- a choral composition, either sacred and resembling a short oratorio or secular, as a lyric drama set to music but not to be acted.
- a metrical narrative set to recitative or alternate recitative and air, usually for a single voice accompanied by one or more instruments.
Origin of cantata
Examples from the Web for cantata
The cantata, often described as “challenging,” was sung entirely in German.The First Americans to Observe the 4th Were Moravian Pacifists
Linda C. Brinson
July 4, 2014
You must set at the cantata while we are away, and have it finished for us to hear when we come back.Nell, of Shorne Mills
The symphony clearly reflects the spirit of the cantata, which follows.The Standard Oratorios
George P. Upton
Her cantata, "Die Heilige Nacht," for soloists and chorus, is often heard.Woman's Work in Music
The performance is on Monday and I chance to know the cantata.Ladies-In-Waiting
Kate Douglas Wiggin
The distribution of presents was not to come off until after the cantata.Chicken Little Jane
Lily Munsell Ritchie
- a musical setting of a text, esp a religious text, consisting of arias, duets, and choruses interspersed with recitatives
Word Origin and History for cantata
1724, from Italian cantata, literally "that which is sung," past participle of cantare "to sing" (see chant (v.)).
A musical composition for voice and instruments and including choruses, solos, and recitatives.