Recitative definition

rĕsĭ-tātĭv, rĭ-sītə-tĭv
Frequency:
A type of declamatory singing, with the rhythm and tempo of speech, but uttered in musical tones, used in the prose parts and dialogue of operas and oratorios.
noun
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A style used in operas, oratorios, and cantatas in which the text is declaimed in the rhythm of natural speech with slight melodic variation and little orchestral accompaniment.
noun
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Of, relating to, or having the character of a recital or recitation.
adjective
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A passage rendered in this style.
noun
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A work or passage in this style.
noun
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Music for such passages.
noun
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Having the nature, or in the style or manner, of recitative.
adjective
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(music) Dialogue, in an opera etc, that, rather than being sung as an aria, is reproduced with the rhythms of normal speech, often with simple musical accompaniment or harpsichord continuo, serving to expound the plot.
noun
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adjective
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
recitative
Plural:
recitatives

Origin of recitative

  • Italian recitativo from recitare to recite from Latin recitāre recite

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Italian recitativo, from recitare, from Latin recitare

    From Wiktionary