Top Definition
In music, this refers to the best-sounding and most comfortable range for a singer (or an instrument), to the color and quality of the voice.
A singer's tessitura depends on where their voice sounds the strongest (and most comfortable);

Sopranos and tenors sound the strongest and most at ease in their high notes but weaker in their low notes;
Mezzo-sopranos and baritones sound weaker and less comfortable in their high notes but strongest and most comfortable in mid-range and strong in their low notes;

Contraltos and basses sound the strongest and most comfortable in their low notes and weaker in their high notes.
Tessitura is a good determiner of voice type; range alone does not tell where a voice sounds its best and vocal color on its own does not determine either of those.

Sopranos and tenors generally sound bright, contraltos and basses generally sound dark, and mezzo-sopranos and baritones are of medium color. But a singer can sound as bright and sunny as a soprano and have a contralto tessitura or another can sound like a baritone yet have the tessitura of a tenor.
Sarah Brightman has a bright, lightweight voice and the tessitura of a soprano.
Allison Crowe has a heavy, rather dark voice and the tessitura of a soprano.
Idina Menzel's voice is lightweight, has a bright color and the tessitura of a mezzo-soprano.
Annie Lennox has a dark, heavy voice and a contralto tessitura.
by Lorelili July 04, 2011

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Your favorite word on a white mug.

Create a mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

One side has the word, one side has the definition. Microwave and dishwasher safe. Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary T-Shirt

Soft and offensive. Just like you.

Buy the t-shirt

The Urban Dictionary T-Shirt

Smooth, soft, slim fit American Apparel shirt. Custom printed. 100% fine jersey cotton, except for heather grey (90% cotton).

Buy the t-shirt