descant

(redirected from descants)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.

des·cant

 (dĕs′kănt′)
n.
1. also dis·cant (dĭs′-) Music
a. An ornamental melody or counterpoint sung or played above a theme.
b. The highest part sung in part music.
2. A discussion or discourse on a theme.
intr.v. (dĕs′kănt′, dĕ-skănt′) des·cant·ed, des·cant·ing, des·cants
1. To comment at length; discourse: "He used to descant critically on the dishes which had been at table" (James Boswell).
2. also dis·cant (dĭs′kănt′, dĭ-skănt′) Music
a. To sing or play a descant.
b. To sing melodiously.

[Middle 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).]

des′cant′er n.

descant

n
1. (Music, other) Also: discant a decorative counterpoint added above a basic melody
2. a comment, criticism, or discourse
adj
(Instruments) Also: discant of or pertaining to the highest member in common use of a family of musical instruments: a descant recorder.
vb (intr)
3. (Music, other) Also: discant (often foll by: on or upon) to compose or perform a descant (for a piece of music)
4. (often foll by: on or upon) to discourse at length or make varied comments
[C14: from Old Northern French, from Medieval Latin discantus, from Latin dis-1 + cantus song; see chant]
desˈcanter n

des•cant

(n. ˈdɛs kænt; v. dɛsˈkænt, dɪs-)

also discant



n.
1.
a. a melody or counterpoint accompanying a simple musical theme and usu. written above it.
b. (in part music) the soprano.
c. a song or melody.
2. a commentary upon a subject.
v.i.
3. to discourse at great length.
[1350–1400; Middle English discant, descaunt < Anglo-French < Medieval Latin discanthus= Latin dis- dis-1 + cantus song]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.descant - a decorative musical accompaniment (often improvised) added above a basic melodydescant - a decorative musical accompaniment (often improvised) added above a basic melody
musical accompaniment, accompaniment, backup, support - a musical part (vocal or instrumental) that supports or provides background for other musical parts
Verb1.descant - sing in descant
sing - produce tones with the voice; "She was singing while she was cooking"; "My brother sings very well"
2.descant - sing by changing registerdescant - sing by changing register; sing by yodeling; "The Austrians were yodeling in the mountains"
sing - produce tones with the voice; "She was singing while she was cooking"; "My brother sings very well"
3.descant - talk at great length about something of one's interest
discourse, discuss, talk about - to consider or examine in speech or writing; "The author talks about the different aspects of this question"; "The class discussed Dante's `Inferno'"
Translations

descant

[ˈdeskænt] N (Mus) → contrapunto m

descant

[ˈdɛskænt] n (MUSIC)déchant m

descant

n (Mus) → Diskant m; descant recorderSopranflöte f
visich auslassen or verbreiten (→ upon über +acc), → ausgiebig kommentieren

descant

[ˈdɛskænt] n (Mus) → discanto
References in classic literature ?
Though rendered less connected by many and general interruptions and outbreakings, a translation of their language would have contained a regular descant, which, in substance, might have proved to possess a train of consecutive ideas.
I may add, without vanity, that my presence often gave them sufficient matter for discourse, because it afforded my master an occasion of letting his friends into the history of me and my country, upon which they were all pleased to descant, in a manner not very advantageous to humankind: and for that reason I shall not repeat what they said; only I may be allowed to observe, that his honour, to my great admiration, appeared to understand the nature of YAHOOS much better than myself.
Both the parents died before the Restoration, leaving the little girl to the care of her pious grandmother, la vicomtesse, who survived, in a feeble old age, to descant on the former grandeur of her house, and to sigh, in common with so many others, for le bon vieux temps.
And I could weep “—th’ Oneida chief His descant wildly thus begun—” But that I may not stain with grief The death-song of my father’s son.
Scaly-conscience, and a knot of gentlemen from the town of Shun-repentance, to descant upon the inestimable advantages resulting from the safety of our baggage.
Most likely not; but I am not going to descant upon them now: I will only make this acknowledgment, little honourable as it may be to human nature, and especially to myself, - that the former half of the narrative was, to me, more painful than the latter, not that I was at all insensible to Mrs.
He has received the Rea Award for lifetime achievement in short fiction, based on such works as Pricksongs & Descants, A Night at the Movies, and A Child Again.
Besides the index itself Lycosthenes gives an introductory section in which he descants on the use of maps as making travel possible (in a sense) for the stay-at-home without the hardships and other drawbacks of actual journeys, and goes on to explain the use of the index.
Each composition in the two sets includes one or two clear statements of the melody along with newly composed introductions, interludes, harmonies and/or descants.
By then", she says, "you'd have the audience swaying, everyone singing, people singing harmonies and descants.
Owen has created hundreds of works for chorus, orchestra, solo instruments and chamber ensembles, both vocal and instrumental, as well as church anthems, organ music and trumpet descants.
My forty-year engagement with Coover fiction and its author begins in 1970 when, a green assistant professor, I read Pricksongs & Descants, which so bowled me over I had to teach it to understand it better.