In an opera, oratorio, cantata, or other multi-movement vocal compositions, a recitative is a narrative song that describes some action, thought, or emotion. The recitative follows the natural flow of the language, and is more a speaking composition than a singing composition. The two styles of recitative are the dry (secco) style and the accompanied (stromentato, or accompagnato) style. Recitative is used in vocal works, particularly opera and oratorio, usually for a solo voice, in relatively free rhythm. In this respect recitative is distinct from the formal aria. Recitative might be accompanied by basso continuo, harpsichord or other chordal instruments and a bass instrument (recitativo secco or dry recitative), or accompanied by a larger number of instruments (recitativo accompagnato, accompanied recitative). Recitative is often used for narrative or for the forwarding of the plot in opera. <br><br>Also [Fr.] R'citative; [Ger.] Rezitativ; [It.] Recitativo; [Sp.] Recitativo. <br>