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Solo (music): Wikis


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In music, a solo (from the Italian: solo, meaning alone, even though assolo is now used in Italy when referring to the musical solo) is a piece or a section of a piece played or sung by a single performer. In practice this means a number of different things, depending on the type of music and the context.

The word is also used for the act of performing a solo, and sometimes for the performer (more often a soloist).

The plural is soli or the anglicised form solos. In some context these are interchangeable, but 'soli' tends to be restricted to classical music, and tends to refer to either the solo performers or the solo passages in a single piece: it would not often be used to refer to several pieces that happen to be for single performers.


Classical music

Solo pieces

A piece written for a single performer is referred to as a solo, often qualified by instrument, as piano solo or flute solo. These are common for polyphonic instruments such as the piano, organ, harpsichord or harp. Monophonic instruments such as flutes or violins are more often accompanied by piano or other instruments, but there are still plenty of solo works for such instruments, such as the violin partitas and the cello suites of J S Bach.

Solo is not usually part of title of a piece, except sometimes in a phrase such as '... for piano solo'.


A Concerto is a piece written for generally one but occasionally more instrumental musicians and is intended to be performed accompanied by an orchestra

Vocal and Choral music

All the types of solo mentioned above in instrumental music have their parallels in vocal and choral music. There are pieces for solo singers, possibly accompanied; there are pieces for soloist and chorus (like concertos, but that word is not usually used); and there are solo passages in choral works.


In many Jazz performances, each number will alternate ensemble sections with solo sections where one performer is playing either completely alone, or with unobtrusive accompaniment from the others. Common examples are the rhythm section of jazz bands, and quiet background music by other wind instruments. Such solos are most often improvised.

Popular music

In popular music a solo refers to a "crowd-pleasing" improvised melody[1] played by a single or featured performer and may also refer to a drum solo. Use of the term "solo" appears to follow from jazz and, though they are often pre-composed or originally improvised, the expectation that solos be improvised continues, especially in certain genres.

See also


  1. ^ Miller, Michael (2004). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Solos & Improv. ISBN 1592572103.

Music Rocks!

Simple English

playing a solo on his bandura]]

In music, a solo is a song or a section of a song that is performed by one person. This could be a performance with one musical instrument (for example, a piano solo or flute solo). A solo can also be a song that is sung by a single performer.


Similar to a solo in music, a dance solo is when a dancer performs a dance alone. This is different from a two people dancing together or a group of people dancing together in a synchronized way.

A person who performs a solo song or dance is called a soloist.

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