Sotto voce

Sotto voce

[sot-oh voh-chee; It. sawt-taw vaw-che]
Sotto voce (pronounced , sot-toh voh-che) (literally "under voice"), an Italian expression, means to speak under one's breath. In music, a dramatic lowering of the vocal or instrumental tone — not necessarily pianissimo, but with a hushed quality. An example of Sotto voce is in the Lacrymosa from Mozart's Requiem Mass in D Minor. The singers drop down their volume in order to attain the 'hushed' quality desired.

The term may also denote muttering in literary, theatrical or film scripts (related to the aside).

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