Difference Between Aria and Recitative

Primary Difference

Aria in music is an original melody but it is not necessary that it will be performed by the singer. Recitative is also related to the music and is a specific delivery of dialogue with special rhythms and lines and the lines are written in such a way they do not even repeat one like in songs. It was first used in opera and then by monodies. While on the other hand in the 14th century aria was first seen in relation with the music and afterwards it was given many forms. Moreover, it evolved from simple melodies and then came in structures forms. The evolution was basically in two forms where one from is the binary form and the other is the ternary form and there are even many other variants of these forms which are found in the 17th century like Jean-Baptiste Lully. Furthermore, secco is a recitative which became popular through the proto-opera music dramas of mainly Jacopo Peri and Giulio Caccini, which was in the 16th century. Then there is accompagnato which is an accompanied recitative. The application of such a form of recitative is done usually where the underscoring of the orchestra in particular drama text is done. We also see that there is instrumental recitative which purely refers to the work of the instruments that resemble the vocal recitatives. One of the instrumental recitatives was used by Ludwig Van Beethoven in three of his works like Piano Sonata No.17, Piano Sonata No.31 and the Ninth Symphony. In the 18th century aria form was established by composers like Alessandro Scarlatti and then slowly operatic aria started becoming popular. Likewise if we talk about the allocation and the nature of the aria regarding its different roles in opera seria then we get to know that they were extremely formalized and opposite of this opera buffa which is comic opera use to be specific in terms of the character being portrayed. Additionally aria was also used in instrumental music in the 17th and the 18th century for variation and dancing.

Comparison Chart

AriaRecitative
TypeMusic is an original melodyA specific delivery of dialogue with special rhythms and lines
ThemeNot necessary performed by the singer.The lines are written in such a way they do not even repeat
MusicYesNo
HistoryRecent14th Century

Definition of Aria

Aria in music is an original melody but it is not necessary that it will be performed by the singer. In the 14th century aria was first seen in relation with the music and afterwards it was given many forms. Moreover, it evolved from simple melodies and then came in structures forms. The evolution was basically in two forms where one from is the binary form and the other is the ternary form and there are even many other variants of these forms which are found in the 17th century like Jean-Baptiste Lully. If we talk about the allocation and the nature of the aria regarding its different roles in opera seria then we get to know that they were extremely formalized and opposite of this opera buffa which is comic opera use to be specific in terms of the character being portrayed.

Definition of Recitative

Recitative is linked with music and is a specific delivery of dialogue with special rhythms and lines and the lines are written in such a way they do not even repeat one like in songs. It was first used in opera and then by monodies. secco is a recitative which became popular through the proto-opera music dramas of mainly Jacopo Peri and Giulio Caccini, which was in the 16th century. Then there is accompagnato which is an accompanied recitative. The application of such a form of recitative is done usually where the underscoring of the orchestra in particular drama text is done. We also see that there is instrumental recitative which purely refers to the work of the instruments that resemble the vocal recitatives. One of the instrumental recitatives was used by Ludwig Van Beethoven in three of his works like Piano Sonata No.17, Piano Sonata No.31 and the Ninth Symphony. In the 18th century aria form was established by composers like Alessandro Scarlatti and then slowly operatic aria started becoming popular

Differences in a Nutshell

  1. Recitative is linked with music and is a specific delivery of dialogue with special rhythms and lines and the lines are written in such a way they do not even repeat one like in songs; aria in music is an original melody but it is not necessary that it will be performed by the singer.
  2. Recitatives are usually dialogues; while aria is not.
  3. Recitative was first used by the monodies; it was formed in the 14th century and was used in opera.

Conclusion

There can be various types of music, although it is termed as universal. Most people have their favorites and want to listen to those types. Others, like to explore music and the new types to get a better idea. This article does exactly the same. Give people a better understanding of the two types which they can explore.

Comparison Video

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Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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