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Encyclopedia > Recitative

Recitative, a form of composition often used in operas, oratorios, and cantatas (and occasionally in operettas and even musicals), is melodic speech set to music, or a descriptive narrative song in which the music follows the words. The Teatro alla Scala in Milan. ... An oratorio is a large musical composition for orchestra, vocal soloists and chorus. ... A cantata (Italian, sung) is a vocal composition accompanied by instruments and generally containing more than one movement. ... Operetta (literally, little opera) is a performance art-form similar to opera, though it generally deals with less serious topics. ... The Fantasticks was the longest-running musical in history. ...


Recitative is distinguished from more florid and melismatic arias, as the rhythms and melodic contours of recitative often approximate those of normal speech, often including repeating pitches. Recitative can be conversational and improvisational, giving a naturalness somewhere between speech and song. It is used where dialogue or monologue is sung in between the arias, choruses or other numbers, and serves to advance the plot quickly. Recitative in serious opera or oratorio functions dramatically in much the same way as dialogue in musical theatre. In music, melisma (commonly known as vocal runs or simply runs) is the technique of changing the note (pitch) of a syllable of text while it is being sung. ... This article is about the musical term aria. ... For the popular Tamil film, see Rhythm (film) Rhythm (Greek = flow, or in Modern Greek, style) is the variation of the length and accentuation of a series of sounds or other events. ... Look up melody in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Fantasticks was the longest-running musical in history. ...


Recitative often has simple accompaniment, sometimes nothing more than a basso continuo. The most common practice is using a single harpsichord playing occasional chords. The terms recitativo secco and recitativo accompagnato (or recitativo stromentato) are sometimes used to distinguish recitative secco only by continuo and recitative accompanied by the orchestra. Figured bass, or thoroughbass, is a kind of integer musical notation used to indicate intervallic content (the intervals which make up a sonority), later chords, in relation to a bass note. ... Harpsichord in the Flemish style A harpsichord is any of a family of European keyboard instruments, including the large instrument currently called a harpsichord, but also the smaller virginals, the muselar virginals and the spinet. ... A philharmonic orchestra An orchestra is an instrumental ensemble, usually a fairly large instrumental ensemble with string, brass, woodwind sections, and possibly a percussion section as well. ...


Historically, the recitative is a religious composition tradition, specifically in passions and Gregorian chant. For special occasions like Easter, the gospel text would be sung in on a reciting tone, alternating with hymns, arias or choruses not specifically quoting the Gospel. Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainchant, a form of monophonic, unaccompanied sacred song of the Roman Catholic Church. ... This article is about the Christian festival. ... In the church modes of Gregorian chant the reciting tone (also dominant, tenor, tubae) is the melodic formula used for reciting psalm tones. ... A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a god or other religiously significant figure. ... For other uses, see Gospel (disambiguation). ...


The use of recitative in opera is widely attributed to Vincenzo Galilei, father of the astronomer Galileo Galilei. The elder Galilei, influenced by the writings of the ancient Greeks and wishing to recreate the old manner of storytelling and drama, pioneered the use of a single melodic line to tell the story, accompanied by simple chords from a harpsichord or lute. This style is known as recitativo secco ("dry recitative"). The Teatro alla Scala in Milan. ... Vincenzo Galilei (1520 – July 2, 1591) was an Italian lutenist, composer, and music theorist, and the father of the famous astronomer Galileo Galilei. ... KDFSAJFKASJDKFJASDKLJFDKLASJFLKJASKLFJLAKSJFLKSJALFKJSKLJFto the Sun-centered solar system which Galileo supported. ...


Secco recitative, popularized in Florence though the proto-opera music dramas of Jacopo Peri and Giulio Caccini during the late 16th century, formed the substance of Claudio Monteverdi's operas during the 17th, and continued to be used into the Romantic era by such composers as Gaetano Donizetti. It also influenced areas of music outside opera from the outset. The 1610 Vespers of Monteverdi contain two large sections of secco recitativo for tenor, the second of which, for the virtuoso Audi Ceolum, is seamlessly intertwined with choral sections, florid runs and an echo effect from a second singer. The recitatives of Johann Sebastian Bach, found in his passions and cantatas, are also quite notable. Jacopo Peri (August 20, 1561 – August 12, 1633) was an Italian composer and singer, often called the inventor of opera. ... Caccini, Le Nuove musiche, 1601, title page Giulio Caccini (October 8, 1551 – December 10, 1618) was an Italian composer, teacher, singer, instrumentalist and writer of the very late Renaissance and early Baroque eras. ... Portrait of Claudio Monteverdi in Venice, 1640, by Bernardo Strozzi. ... Romanticism was an artistic and intellectual movement that originated in late 18th century Western Europe. ... Gaetano Donizetti Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti (29 November 1797 – 8 April 1848) was a famous Italian opera composer. ... In music, a tenor is a male singer with a high vocal range. ... For the heavy metal singer, see Sebastian Bach Johann Sebastian Bach (pronounced ) (21 March 1685 O.S. – 28 July 1750 N.S.) was a prolific German composer and organist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought... A cantata (Italian, sung) is a vocal composition accompanied by instruments and generally containing more than one movement. ...


Accompanied recitative employs the orchestra as an accompanying body. As a result, it is less improvisational, declamatory and songlike than secco recitativo . This form is often employed for grand moments of drama, or to prepare an aria. George Frideric Handel, Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart often used the accompanied recitative; a famous example is "Comfort Ye" from Handel's Messiah. George Frideric Handel (23 February 1685 – 14 April 1759) was a German-born British Baroque composer who was a leading composer of concerti grossi, operas and oratorios. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Mozart redirects here. ... Messiah (HWV 56, 1741), is an oratorio by George Frideric Handel. ...


Later operas, under the influence of Richard Wagner, favored through-composition, where recitatives, arias, choruses and other elements were seamlessly interwoven into a whole. Many of Wagner's operas employ sections which are analogous accompanied recitative. Wilhelm Richard Wagner (Leipzig, May 22, 1813 – Venice, February 13, 1883) was an influential German composer, conductor, music theorist, and essayist, primarily known for his operas (or music dramas as he later came to call them). ...


The recitativo style of singing has not been abandoned in pop culture. Much popular music, including rap could be described as recitativo accompagnato. Popular West Coast rapper Snoop Dogg performing for the US Navy For information on rap music, see hip hop music. ...


Recitative has also sometimes been used to refer to parts of purely instrumental works which resemble vocal recitatives (passages in Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 17 (The Tempest) and Piano Sonata No. 31 are examples). 1820 portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler Beethoven redirects here. ... Piano Sonata No. ... The Piano Sonata in A flat major, Op. ...


See also

Opera Terms

Aria • Arioso • Bel canto • Cabaletta • Castrato • Coloratura • Comprimario • Convenienze • Da capo • Diva • Intermezzo • Leitmotif • Libretto • Melodrama • Melodramma • Prima donna • Recitative • Regietheater • Sprechgesang Poster for The Perils of Pauline (1914). ... This article is about the musical term aria. ... Below is a list of terms used in musical terminology which are likely to occur on printed or sheet music. ... The term Bel Canto may refer to: Belcanto, a vocal technique; or Bel Canto, a novel by Ann Patchett. ... A Cabaletta is form of aria within 19th century Italian opera. ... A castrato is a male soprano, mezzo-soprano, or alto voice produced either by castration of the singer before puberty or who, because of an endocrinological condition, never reaches sexual maturity. ... Coloratura The coloratura has a great range and impressive vocal agility and is defined by the ability to paint or provide color to a range of notes prominently found in sopranos but not limited to this range. ... A Comprimario is a secondary role in an opera or singing. ... Convenienze (literally, conveniences) were the rules relating to the ranking of singers (primo, secondo, comprimario) in 19th-century Italian opera, and the number of scenes, arias etc. ... The da capo aria was a musical form prevalent in the Baroque era. ... A diva is a female opera singer, but now the term also refers to a popular female performer of non-operatic works. ... InterMezzo is a distributed file system written for Linux, distributed with a GPL licence. ... A leitmotif (IPA pronunciation: ) (also leitmotiv; lit. ... A libretto is the complete body of words used in an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, sacred or secular oratorio and cantata, musical, and ballet. ... Poster for The Perils of Pauline (1914). ... A Melodramma is an Italian term for opera which was used in the 19th century. ... Look up Prima donna in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Regietheater (in English, directors opera; more commonly producers opera) is a term that refers to the modern (essentially post-WWII) practice of allowing a director or producer such freedom in devising the way a given opera is staged that not only may the composers specific stage directions... Sprechgesang (German for speech song) or Sprechstimme (speech voice) is a technique of vocal production halfway between singing and speaking. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Recitative - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (305 words)
Recitative, a form of composition often used in operas, oratorios, cantatas and similar works, is described as a melodic speech set to music, or a descriptive narrative song in which the music follows the words.
Recitative is easily distinguished from more florid and melismatic arias, as the rhythms and melodic contours of recitative often approximate to those of normal speech, often including repeating pitches.
Historically, the recitativo, in the religious composition tradition, specifically the passions, derived from gregorian chant (hence their monotonous reciting manner): for special occasions like Easter, the gospel text would be sung in a reciting (gregorian) style, alternating with hymns or other song-like texts not quoted literally from the gospel story.
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