cantus firmus

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Related to Canti firmi: Cantus firmi, Canti fermi

can·tus fir·mus

 (kăn′təs fîr′məs, fûr′-)
A preexisting melody used as the basis of a polyphonic composition, especially in polyphony of the 1300s and 1400s.

[Medieval Latin : Latin cantus, song + Latin firmus, fixed.]

can•tus fir•mus

(ˈkæn təs ˈfɜr məs)
n., pl. cantus firmus.
2. a fixed melody to which other voices are added, typically in polyphonic treatment.
[1840–50; < Medieval Latin: literally, firm song]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.cantus firmus - a melody used as the basis for a polyphonic composition
Gregorian chant, plainchant, plainsong - a liturgical chant of the Roman Catholic Church
References in periodicals archive ?
Plainchant incipits appear at the notated pitch of the Sarum (Use of Salisbury) service books, while embedded canti firmi are either untransposed or at a pitch that corresponds with the accompanying polyphony.
Of particular importance, Morosan includes the melodies of the ten unison chants from the Obikhod notnogo peniia ("The Common Book of Musical Signs" [Moscow: Sinodal'naia Tipografiia, 1900]) incorporated by Rachmaninoff as canti firmi into his All-Night Vigil.