recitative

1
[res-i-tey-tiv, ri-sahy-tuh-]

Origin of recitative

1
First recorded in 1855–60; recite + -ative

recitative

2
[res-i-tuh-teev]Music.
adjective
  1. of the nature of or resembling recitation or declamation.
noun
  1. a style of vocal music intermediate between speaking and singing.
  2. a passage, part, or piece in this style.

Origin of recitative

2
From the Italian word recitativo, dating back to 1635–45. See recite, -ive
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Examples from the Web for recitative

Historical Examples of recitative


British Dictionary definitions for recitative

recitative

1
noun
  1. a passage in a musical composition, esp the narrative parts in an oratorio, set for one voice with either continuo accompaniment only or full accompaniment, reflecting the natural rhythms of speech

Word Origin for recitative

C17: from Italian recitativo; see recite

recitative

2
adjective
  1. of or relating to recital
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for recitative
n.

"style of musical declamation intermediate between speech and singing, form of song resembling declamation," 1650s, from Italian recitativo, from recitato, past participle of recitare, from Latin recitare "read out, read aloud" (see recite). From 1640s as an adjective. The Italian form of the word was used in English from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

recitative in Culture

recitative

[(res-i-tuh-teev)]

A part of a cantata, opera, or oratorio in which singers converse, describe action, or declaim. It moves the action forward between the high musical moments. Recitatives are distinguished from arias, which are more expressive and musically more elaborate. Recitatives usually have only one syllable of text for each note of music, and the accompaniment by instruments is often very simple.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.