Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A sustained, smooth-flowing melodic line.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In medieval music: A singing exercise or solfeggio.
  • noun A cantus firmus, or melody for church use.
  • noun In modern music, a ballad or light popular song.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Mus.) See cantabile.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun music a vocal melody or instrumental passage in a smooth, lyrical style

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Italian, from Latin cantilēna, song, from cantus; see canticle.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Italian or Latin cantilena ("it")

Examples

  • 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.

    Frederic Chopin as a Man and Musician

  • "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.

    Magna Carter (7): Either/Or

  • "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.

    Archive 2008-07-01

  • Dr. Kissinger apparently doesn't appreciate the considerably rousing power of the traditional cantilena-cabaletta sequence of Italian opera.

    Archive 2007-08-01

  • Dr. Kissinger apparently doesn't appreciate the considerably rousing power of the traditional cantilena-cabaletta sequence of Italian opera.

    Unlikely music critic of the day

  • The following category according to Tinctoris was the cantilena or secular song, composed mostly of texts in the vernacular of the country.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • Multus hoc affectu sanat cantilena, laetitia, musica; et quidam sunt quoshaec angent.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • Et semper finem horum mirabilium cantilena subsequitur musicorum.

    The Voyages and Travels of Sir John Mandeville

  • Most Italians read verse in a monotonous tone called cantilena that destroys all feeling.

    Selections from _Corinne_

  • Et semper finem horum mirabilium cantilena subsequitur musicorum.

    The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation

Comments

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  • –noun

    a simple, lyric, melodic passage for voice or instrument.

    May 20, 2009