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For the piece of music known as 'Cavatina' or 'Theme from The Deer Hunter', see Cavatina (composition).

Cavatina (Italian diminutive of cavata, the producing of tone from an instrument, plural cavatine) is a musical term, originally meaning a short song of simple character, without a second strain or any repetition of the air. It is now frequently applied to any simple, melodious air, as distinguished from brilliant arias or recitatives, many of which are part of a larger movement or scena in oratorio or opera.[1]

One famous cavatina is the 5th movement of Beethoven's String Quartet in B-flat major, opus 130.[2] "Ecco, ridente in cielo" from Gioachino Rossini's opera Il Barbiere di Siviglia and "Se vuol ballare" from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro are also well-known cavatinas.

Probably the most popular cavatina is a melody for classical guitar by Stanley Myers that was subsequently used as the theme for The Deer Hunter.


  1. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica (1911). "Cavatina", Vol. 5.
  2. ^ Grove, George (ed.) (1900). "Cavatina". A Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Vol. 1, p. 328. MacMillan & Co., Ltd