- David Fallows
A preposition found particularly in 16th- and 17th-century editions of polyphonic music where works are described as being a due (a 2), a tre (a 3), a dieci (a 10), etc., meaning in two, three or ten voices respectively. Many prints had it with an accent (à 2, etc.), but in modern Italian à is a variant form of ha (‘he has’) so is perhaps better avoided in this context wherever possible. It is the current French form, however, and is found particularly in French orchestral scores, à 2 (à deux) meaning the same as the Italian A due. As one of the commonest words in the Italian language, a occurs in many compound tempo and expression marks and has different meanings that may be found in any Italian dictionary. It appears before a vowel as ad and contracts with the definite article as ...