alla breve

Alla breve in piano sheet music.
Alla breve can be represented by the time signature 2/2, or by a musical symbol similar to the cent sign. Image © Brandy Kraemer

Definition of Alla Breve:

The Italian musical phrase alla breve (lit. “to the breve” - where breve refers to a half-note) is an indication to play in cut time. Alla breve has the 2/2 time signature, in which one beat = half-note. The effect of alla breve is to change the pace slightly while retaining the song's rhythmic integrity. 

Also Known As:

  • cut time; half time; "playing in 2"
  • à deux temps rapide; à la blanche (Fr)
  • Allabreve; Takt in Halben Noten (Ger)

Pronunciation:

ah'-lah  BRAY-vay
 

More Rhythm & Tempo Commands

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