Ripieno (Italian pronunciation: [riˈpjɛːno], Italian for stuffing or padding) refers to the bulk of instrumental parts of a musical ensemble who do not play as soloists, especially in Baroque music. These are the players who would play in sections marked tutti, as opposed to soloist sections. It is most commonly used in reference to instrumental music, although it can also be used in choral music. An individual member of the ripieno is called a ripienista.

In the concerto grosso, the term is used to designate the larger of the two ensembles, and opposed to the concertino which are the soloists.[1]

In a ripieno concerto, there is no dominant soloist, and thus resembles an early symphony. It can also refer to the main body of orchestra in early orchestral music, although this use is today often disregarded.

In band music, the term (or its variant spellings repiano and ripiano) is used similarly to designate the players not at the leading desk, especially the clarinet and cornet players in military bands.[2]

Senza ripieni is an instruction to play without the ripienistas; this instruction is frequently found in works by George Frederick Handel.[3]

The term is also used to designate the organ stop with a full chorus.


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