Ob"li*ga"to (?), a. [It.]

See Obbligato.

 

© Webster 1913.

(Obbligato isn't noded.)

It means obligatory part--usually accompanying a solo--that must not be left out. The principal melody and usually played by a single instrument or a song with a persistent background sound.

It comes from the Italian word 'obbligare' (eaning to oblige) which in turn comes from the Latin 'obligare'.

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