Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In medieval music, the practice or effect of adding passing-notes and other embellishments to a plain-song melody.
- n. rare, archaic A style of singing, especially of sacred music, cultivated from the late Middle Ages until the 19th century, centered on Paris, and derived from the Gallican ritual; in this style vocal lines are decorated with improvised ornamentation, and differentiated from each other in a polyphonic composition also by tone color.
“Thus their artistic heritage has become so altered and disfigured by successive additions, or "machicotage," as to bear no resemblance to the original, this being buried under a heap of useless complications.”
“First, the plainchant passages are done in the old "machicotage" style.”
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