volume. more

Flautando Flautando is a directive in music reserved for string instruments such a the violin, viola, and cello. more

Intonation Intonation is defined as the rise and fall of tonal pitch in a musical performance. more

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