(traditionally ‘air’ in French and English)

An aria is a short piece for solo voice, with or without accompaniment.

Arias are usually light, melodic, and designed to display vocal agility.

In Italian opera, aria refers to the parts of a work that are actual songs, and which reflect on the action, as opposed to
recitatives (reh´-suh-tuh-TEEVES´), or musical passages meant to imitate speech and move the story forward.

Arias also appear in oratorios and cantatas.