Cantus Firmus

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Cantus Firmus

 

a melody borrowed from any secular or religious work or specially created and used as the basis for a polyphonic musical composition. The method of cantus firmus developed in Western European music in the 12th century, became particularly widespread in the 16th, and began losing its importance in the 17th.

References in periodicals archive ?
Macey provides references to the modern editions of these excluded works in the endnotes to the edition's introduction, and excerpts and cantus firmi from these motets appear as musical examples in Bonfire Songs.
1 [F] and Wolfenbuttel, Herzog-August Bibliothek, Helmstedt 1099 [W2] (Wolfenbuttel, Herzog-August Bibliothek, Helmstedt Con [W1], which is, of course, accounted for in the transcriptions and the commentary, is not identified in the table of contents, though it contains forty percent of these compositions), of four clausulae in F (one of which is also in W1) on segments of cantus firmi not known to have been "organized" for three voices, and of fourteen compositions for three voices from other manuscripts (mostly Montpellier, Faculte de medecine, H 196 [Mo] and Bamberg, Staatliche Bibliothek, Lit.
Eliminating variations caused by musica ficta, in turn, can assist researchers in identifying borrowed melodic material, contrafacta and concordances, and voices built on cantus firmi.