American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Music A sustained, smooth-flowing melodic line.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In medieval music: A singing exercise or solfeggio.
- n. A cantus firmus, or melody for church use.
- n. In modern music, a ballad or light popular song.
- n. music a vocal melody or instrumental passage in a smooth, lyrical style
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Mus.) See cantabile.
- Italian or Latin cantilena ("it") (Wiktionary)
- Italian, from Latin cantilēna, song, from cantus; see canticle. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The beautiful deep-toned, love-laden cantilena, which is profusely and exquisitely ornamented in Chopin's characteristic style, is interrupted by a very impressive recitative of some length, after which the cantilena is heard again.”
“Elegy" for cello and piano dates from 1939 (though reconstructed last year), making it the earliest piece on the festival; unlike the Piano Sonata, there's not a whole lot in this solidly Pistonesque cantilena that points to later Carter, but the polish and poise of the piece is breathtaking, yet more evidence that Carter's expressive, "intuitive" side is not easily disengaged from his technical concern.”
“Dr. Kissinger apparently doesn't appreciate the considerably rousing power of the traditional cantilena-cabaletta sequence of Italian opera.”
“The following category according to Tinctoris was the cantilena or secular song, composed mostly of texts in the vernacular of the country.”
“Multus hoc affectu sanat cantilena, laetitia, musica; et quidam sunt quoshaec angent.”
“Most Italians read verse in a monotonous tone called cantilena that destroys all feeling.”
“Et semper finem horum mirabilium cantilena subsequitur musicorum.”
“But the Italians and also the French turned away earlier and more logically from them to more modern musical concepts which saw the significance of music and of the musical work of art not so much in its transcend - ence and symbolic character but rather in its this - worldly quality, as an aesthetic object, as absoluta cantilena, serving the expression of human emotions.”
“Se si dà quell'inno ad un maestro di cappella per metterlo in musica concertata ed in _battuta sensibile_, verrà subito distrutto il _ritmo_, e se la cantilena della cappella pontif. si scrive in battuta, si vedranno cadere nel _battere_ alcune sillabe brevi, senza pregiudizio della loro quantità".”
“The question therefore comes to this: Does the sustained, the cantilena, predominate, or the rhythmical movement?”
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