One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Recitative usually accompanied by a keyboard or other continuo instrument instead of by an orchestra; an instance of this.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in John Macculloch (1773–1835), surgeon and geologist. From Italian recitativo secco, lit. ‘dry recitative’ from recitativo + secco.
recitativo secco/rɛtʃɪtəˌtivəʊ ˈsɛkəʊ/
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