cantata

[kuhn-tah-tuh]
noun
1.
a choral composition, either sacred and resembling a short oratorio or secular, as a lyric drama set to music but not to be acted.
2.
a metrical narrative set to recitative or alternate recitative and air, usually for a single voice accompanied by one or more instruments.

Origin:
1715–25; < Italian, equivalent to cant(are) to sing (see cant1) + -ata -ate1

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Collins
World English Dictionary
cantata (kænˈtɑːtə)
 
n
a musical setting of a text, esp a religious text, consisting of arias, duets, and choruses interspersed with recitatives
 
[C18: from Italian, from cantare to sing, from Latin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

cantata
1724, from It. pp. of cantare "to sing," (see chant).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
cantata [(kuhn-tah-tuh)]

A musical composition for voice and instruments and including choruses, solos, and recitatives.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
One library will commission a cantata using text from the novel as lyrics.
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