Definition of recitative in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌresədəˈtēv/


Musical declamation of the kind usual in the narrative and dialogue parts of opera and oratorio, sung in the rhythm of ordinary speech with many words on the same note: singing in recitative
More example sentences
  • I detest recitative in its baroque continuo form.
  • There the very first note of the opening recitative is a tone lower - G - with the first and the fourth notes of the phrase therefore the same.
  • The piece is an artful reworking both of Hungarian folk music and Baroque recitative.


Mid 17th century: from Italian recitativo, from Latin recitare 'to read out' (see recite).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: rec·i·ta·tive

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