Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The substitution of one text for another without substantial change to the music.
  • n. The use of a secular melody with a religious text.

Etymologies

From Latin. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The lyrics of these early songs were these same works of Hebrew poetry “married” to melodies borrowed from well-known songs (a practice known as contrafactum).

    Hebrew Song, 1880-2000.

  • Two much greater composers also turned to this last song: Lassus drew on it in his four-part lied Die Gnad kombt oben her, and Schein published in his Cantional of 1627 a contrafactum, Auf meinen lieben Gott, which later found its way into Protestant hymnbooks, leading in turn to countless arrangements over many years.

    Archive 2009-06-01

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