A poem set-to songs a music composition comprising choruses solos interludes an such like arranged in a somewhat remarkable manner originally a composition for a single noise composed of both recitative and melody
- a music composition for sounds and orchestra according to a religious text
- A poem set to songs; a musical structure comprising choruses, solos, interludes, etc., organized in a significantly dramatic manner; initially, a structure for an individual noise, composed of both recitative and melody.
1724, from Italian cantata, literally "what is sung," past participle of cantare "to sing" (see chant (v.)).
Modern composers have often produced their most characteristic orchestral effects with fewer contrasting elements than Bach uses in his Trauer-Ode, in the pastoral symphony in his Christmas Oratorio, in the first chorus of the cantata Liebster Gott, wann werd' ich sterben, and in many other cases; but the modern instrumental effects are as far outside Bach's scope as a long passage of preparation on the dominant leading to the return of a first subject is beyond the scope of a gigue in a suite.