cantus firmus

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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 ?
Peschin, the manuscript also contains the Missa Carolus Imperator Romanorum for five voices, written by Johannes Lupus (circa 1506-1539), a piece that has frequently been cited as an example of a setting of a mass, in whose cantus firmus the sogetto cavatto is used in the form of sol-fa.
Although these works contain many of the musical styles associated with the Neumeister-type sacred cantata, and were performed interchangeably with that kind of concerted music in church services, Poetzsch is careful to identify these five works as chorale arrangements (Choralbearbeitungen), since the composer sets every verse of the hymns, and their chorale melodies are consistently featured as a cantus firmus in each movement.
In his book The Enduring Melody, Anglican priest Michael Mayne talks about the two strands of the cantus firmus, the enduring melody laid down by Christ himself: prayer and the Eucharist.
Bridget Riley's Cantus Firmus 1972-73 is instantly recognisable as a Riley, as the eyes start to blur, and Peter Davies's Small Touching Squares Painting is made up of lots of tiny blobs of colour which shows admirable sticking power.
God wants us to love him eternally with our whole hearts--not in such a way as to injure or weaken our earthly love, but to provide a kind of cantus firmus to which the other melodies of life provide the counterpoint.
Readers not thoroughly familiar with the ideas and content of those specific works will find it difficult to appreciate the full significance of the argument but the cantus firmus of Luther's thought is readily apparent throughout.
In these ever-changing times, Mark Bangert has provided both the cantus firmus and the grace notes to the church's song and meal--and still provides them.
Some of Scheidemann's finest works are his chorale arrangements and Magnificat settings, which use the cantus firmus technique or imitation.
Die bekende Rumi-strofe "Lovers don't finally meet somewhere / They're in each other all along" kan met reg beskou word as die cantus firmus van Banoobhai se nuutste bundel.
This topic is indeed the cantus firmus, so to say, of much of Ratzinger's theology of political life.
Some of the aspects that will be discussed include imitations, cadences, use of cantus firmus, length of verses, and use of mode.
The work is based on a melodic line, a series of harmonies and a specific theme using cantus firmus and talea (composing techniques).