Definition and background:
A Medieval term that refers to the range of pitches used in a melodic line or voice of a composition. A ambitus is considered narrow if it is a sixth or less, normal if it is about an octave, and wide if it is an eleventh or more. The pitch range of a mode or plainchant. The pitch range of any musical instrument. Also [Fr.] ambitus; [Ger.] ambitus; [It.] ambitus; [Sp.] ambitus the range of pitches used in a piece or a melodic line; narrow ambitus is typically a sixth or less, normal ambitus an octave or so, and wide ambitus would be an eleventh or more. the range of melodies of Gregorian chant
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary