American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A preexisting melody used as the basis of a polyphonic composition, especially in 14th- and 15th-century polyphony.
- n. a melody used as the basis for a polyphonic composition
- Medieval Latin : Latin cantus, song + Latin firmus, fixed. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The folk-song of olden times, springing directly from and resembling the music of the Church, was often employed as motif or cantus firmus in masses and other liturgical compositions, a proceeding which would not be allowed now-a-days.”
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Long ago, I learned a useful habit from a good friend: Every time he looked up a word in his dictionary, he’d put a mark next to it. His explanation for this was vague at best, but I understood a...
Words meaning song
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