Cantus-firmus definition

kăntəs fîrməs, fûr-
Frequency:
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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Alternative Forms

Alternative Form of cantus-firmus - canto fermo

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
cantus-firmus
Plural:
cantus-firmi

Origin of cantus-firmus

  • Medieval Latin Latin cantus song Latin firmus fixed

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Wiktionary