cantus firmus

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  • noun

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a melody used as the basis for a polyphonic composition

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When the soprano voices and oboes enter with the chorale melody in half-notes, the rest of the vocal ensemble supports the cantus firmus in block homophony and is joined with a return of the lively ritornello material in the violins.
God want us to love him eternally with our whole hearts--not in such a way as to injure or weaken our earthly love, but to provide a kind of cantus firmus to which the other melodies of life provide the counterpoint.
The cantus firmus, I think, is the portrayal of the Church as freed by the Spirit to interpret its Savior and his summons anew in the light of ongoing experience.
The first chapter proceeds logically in the manner of species counterpoint, considering in turn one, two, four, and three notes against one note of a cantus firmus.
Is there a cantus firmus that runs through all of this?
God wants us to love him eternally and with our whole hearts--not in such a way as to injure or weaken our earthly love, but to provide a kind of cantus firmus to which the other melodies of life provide the counterpoint .
These are cantus firmus settings in which a tenor or superius line of a polyphonic chanson is lifted, literally intact, and surrounded by new lines in an obviously rhythmically and melodically nonvocal style, the most famous examples of which include the numerous arrangements of Hayne van Ghizeghem's De tous biens plaine.
This is the cantus firmus resonating throughout Ratzinger's 55 years of writing on the eucharistic nature of the church, demonstrating a "consistency in spite of a change of perspective.
A strange little rising and falling modal scale serves almost as a cantus firmus here in this beautifully-crafted piece evoking a timeless serenity.
For fifteenth-century Latin music, musicologists rely on large-scale markers including genre, mensuration, text distribution, and cantus firmus treatment to determine the origins of anonymous works.
Investigating the most famous musical tradition of the cantus firmus age--Masses based on the popular tune L'Homme arme [The Armed Man]--W.
Technically it would have been difficult indeed for even the informed listener to follow with the ear the long durational sequences inherent in the motet, although clearly heard by all, literally or figuratively trumpeted, would have been the four words of the cantus firmus, "terribilus est ipse locus," the central words of the famous vision of Jacob's Ladder in which angels are seen going up and down from Heaven (and perhaps evoking for some listeners this vision, even the "heavenly" space directly around them).
So we get fairly detailed explanations of the Counter-Reformation and its effects on music; of the forces available in a Spanish church and the duties of a chapelmaster; of the liturgy and the extraliturgical situations for music; of the nature of the parody mass; of the symbolism of cantus firmus and canon; of Burmeister's rhetorical analysis; and so on.
His abiding interest in cantus firmus technique might at first come as something of a surprise to those familiar with the mid-century compositional practice of Adrian Willaert and other masters who attended increasingly to the semantic and syntactic valences of texts rather than the manipulation of contrapuntal relationships per se.
Given this perspective it is only natural that most of the attention was focused on the cantus firmus mass, regarded as a privileged terrain, where the composer, by "freely" choosing a pre-existing theme, afforded the mass an aesthetically independent unification device that allegedly snatched it away and "liberated" it from the (perceived) shackles of purely liturgical considerations.