American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. See descant.
- n. Alternative form of descant.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. See descant, n.
- n. a decorative musical accompaniment (often improvised) added above a basic melody
“After the advent of Florid Organum, the older style of note against note was referred to as "discant" organum.”
“There are two distinct textures for the polyphonic works: a “discant” style, in which the two voice parts generally move together (as in the conductus and the Benedicamus tropes), and an “organal” style in which the upper voice part sings a rhapsodic melody against the long-held notes of a lower tenor voice based on a liturgical chant (as in adiutor an the tropped Kyrie: Cunctipotens).”
“For us, it is the most disconcerting and the most ambiguous piece in the entire Mass with its use of the old discant technique.”
“Res est blanda canor, discant cantare puellae pro facie,”
“And yet he was warned by manie strange woonders (as the common people did discant) to refraine from these euill doings: for the Thames did rise with such high springs and tides, that manie townes were drowned, and much hurt doone in places about London, and elsewhere.”
“Like the flute, there was a complete family of oboes in the sixteenth and early in the seventeenth century; the little schalmey, the discant schalmey, from which the present oboe is derived; the alto, tenor, pommer, and bass pommers, and the double quint or contrabass pommer.”
“Indocti discant et ament meminisse periti (Let the unlearned learn, and the learned delight in remembering).”
“Then the spirit moving her, she began to discant on things past and people vanished.”
“A graceful compliment was passed upon it by Sir William Lawrence, when, in thanking the author for the gift of the book, he wrote (January 24, 1867), "in your modest book 'indocti discant, ament meminisse periti!”
“I might discant for hours with an enthusiasm which, perhaps, only an actor could feel on the marvellous details of Kean's impersonations.”
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