from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. the plain ecclesiastical chant in cathedral service; the plain song.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Firm or fixed song; the ancient traditional vocal music of the Christian church: so called because, its form being settled and its use prescribed by ecclesiastical authority, it was not allowable to alter it in any manner.
  • n. A theme or subject taken by a composer from the ancient canto fermo of the church, for contrapuntal treatment.


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