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  • a polyphonic art, in which the plain chant serves as cantus firmus, that is, as the basis over which the other voice or voices sing their counterpoints.


  • With these composers' pieces as a template, three improvisations in baroque style opened the concert: a freewheeling fantasia, a set of variations on a cantus firmus and a dizzying rendition of a ground bass pattern.


  • Falling chronologically between Carter's first two string quartets, it's not completely off-base to hear the Sonata as Carter-lite, the polyrhythms and simultaneous tempi squared off into simpler subdivisions, as in the first movement, with the harpsichord ticking off a stately, out-of-time chorale-prelude cantus firmus.

    Archive 2008-07-01

  • In the early sixteenth century, Song of Songs texts were often amended to include specific reference to Mary; this procedure is not adopted in the present motet, but instead the tenor line sings a cantus firmus, also taken from the Song of Songs: ‘Tota pulchra es, amica mea’ ‘You are all-beautiful, my love’.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • Two motets, Circumdederunt me and Si diligis me, are built on a cantus firmus; a few others are built on an ostinato with its own text.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • It's forbidden to repeat the same melodic turn above a cantus firmus of equally long notes, unless cantus firmus has a repetition in itself.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • Musae Jovis, his tribute to Josquin, uses Circumdederunt me gemitus mortis, a chant Josquin himself had used in Nymphes, nappés, as a cantus firmus repeated in progressively reduced values.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • At the same time new techniques of composition evolved and were refined: the various sections of Mass settings were unified by means of a constantly recurring cantus firmus and by identical biginnings to the movements, while increasingly complex canonic techniques were developed, and the number of voices and sections, the mensural succession and even compositional techniques were established for certain types of motets.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • Avoid two or more consecutive cadences of the same pitch even if cantus firmus allows it.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • His debt to the former is apparent in his borrowing, not only musical material, but also techniques such as soggetto cavato, ostinato, cantus firmus and incipient parody.

    Archive 2009-06-01


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