Cantus Firmus

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Related to Canti firmi: Cantus firmi, Canti fermi
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.