Cantus-firmus meaning

kăn'təs fîr'məs, fûr'-
A preexisting melody used as the basis of a polyphonic composition, especially in polyphony of the 1300s and 1400s.
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An existing melody used as the basis for a new polyphonic composition.
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(music) A preexisting melody forming the basis of a polyphonic composition.
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Origin of cantus-firmus

  • Medieval Latin Latin cantus song Latin firmus fixed
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • From Wiktionary