What Is a Recitative in Music?

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

Similarly, What is recitative with example?

Recitative singing is a kind of singing that resembles conversation more than song. It is used to drive the tale along in opera and oratorio. A recitative from the film “Juan,” based on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni,” created in 1789. This style of singing is in sharp contrast to aria.

Also, it is asked, What describes a recitative?

recitative is a term used to describe a piece of music that is performed 1: in operas and oratorios, a rhythmically free vocal style that imitates natural inflections of speech and is utilized for dialogue and storytelling. a paragraph to be given in this manner, etc. 2: the sensation of reciting 2.

Secondly, What is the difference between a recitative and an aria?

is that an aria is a musical work created primarily for a single vocal with orchestral accompaniment in an opera or cantata, but a recitative is (music) conversation in an opera or cantata that is replicated with the rhythms of regular speech, frequently with simple musical accompaniment or.

Also, What is the purpose of a recitative?

Recitative (/rsttiv/, also known by its Italian name “recitativo” ([retitativo]) is a delivery technique (often utilized in operas, oratorios, and cantatas) in which a vocalist is free to mimic the rhythms and delivery of everyday conversation.

People also ask, What are the different types of recitative?

The dry (secco) and accompanied (accompagnato) or metered recitative (recitative misurato or stromentato) types of recitative exist.

Related Questions and Answers

Are oratorios sacred or secular?

An opera or oratorio narrates a tale or libretto, after which the composer composes music to go with it. The major distinction between an Opera and an Oratorio is that an Opera’s tale is secular, meaning it is not holy, but an Oratorio’s story is sacred.

What instrument usually accompanies recitative?

Recitative may be accompanied by basso continuo, harpsichord, or other chordal instruments, as well as a bass instrument (recitativo secco or dry recitative), or by a greater number of instruments (recitativo grandioso or grandioso recitative) (recitativo accompagnato, accompanied recitative).

Why were Castratos important and unique in Baroque opera?

What made Castratos special and important? They had the strength of a man’s lungs and the range of a woman’s voice.

Is recitative a solo?

Recitative is a kind of monody, which is a solo song with accompaniment. Rather than melody or musical motives, it stresses and imitates the rhythms and accents of spoken words. To put it another way, recitative singing is a kind of singing that sounds a lot like everyday conversation.

Are arias melodic?

A melody for voice is present in all arias, although various kinds of arias have varied idiomatic features. A da capo aria is an ornate ternary form of a Baroque aria (A–B–A).

What is a major difference between cantata and an oratorio?

is that a cantata is a vocal piece accompanied by instruments and often comprising more than one movement, characteristic of 17th and 18th century Italian music, but an oratorio is a musical composition on a religious topic; akin to opera but without the costume, staging, or acting.

Does a recitative have a beat?

Recitative may somewhat prolong and stretch words for dramatic effect, but its distinguishing feature is that it follows speech cadence. Certain types of recitative, such as secco recitative, do not have a rigorous regular rhythm or pulse in order to achieve this.

What are 3 main components of a musical?

Merriam suggested a theoretical study paradigm based on the assumption that three parts of musical activity are always present: idea, behavior, and sound. In order of their purported discovery, Virgil Thomson outlines the “raw components” of music: rhythm, melody, and harmony, as well as counterpoint and orchestration.

What is an arioso in music?

Arioso is defined as a musical piece or composition that combines free recitative with metrical song.

Do cantatas use costumes?

What exactly is a cantata? A musical piece for solo voice or chorus with orchestral accompaniment that is generally dramatic (like a small orchestra). Similar to an opera, but with less clothes, stage accessories, and no performing. Cantatas may be religious or secular in nature.

Is a form of orchestral music that employs a solo instrument?


What are examples of melisma?

The categoryworld music” is vast, yet melisma is often found within it. Opera and gospel are two more recent examples, with the gospel feature of melismatic singing inspiring much current music. The usage of blue notes sung by African slaves gave rise to the whole genre of rhythm and blues.

What is best describe for melismatic singing?

The word melisma refers to a musical phrase in which a group of notes is sung with just one syllable of text. This is the polar opposite of syllabic singing, in which one note per word is sung.

What does the term simple recitative indicate?

What exactly does “simple recitativeimply? The basso continuo is the only accompaniment for the soloist.

What does Accompagnato mean in music?

accompagnato (plural accompagnatos) is a noun (music) A tempo signal that instructs the orchestra to accompany a recitative. (music) This is a text that has this mark.

What are male sopranos called?


In which genres did Monteverdi primarily compose?

Works. The works of Monteverdi are divided into three groups: madrigals, operas, and church music. Monteverdi focused on madrigals until he was forty years old, writing a total of nine volumes.

Why were castrati used in Baroque music?

These vocalists were at the peak of baroque and classical music, performing in full regalia with the biggest orchestras, the best composers, and in the finest operas of the day. These were the castrati, youths who had been castrated to keep their high voices and prevent normal human maturation.

What period is recitative?

recitative, a kind of monody (accompanied solo song) that stresses and even imitates spoken language rhythms and accents rather than melody or musical themes. Recitative, which is based on oratory, emerged in the late 1500s as a counterpoint to the polyphonic, or many-voiced, form of 16th-century choral music.

Are major church choir works that involve soloists choir and orchestra?

A Baroque-era composite major church choir type that includes a soloist, choir, and orchestra. Cantatas are composed of multiple movements and last 15 to 30 minutes. Cantatas aren’t staged, although they do have narrative, arias, recitatives, choruses, and small vocal groups.

Who is considered the first great composer of opera?

The first extant opera is widely considered to be Jacopo Peri’s Euridice from 1600. Claudio Monteverdi, who was born in Cremona in 1567 and created Orfeo for a restricted audience at the Duke of Mantua’s court in 1607, was opera’s first genius composer.

What is an aria for kids?

An aria is a lengthy song that is performed with a single voice. Usually, an aria is found in an opera. It’s an 18th-century Italian term that means “air” (i.e. a tune). In an aria, just a short quantity of text is employed.

What does aria mean in opera?

A solo vocal work, commonly seen in an opera or oratorio, is known as an aria. Advertisement. Any linguistically interested visitor to an Italian fuel station would have realized that the Italian term ‘aria’ simply means ‘air.’ The first time we see it employed in relation to music is in the 16th century.


A recitative is a section of text in which the singer sings in dialogue with another person or the text. An aria is a type of vocal music that can be sung without accompaniment.

This Video Should Help:

A recitative is a short, lyrical passage in vocal music. It is sung to a simple melody and often accompanied by instruments. Opera has many types of recitatives that are used for specific purposes such as introducing new characters or expressing emotions. Reference: recitative opera example.

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