"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 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.
Senza ripieni is an instruction to play without the ripienistas; this instruction is frequently found in works by George Frederick Handel.
The term is also used to designate the organ stop with a full chorus.
- The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd Ed. (2001)
- "Repiano". In L. Root, Deane. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. (subscription required)