- Performed in slow time.
- (Especially as a direction) In slow time.
“The adagio piece serves as a calming relief after the fast-paced introduction.”
“That jazz pianist takes compositions with fast tempos and performs them adagio for new effect.”
“We need a new closing song to replace the adagio number.”
Italian, mid-17th century
Why this word?
The term “adagio” comes directly from Italian, in which it is two words, “ad agio,” meaning “at ease.” While it’s most often used as an adjective or adverb, describing how a piece of music is played, “adagio” can also function as a noun, naming a slow-paced musical composition. One of the most famous musical adagios, “Adagio in G Minor,” was discovered in recent years to have been written not by assumed composer Tomaso Albinoni in the 1800s, but instead by modern composer Remo Giazotto. The slow-paced adagio music has served as the backdrop for films including “Manchester by the Sea,” “Rollerball,” and “Flashdance,” in addition to numerous TV commercials and musical remixes.
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