Dictionary

cantus firmus

cantus firmus

noun cantus fir·mus \-ˈfir-məs, -ˈfər-\

Definition of CANTUS FIRMUS

1
:  the plainsong or simple Gregorian melody originally sung in unison and prescribed as to form and use by ecclesiastical tradition
2
:  a melodic theme or subject; especially :  one for contrapuntal treatment

Origin of CANTUS FIRMUS

Medieval Latin, literally, fixed song
First Known Use: 1847

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