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)



ah'-lah  BRAY-vay

More Rhythm & Tempo Commands


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Beginner Piano Lessons

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Getting Started on Keyboards
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 ▪  Playing Piano vs. Electric Keyboard
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Helpful Info For Owning a Piano

Learn How to Safely Whiten Your Piano Keys
Learn ivory-safe methods for brightening up your acoustic piano keys, and find out what you can do to prevent keyboard yellowing.

Know When to Tune a Piano
Find out when (and how frequently) you should be scheduling a professional piano tuning to keep your piano healthy, on-pitch, and lengthen its playing life.

Ideal Piano Temp & Humidity Levels
Learn how to maintain sound quality and piano health by monitoring the temperature, humidity, and natural light in your piano room.