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n. Music
A sustained, smooth-flowing melodic line.

[Italian, from Latin cantilēna, song, from cantus; see canticle.]


(Classical Music) a smooth flowing style in the writing of vocal music
[C18: Italian, from Latin cantilēna a song]


(ˌkæn tlˈi nə, -ˈeɪ nə)

n., pl. -nas.
a simple, lyric, melodic passage for voice or instrument.
[1730–40; < Italian < Latin cantilēna refrain, perhaps by dissimilation from *cantilēla, derivative of cantus song; see canto]
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References in periodicals archive ?
His Cadenzas, Scherzos and Cantilenas, a festival commission, received its premiere exploiting the virtuosity and expressive skills of violinist Alexandra Wood, clarinettist Rozenn Le Trionnaire and cellist Alice Neary.
The scherzo is not crudely straightforward, with its string figures piercing into the listener's ear like neurotic needles, which in the third movement are replaced by tender cantilenas of the strings.
Tambien es cierto que los ninos incorporan a su repertorio retahilas y cantilenas nuevas, cuya practica pudiera llegar a extenderse, enriqueciendo el acervo del Cancionero Popular Infantil; a veces lo hacen cambiando las letras de composiciones con melodias o ritmos muy conocidos: ninos que vivieron como tales el "fenomeno televisivo" de Sabrina y Cicciolina se mostraron irreverentemente burlescos y disparatados cuando empezaron a cantar el popular villancico "24 de diciembre" con esta letra:
A carefully selected repertoire that combines virtuoso demands, brisk tempi and charming cantilenas (smooth-flowing melodic passages), it explores composers forgotten in the shadow of Antonio Vivaldi.
Ex iuxta posse procuret gaudere, laetari audire cantilenas, ystorias et melodias.
1:63, 180-81: "Ad harum Syrenum exitiales cantilenas tu, clarissime dux, cum Homerico Ulysse aures habes undique cera obturatas?
Archly-patterned string figurations underpinned wind cantilenas in ticking textures perfectly proportioned to the piece's length.
Quibus tam maculosis accessere flagitia disciplinae castrensis, cum miles cantilenas meditaretur, pro iubilo molliores: et non saxum erat ut antehac armato cubile, sed pluma et flexiles lectuli et graviora gladiis pocula--testa enim bibere iam pudebat--quaerebantur et aedes marmoreae.
He urges the comparison of other liturgically ambiguous pieces, notably carols, conductus, motets and cantilenas, and by implication, study of the popular practices associated with particular feast days, such as liturgical dramas or processions.
She is again slightly different, but it is still her - splendidly declaiming, vaulting cantilenas, and with a poignancy in her voice, instantly recognisable.
The SACD opens with Dvorak's Sonatina, which sounds graceful, not only in the second movement, Larghetto, whose broad cantilenas perhaps come across with the cello even more poignantly than in the original violin version.
Her Mahler draws the listener in through her vaulting of cantilenas and voice timbre, fine even in a brighter and higher register.