a cappella

IPA: ʌkɑpɛɫʌ


  • (music) A vocal performance with no instrumental accompaniment.


  • (music) Singing solely or mainly without instrumental accompaniment.
  • (music, US) Related to a form of purely vocal music mostly associated with American college performance groups.
  • (obsolete, music) alla breve.


  • (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.
  • (obsolete, music) In alla breve time.

Examples of "a-cappella" in Sentences

  • The wiser collaborators move toward Ladysmith Black Mambazo's turf of a-cappella vocals and South African rhythms.
  • His six-city American GAY Pride Tour will climax with his a-cappella rendition of the National Anthem in Indianapolis, IN on June 12.
  • You may recall this "charming" a-cappella group from my previous post on their protective incantation over the Toyota Sienna minivan at the Detroit Auto Show.
  • It took a child to ask what the Roy Thomson Hall audience had been wondering ever since Bobby McFerrin took the stage 90 minutes earlier for an a-cappella solo show.
  • Sam­ple: [“Vision of Love”] begins with sev­eral bars of lovely, word­less melisma, as if Carey were warm­ing up, and it ends with two very loud pas­sages of melisma, one of them an a-cappella expan­sion on theword
  • At another point, in a scene on the streets, the crowd noise slowly fades away to silence, to be replaced by a sad folksy song, sung a-cappella, about the emptiness of a working class life and its minimal pleasures.
  • In "Rain Rain Beautiful Rain," written by Mr. Shabalala, Natalie Merchant joins the a-cappella blend like an honored guest, and Taj Mahal's bluesy rasp and guitar twang mesh well with "Mbube" the South African song that became the Weavers' "Wimoweh".
  • "Bright morning star" is a purely a-cappella multi part harmony number which exploits the band's vocal talents to the full while the Peter Knight composed title track is a beautiful violin led instrumental which also features some fine classical guitar.

Related Links

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