Definition of moderato in English:


Pronunciation /ˌmädəˈrädō/ /ˌmɑdəˈrɑdoʊ/


  • (especially as a direction after a tempo marking) at a moderate pace.

    ‘the piece should not be played too fast, beginning moderato and ending spiritoso’
    • ‘In other words, the mood that is written above the score is never quite identical to the affects it contains: Moderato Cantabile is never quite moderato cantabile.’
    • ‘The penultimate, Prelude 23, is faster than the moderato marking.’
    • ‘As this passage also suggests, however, moderato cantabile seems to be much more than what is written above the score.’
    • ‘In chapter eleven of volume six Tristram cites the indications moderato, lentamente, lenute, grave, adagio, constrepito, scicilliana, allacapella, con l'arco, and sema l' arco.’
    • ‘However I felt the orchestra lacked clarity in the moderato sections where a pulse was needed but not provided.’


  • Moderate in pace.

    • ‘the moderato finale is not all sweetness and light, the tension mounting to fortissimo outbursts’


  • A passage marked to be performed at a moderate pace.

    ‘The moderato comes with such tastefully conceived phrasing and smooth quality that there is now the kind of near-perfection that gives an idea of what these two musicians are capable of together.’
    • ‘The work falls into four movements - moderato, slow, scherzo, and allegro finale - the last three played without a break.’
    • ‘A mysterious first movement, prelude: adagio - moderato, runs much of its course over a rocking two-note pattern, building to a powerful climax.’
    • ‘In the Allegro assai moderato we have an impression of impish playfulness that is very much akin to Gade's own inventiveness.’
    • ‘The passion of the Allegretto poco moderato e comodo was never allowed to become overly sentimental.’


Italian, literally ‘moderate’.