Descant

Definition of Descant

Des`cant´   Pronunciation: dĕs`kănt´
n.1.(Mus.) Originally, a double song; a melody or counterpoint sung above the plain song of the tenor; a variation of an air; a variation by ornament of the main subject or plain song.
Twenty doctors expound one text twenty ways, as children make descant upon plain song.
- Tyndale.
She [the nightingale] all night long her amorous descant sung.
- Milton.
2.A discourse formed on its theme, like variations on a musical air; a comment or comments.
Upon that simplest of themes how magnificent a descant!
- De Quincey.
v. i.1.To sing a variation or accomplishment.
[imp. & p. p. Descanted; p. pr. & vb. n. Descanting.]
2.To comment freely; to discourse with fullness and particularity; to discourse at large.
A virtuous man should be pleased to find people descanting on his actions.
- Addison.

Related Words

Nachtmusik, Vorspiel, absolute music, accompaniment, adaptation, air, air varie, aleatory, aleatory music, alto, amplify, anthem, aria, arrangement, article, ballad, baritone, bass, basso continuo, basso ostinato, bassus, canto, cantus, cantus figuratus, cantus planus, carol, causerie, chamber music, chamber orchestra, chant, chirp, chirrup, choir, chorus, comment upon, composition, concert overture, continuo, contralto, criticize, croon, curtain raiser, deal with, detail, develop, diapason, dilate, discourse, discuss, discussion, disquisition, dissert, dissertate, dissertation, ditty, do-re-mi, dramatic overture, drone, elaborate, electronic music, enlarge, enlarge upon, essay, etude, evolve, examination, excursus, exercise, expand, expatiate, explicate, exposition, feature, figured bass, first approach, go into, ground bass, handle, harmonization, homily, hum, hymn, incidental music, inquire into, instrumental music, intonate, intone, introduction, introductory study, invention, lay, lied, lilt, line, lucubration, measure, melodia, melodic line, melody, memoir, minstrel, monograph, morceau, nocturne, note, operatic overture, opus, orchestration, outline, overture, pandect, paper, paragraph, part, particularize, piece, pipe, plain chant, plain song, preliminary study, prelude, prick song, production, program music, prolegomenon, psalm, quaver, refrain, rehearse in extenso, relate at large, remark upon, research paper, review, ricercar, roulade, score, screed, serenade, sermonize, shake, sing, sing in chorus, sketch, sol-fa, solmizate, solo, solo part, sonata, sonatina, song, soprano, soprano part, special article, strain, string orchestra, string quartet, study, survey, take up, tenor, term paper, theme, theme and variations, thesis, thorough bass, touch upon, tract, tractate, treat, treat of, treatise, treatment, treble, tremolo, trill, trio, troll, tune, tweedle, tweedledee, twit, twitter, undersong, unfold, vamp, variation, vocalize, voice, voice part, voluntary, warble, whistle, work, work out, write up, yodel
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