Definition of cantata
: a composition for one or more voices usually comprising solos, duets, recitatives, and choruses and sung to an instrumental accompaniment
Did You Know?
A cantata is a work for voice or voices and instruments of the baroque era. From its beginnings in 17th-century Italy, both secular and religious cantatas were written. The earliest cantatas were generally for solo voice with minimal instrumental accompaniment. Cantatas soon developed a dramatic character and alternating sections of recitative (solo singing that imitates the rhythms and tones of speech) and aria, paralleling the simultaneous development of opera. In Germany, the Lutheran cantata almost always involved a chorus. The approximately 200 cantatas written by Johann Sebastian Bach are the most celebrated. After ca. 1750 the cantata gradually declined.
Origin and Etymology of cantata
Italian, from cantare to sing, from Latin
First Known Use: 1724
CANTATA Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of cantata for English Language Learners
: a piece of music for singers and instruments that usually has several parts (called movements) and often has a religious subject
CANTATA Defined for Kids
Definition of cantata for Students
: a piece of music that features solos, duets, and choruses with instrumental accompaniment and is sometimes based on a poem, play, or story
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