Aria

In music, an aria ([ˈaːrja]; Italian: air; plural: arie [ˈaːrje], or arias in common usage, diminutive form arietta [aˈrjetta], plural ariette, or in English simply air) is a self-contained piece for one voice, with or without instrumental or orchestral accompaniment, normally part of a larger work.

The farewell aria of Sultan Bazajet in Handel's opera Tamerlano. (Note the da capo instruction.) First edition, London, 1719.

The typical context for arias is opera, but vocal arias also feature in oratorios and cantatas, or they can be stand-alone concert arias. The term was originally used to refer to any expressive melody, usually, but not always, performed by a singer.


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