descant


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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 ?
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.
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.
“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.”—Gertrude OF Wyoming.
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.
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.
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.
No one, indeed, could fail to see uncle Jerry; for he shed tears more than once, and in the intervals between the essays descanted to his neighbors concerning the marvelous gifts of one of the graduating class whom he had known ever since she was a child; in fact, had driven her from Maplewood to Riverboro when she left her home, and he had told mother that same night that there wan't nary rung on the ladder o' fame that that child wouldn't mount before she got through with it.
The influence which the bigotry of one female,[6] the petulance of another,[7] and the cabals of a third,[8] had in the contemporary policy, ferments, and pacifications, of a considerable part of Europe, are topics that have been too often descanted upon not to be generally known.
The old clergyman had slipped on a stone in mid-stream, and, as he dragged a dripping leg up the opposite bank, he had sworn an oath worthy of the "godless young man" who had put him to flight, and on whose demerits he had descanted with so much eloquence and indignation.
On his misdeeds they descanted profusely, until the girl who had been typing the strong letter came out with it.
Stiggins; and the topics principally descanted on, were the virtues of the shepherd, the worthiness of his flock, and the high crimes and misdemeanours of everybody beside--dissertations which the elder Mr.
The easel was now surrounded; Servin descanted on the beauty of the copy which his favorite pupil was then making, and the whole class was duped by this stratagem, except Amelie, who, slipping behind her companions, attempted to open the portfolio where she had seen Ginevra throw the sketch.