Sing or say? What is a recitative in music

Recitative singing is found in any majorA musical work such as an opera, an operetta, a musical. Often small musical forms can not do without it. And it happens that he completely replaces the habitual understanding of music, becoming the head of the musical work. What is recitative and what role does it play in music, we find out in this article.

The concept of

what is recitative

Recitative is a vocal form in music, notsubordinate rhythm and melodies. It can sound with the accompaniment or a cappella. In fact, it sounds like a colloquial speech among the general musical frame. To understand what a recitative is in music, it is necessary to disassemble in more detail the musical works in which this element is present.

Recitative can not be attributed to ordinary recitationverse, because in this passage there is not always a rhyme. If we consider recitative as a means of expressiveness, then it often reflects the emotional state of the hero and the main experiences that can not be expressed in melodic ways.

How did the new form originate?

what is recitative in music

If we talk about the origins, then they go deep into theantiquity. Epic and ritual songs, folk songs and nursery rhymes often were nothing more than a recitative. Professional music of antiquity was also rich in conversational moments. First of all, it was related to spiritual music: psalms, liturgies.

However, the very concept of what a recitative is,was born with the advent of the opera genre. Its first manifestations were a melodious recitation. Actually, the early recitative was called upon to revive the ancient tragedy with its manner of singing recitation.

Over time, melody has lost its importance, and by the end of the 17th century recitative has acquired clear outlines, firmly entrenched in vocal music as an independent genre.

What are recitatives

songs with recitative

Despite the fact that the recitative does not obey the generally accepted laws of music, rhythm and melody, there are rules that harmoniously include this genre in a musical work.

If the recitative piece does not have rhyme and clearrhythm, then it is considered a dry secco. It is pronounced in a meager accompaniment of jerky chords. Accompaniment in this case serves to enhance the dramatic effect.

When the recitative is endowed with a rhyme or simply a clear rhythm, then it is called a tempo and performed in accompaniment of the orchestra.

It also happens that this genre is framedmelodic line. In order to understand what a recitative is in this case, one should turn to the definition of a musical form. Recitative singing simply can not have it. Free form and manner of performance will testify to the presence of singing recitative or arioso.

Where do recitatives live

recitative examples

The most common use of the colloquial formfound in classical opera music. It was the drama of this vocal genre that opened up unlimited possibilities for the development of recitative. His main appointment in the opera was the opposition to the overall musical content and the creation of dramatic accents. On stage, it can be performed by one vocalist, ensemble or even a chorus.

A great application of this genre found inworks of JS Bach. Especially bright it was manifested in the Passion according to John. I must say, in this sense JS Bach surpassed all his contemporaries. The favorite dramatic method was the recitative for KV Gluck and WA Mozart.

In Russian opera music the recitative appearedsomewhat later. It was most clearly manifested in the music of AS Dargomyzhsky, M.P. Mussorgsky, N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov. PI Tchaikovsky especially skillfully used the form of arioso. As for the Soviet classics, a special contribution to the development of recitative was made by SS Prokofiev and DD Shostakovich.

Recitative: examples in contemporary music


Remember, in the film "The Irony of Fate, or With Easy Couples", the main characters perform "Ballad of smoky cars" A. Kochetkov:

How painful, dear, how strange,

Around in the earth, interlacing with branches,

How painful, dear, how strange

To expand under the saw.

If you think that songs are recitative, this isa phenomenon peculiar only to classical music, try to find them in modern times. For this it is enough to imagine a recitation of poems or prose accompanied by music.

The above recitative is considered to be dry, since it does not obey the instrumental accompaniment.

The most vivid example of a measured recitative in modern times can be considered rap and hip-hop. It is these areas of modern music that have opened up new facets and possibilities for recitative.

It is impossible to imagine without the recitative singing and such a genre of modern music as a rock opera. As in the classical opera version, singing from time to time turns into spoken language.

In the variety of musical genres and forms, even an experienced musician can get confused. But now you know what a recitative is, and you can not confuse it with anything.

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