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Cantica  

Geoffrey Chew

(Lat.: ‘songs’)

In ancient Roman comedies, the sung lyric sections as opposed to the diverbi or sections containing spoken dialogue; and, in a narrower sense, the sections sung by soloists (rather than the chorus) with instrumental accompaniment. In the latter sense the cantica were analogous to monody in Greek drama. In the comedies of Plautus, the cantica are highlights, and must have required highly skilled performers.

In the Middle Ages, the term (with either canticum or cantica as a singular form) was used more broadly to mean ‘song’, especially when referring to sacred monophonic songs (e.g. sequences or vernacular religious songs; it has been used in the same sense by modern editors for monophonic Byzantine hymns). It came to be applied particularly to the biblical Song of Songs and to the canticles of the Divine Office of the Roman rite (see Canticle).

E. Reisch: ‘Canticum’, Paulys Real-Encyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft...

Article

Miloš Velimirović, Ruth Steiner, Keith Falconer and Nicholas Temperley

(from Lat. canticulum, diminutive of canticum: ‘song’)

A designation for hymns in the scriptures apart from the psalms; it is sometimes applied loosely to the Te Deum and other non-scriptural texts as well as to certain psalms, particularly in the Anglican rite.

Miloš Velimirović

Canticles are similar to psalms in form and content and several appear in various Christian rites. Biblical canticles are often referred to as ‘Psalms outside the Psalter’. In the Old Testament there are a number of such hymns, a few of which were used by the Jews both in the Temple and in the Synagogue rites. The most prominent were the Song of Moses (Exodus xv.1–19) and the Hymn of the Three Children in the Fiery Furnace (Daniel iii.57–88 in the Apocrypha). The Greek term in the Septuagint for such songs is ōdē (from adō: ‘to sing’). Of the New Testament canticles, it seems likely that some are new versions, maybe only slightly reworked, of earlier Jewish or Jewish-Christian material, the latter most probably consisting of hymns or psalmic compositions; the original versions, presumably in Hebrew or Aramaic, are lost and cannot now be reconstructed with certainty. Three New Testament canticles are used daily in the Roman rite: ...

Article

Cantiga  

Jack Sage

A Spanish and Portuguese medieval monophonic song. The words ‘cantiga’, ‘cantica’ and ‘cantar’ were widely used in the Iberian peninsula up to about 1450 to designate a song, as opposed to decir, which was looked upon as a poem; but apart from six secular love songs by martin Codax and the seven extant songs with music by Dom Dom Dinis, the only surviving music is that of the Cantigas de Santa María of Alfonso el Sabio. This collection of over 400 songs about the Virgin Mary was made between about 1270 and 1290 under the direction of King Alfonso and illuminated with illustrative miniatures, the whole forming one of the great artistic achievements of the Middle Ages. Most of these cantigas are ballad-style accounts of miracles performed by the Blessed Virgin (cantiga de miragres) but every tenth is a hymn in her praise (cantiga de loor). The poems are in Portuguese-Galician (akin to Portuguese), a language chosen not merely because Galicia was part of Alfonso’s kingdom but because it was often considered by Spanish poets up to the 15th century to be suitable for lyric poetry. Strictly, then, the word ‘cantiga’ in Alfonso’s collection should be given a Portuguese pronunciation (stress on the first syllable, hispanicized as ...

Article

Ernest H. Sanders

A Latin term meaning ‘song’, ‘melody’ and, secondarily, the blending of two or more simultaneous melodic entities (i.e. synonymous with concentus). The term designated a variety of musical phenomena in the Middle Ages. It crops up as a term for plainchant, especially for chants other than psalmody, primarily those which render not biblical prose but poetic texts or texts tending towards poetry (e.g. prosae). From the 9th century onwards cantilena was often associated with non-ecclesiastical monophony. Hence, the term was applied to jongleurs’ songs, as well as to the secular refrain forms that Johannes de Grocheo (1300) identified with music of the people of northern France: rondeau, and (without text) stantipes and ductia. The subsidiary meaning of the word may account for its use – in contrast to cantio – in connection with certain types of polyphony. In the 9th and 10th centuries it could designate the new (parallel) organum (...

Article

Ellen T. Harris

Term used for a particularly sustained or lyrical vocal line, usually for solo voice, meaning lullaby in Italian. The Italian verb cantilenare means ‘to hum’ and this wordless quality is also important. Thus the first movement of Villa-Lobos’s Bachianas brasileiras no.5, which ends with a hummed line for solo voice (...

Article

Cantio  

John Caldwell

(Lat.: ‘song’)

The word, of classical origin, was in frequent use throughout the Middle Ages to mean any kind of song, whatever its subject matter, language or musical style. It gave rise to vernacular terms including ‘canso(n)’ (Provênçal), ‘canzone’ (Italian) and ‘chanson’ (French), which also may be of wide general application. Dante (De vulgari eloquentia, II.viii), using the word ‘cantio’ as the Latin equivalent of these, limits its application to the high-style strophic song. From the 14th century onwards it came to be applied more specifically to sacred, non-liturgical Latin song, strophic in form and usually with a refrain. In modern musicological literature it has sometimes been used in a comparatively wide sense to refer to monophonic art songs in Latin from the 10th century onwards (Stevens, 1986), but more often to refer to late medieval religious songs of the kind collected in cantionalia (and books denoted by equivalent vernacular terms) from the 14th to the 16th centuries (...

Article

Rudolf A. Rasch

A polyphonic Christmas carol with Latin or Flemish text composed in the southern (Spanish) Netherlands during the 17th century. The term is first found in the Flemish-Latin Thesaurus theutonicae linguae (Antwerp, 1573) as a translation of leyssen (the Flemish for ‘carol’, from Kyrie eleison), a definition repeated in Cornelis Kilianus’s influential Etymologicum of 1598. ‘Cantiones natalitiae’ was used by Phalèse for a set of six anonymous polyphonic Latin carols for three to six voices published as an appendix to Pevernage’s Laudes vespertinae (Antwerp, 1604), a collection including Marian antiphons clearly associated with musical practices at Antwerp Cathedral. It seems likely that, whereas the antiphons were intended for the daily Marian devotions and the Tantum ergo settings in the same volume for the Eucharist, the cantiones natalitiae had their place in Christmas Eve services, probably at the end of Mass or Vespers. These early examples are simple homophonic settings of such well-known Latin Christmas carols or hymns as ...

Article

Owen Rees

(Lat.: ‘sacred song’)

A name for the motet during the 16th and 17th centuries, as, for example, in Johannes de Cleve’s Cantiones sacrae, quae vulgo muteta vocantur (1559) and Andrea Gabrieli’s Sacrae cantiones vulgo motecta appellatae (1565). The term is also used in Scheidt’s Tabulatura nova (1624) for keyboard chorales....

Article

Jiří Sehnal and Werner Braun

[cantionale] (from Lat. cantio: ‘song’; Cz. kancionál; Ger. Cantional, Kantional)

A collection of sacred songs; a hymnbook, especially in central Europe.

Jiří Sehnal

The word ‘ kancionál’ (pl. kancionály) arose in Czech in the early 16th century as a name for a book of sacred songs. In the course of time it replaced the older Czech term ‘ písně’ (‘songs’), which was too broad. For those of non-Catholic denominations the kancionál was a liturgical book; for Catholics who used Latin and plainsong during the church service it was a non-liturgical book, which contained liturgical elements only in exceptional cases. Since the kancionál was designed above all for laymen it was made up mainly of Czech strophic songs, and the presence of compositions of any other type (plainsong, or its translation into Czech and polyphonic compositions) was not a decisive factor. It is a characteristic of every kancionál, however, that at least part of its contents was made up of songs designed to be sung by the whole congregation. Several music manuscripts of the 15th century were later referred to as ...

Article

(Fr.: ‘canticle’, ‘hymn’)

A term used generically to refer to French religious songs in the vernacular comparable to the German chorale or religious songs of a more popular nature.

A. Gastoué: Le cantique populaire en France (Lyons, 1924) C. Rozier: ‘Hymnes et cantiques en France du 13e au 17e siècle’, La Maison-Dieu, no.92 (1967), 136–44...

Article

Owen Rees

(It., Sp.: ‘song’)

A term denoting, variously, Singing, the art of singing, the soprano part or partbook of a polyphonic composition, a melody, a Song, or the treble string of a bowed or plucked instrument (usually in its diminutive form as ‘cantino’). It is also applied to specific genres such as carnival songs (...

Article

(Sp.)

A term for mensural music, i.e. polyphony, as opposed to ‘canto llano’ (plainchant), used in Spain from the 13th or 14th century to the 18th. Juan Bermudo (Declaración de instrumentos musicales, 1555) defined canto de órgano as ‘harmony or melody that can be measured’. The term ‘canto figurado’ also referred to polyphony, but ‘canto de órgano’ is found more often in theoretical treatises....

Article

Meredith Oyen

Cantopop, Cantonese-language popular music, and Mandopop, Mandarin-language popular music, are the products of encounters and exchanges between Chinese, Japanese, and American music traditions. Both can be heard in Chinese communities and businesses in the United States today.

Mandopop dates back to the 1920s in the dance halls of jazz-age Shanghai. After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the industry moved to Hong Kong, but by the 1960s, the growth of the Mandarin language movement in Taiwan helped Taipei become the new capital of Mandopop. The American military presence in Taiwan in the 1950s and 60s introduced new genres of American popular music to local artists, including rock and R&B.

While Mandopop moved to Taipei, Cantopop emerged in Hong Kong in the 1970s as a localized response to popular American, Japanese, and Mandarin-language music. As the date for the British handover of the colony to China neared, increasing numbers of Hong Kong residents immigrated to Canada and the United States, bringing along their musical practices and tastes. The growth of the Hong Kong film industry and the internationalization of its audience also contributed to the spread of both Mandopop and Cantopop to North America and around the world....

Article

Owen Jander

(Lat.: ‘song’)

The medieval and Renaissance word for melody; more specifically, the highest voice in a polyphonic composition. Tinctoris (Terminorum musicae diffinitorium, 1475) mentioned four uses of the word ‘cantus’. In the widest sense it could refer to any vocal composition; the three volumes of the Odhecaton, published by Petrucci (1501–4), are designated Canti A, Canti B and Canti C. Cantus simplex planus was a simple melody using notes of indefinite value, as in Gregorian chant; cantus simplex figuratus was a melody in metrical rhythm, as was cantus fractus which resulted from a long note value being broken into smaller parts; and cantus compositus meant polyphony. In Tinctoris’s time the term was occasionally used also for the top voice of a polyphonic composition, though ‘superius’ or ‘discantus’ were more common designations. ‘Cantus’ displaced the term ‘superius’ only in the second half of the 16th century.

The terms cantus durus...

Article

Hendrik van der Werf

(Lat.)

Late medieval term, literally meaning ‘crowned song’. (The practice of awarding a prize or crown either to poems and compositions or to their creators was very widespread in the Middle Ages.) The term occurs in a treatise by Johannes de Grocheio in reference to trouvère chansons and in a manner that requires special discussion. Furthermore, in a small number of manuscripts containing trouvère chansons the term appears in its French form, ‘chanson couronnée’, or most often merely as the word ‘couronnée’ or ‘couronnez’.

Grocheio divided musica vulgaris into two categories, called ‘cantus’ and ‘cantilena’, and each of these had a triple subdivision. The three forms of the cantus were ‘cantus gestualis’, ‘cantus coronatus’ and ‘cantus versiculatus’. By the first term Grocheio obviously meant Chanson de geste, but it is not at all clear what the distinction was between the other two. It has often been assumed that Grocheio used the term ‘cantus coronatus’ as a sort of generic term for trouvère chanson, and that therefore whatever Grocheio wrote about this song must hold true for the entire repertory of trouvère chansons. However, Grocheio mentioned not only two trouvère songs as examples of the cantus coronatus, but two others as examples of the cantus versiculatus. (In the course of the treatise, the last is also called ‘cantus versicularis’ and ‘cantus versualis’.) Furthermore, he attributed different characteristics to these two categories of song and almost every remark about the cantus coronatus and the cantus versiculatus is either much too vague and elusive to be helpful or is made virtually meaningless by the author himself in subsequent comparisons with ecclesiastic music....

Article

Jeffrey Dean

[planus cantus; musica plana] (Lat.: ‘plainchant’)

A term used to describe plainchant. In its earliest usage by Odo and Guido of Arezzo it signified chants at a lower pitch (‘cantus … graves et plani’) as distinct from those at a higher pitch (‘cantus … acuti et alti’), in order to distinguish the plagal modes from the authentic; in this sense planus and acutus are exactly equivalent to their literal translations ‘flat’ and ‘sharp’. Apart from these two appearances the term was scarcely used before the 13th century, when it began to designate plainchant as distinct from, first, discant and, slightly later and more importantly, mensural music. ‘Cantus planus’ was almost never used in the sense of Cantus firmus to mean the tenor of a polyphonic composition, except in the case of organum purum, where the chant melody retained its non-mensural character. Anonymus 4 (CoussemakerS, i) made an interesting opposition between ‘cantores plani’, who sang parallel organum, and ‘veri discantatores’, who discanted in contrary motion....

Article

Lewis Lockwood

(Lat.: ‘pre-existing melody’)

The term seems to have been first used in the 13th century by Franco of Cologne in his treatise Ars cantus mensurabilis (see StrunkSR1, 153). As Franco used the term it referred to the pre-existing melody taken as the basis for two-part polyphony, or discantus, and used as the tenor to which a discant voice was added. In later writings the term became generally synonymous with ...

Article

Article

Canzona  

John Caldwell

(It.: ‘song’)

A type of instrumental music of the 16th and 17th centuries that developed from the Netherlandish chanson.

The spelling ‘canzona’ was fairly frequently used in Italy after 1600 and has become standard in England and not infrequent in Germany; in older Italian sources, however, ‘canzone’ and ‘canzon’ (with the plural ‘canzoni’) are practically universal, and ‘canzone’ has subsequently remained the standard Italian form. It should be noted that ‘canzone’ as the plural of ‘canzona’ is rare. (For a discussion of the Italian poetic form, see Canzone.) The word ‘canzone’ or ‘canzona’ in its instrumental connotation originally denoted an arrangement of a polyphonic song, usually a French chanson, since although arrangements of Italian works were quite common these were usually called ‘frottola’ or ‘madrigale’. Although it was used at least until the end of the 16th century to mean a straightforward arrangement, there are quite early instances of new compositions based on existing chanson material, and the term eventually came to be applied to original compositions using idioms familiar through arrangements and reworkings. Since chansons of the type favoured for these purposes (i.e. the Parisian chanson as represented in the books of Attaingnant starting in ...

Article

Canzone  

(It.: ‘song’)

(1) In the broadest sense, the Italian word for any lyric or poetic expression. It is in this sense that the term has been used by non-Italians as a title for selfconsciously simple or ‘song-like’ compositions, such as the slow movement of Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, marked ‘in modo di canzone’.

(2) In the 16th century, the term most often used by musicians to denote a vocal work of popular or folklike character, usually followed by designation of its regional origin, for example canzone villanesca alla napolitana.

(3) Since the early 16th century, a term used intermittently as a title for instrumental works, originally transcriptions or arrangements of vocal models in several contrasting sections. Also called canzoni da sonar, this type of piece constituted an important instrumental genre in the early 17th century and was particularly significant as a forerunner of the sonata. In modern usage the word ‘canzona’ is most commonly used for such a piece, even though the spelling is virtually unknown in Italian sources (...