Fauxbourdon

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Fauxbourdon

 

(French, “false bass”), a type of polyphonic singing that developed in the 15th and 16th centuries. In faux-bourdon, the cantus firmus was placed in the highest voice, and the middle voice followed in parallel fourths; the bass moved in parallel sixths or octaves with the highest voice, which was often embellished and filled out with musical ornaments. The term refers to the basic structure of the fauxbourdon, which was conceived and notated as a series of parallel triads in which the lowest voice was to be sung an octave higher than written.