- in medieval music,
- two-part singing in which there is a fixed, known melody and an additional but subordinate melody that is higher in pitch
- this added upper melody
- the highest voice in polyphonic singing, as the treble or soprano
- a varied song or melody
Origin of descant< the v. a comment; criticism; discourse
Origin of descantMiddle English from Anglo-French deschaunt and Medieval Latin discantus from Classical Latin dis-, from, apart + cantus, song: see chant
- to talk or write at length; comment expansively; discourse (on or upon)
- to sing or play a descant to the main melody
- to sing
Origin of descantME discanten < the n.
- also dis·cant Music a. An ornamental melody or counterpoint sung or played above a theme.b. The highest part sung in part music.
- A discussion or discourse on a theme.
intransitive verbdes·cant·ed, des·cant·ing, des·cants
- To comment at length; discourse: “He used to descant critically on the dishes which had been at table” ( James Boswell )
- also dis·cant Music a. To sing or play a descant.b. To sing melodiously.
Origin of descantMiddle English from Anglo-Norman descaunt from Medieval Latin discantus a refrain Latin dis- dis- Latin cantus song ( from past participle of canere to sing ; see kan- in Indo-European roots.)
(third-person singular simple present descants, present participle descanting, simple past and past participle descanted)
- (intransitive) To discuss at length.
- (intransitive) To sing or play a descant.
From Anglo-Norman descaunt, from Medieval Latin discantus.