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cantus firmus

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

Definition of cantus firmus

  1. 1 :  the plainsong or simple Gregorian melody originally sung in unison and prescribed as to form and use by ecclesiastical tradition

  2. 2 :  a melodic theme or subject; especially :  one for contrapuntal treatment



Origin and Etymology of cantus firmus

Medieval Latin, literally, fixed song


First Known Use: 1847


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