One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The section of a church or cathedral choir conventionally placed on the north side and taking the second or lower part in antiphonal singing.The opposite of decani
- ‘In the RCM parts, the verse section occupying bars 60-88 of the anthem is allocated throughout, more or less strictly in canon at the octave, to soloists singing from the medius cantoris and tenor decani part books.’
- ‘The cathedral precentor sits opposite the dean - whence the name for the two sides of the choir: decani and cantoris (‘of the singer’, i.e. the precentor).’
- ‘The post-Reformation choir was usually split into two antiphonal groups: cantoris on the precentor's side and decani opposite on the dean's side.’
Mid 17th century: from Latin, literally ‘of the cantor’ (see cantor).
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