A vocal style, preponderantly or exclusively syllabic with melody and rhythm patterned after stylized speech inflections proper to the text.  Recitative is used especially in operas, oratorios, and cantatas for dialogue and narrative sections.  The sparse, chordal accompaniment to recitative is normally provided by a keyboard instrument, the bass line sometimes being reinforced by a deep string instrument.  Recitative was developed shortly before the turn of the 17th century by Florentine composers of opera.  Despite the frequent use of repeated notes, may early recitatives have a reasonably lyrical quality.  By the end of the 17th century, however, recitative was employed largely as a vehicle for rapid dialogue or narration, with minimal melodic interest and with comparatively irregular rhythmic patterns executed freely.  This style is known as "recitative secco" (dry).  Exceptions to this style, recitatives that exhibit some degree of lyricism, more regular rhythms, and are accompanied orchestrally, fall under the heading "recitativo accompagnato" ("recitativo stromentato).