One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An early type of polyphonic music based on plainsong with an accompaniment sung below or above the melody.
- ‘Plainchant melodies, or sections of them, were taken as cantus firmi in the earliest forms of polyphony (e.g. organum, clausula) and in the 13th and 14th-century motet and some early mass movements.’
- ‘In an organum piece, a fragment of an older melody is slowed down to the point where it almost becomes a drone.’
- ‘The opening motif of the second part is extremely Debussian in its parallel organum chords, much as in Debussy's Nuages of 1899.’
- ‘In 1620 he published his Novum organum, presenting his philosophy of science in the form of aphorisms, many of them memorable.’
- ‘They bring in a full drum kit for ‘Painted Chariot’, but it's mild, stumbling rock, with an organum interlude plopped in the middle for continuity.’
- 1.1 A part sung as an accompaniment below or above a melody.
backing, support, background, soundtrack, compView synonyms
- ‘Guido's treatise Micrologus also explains how to sing a second voice accompanying a plainchant melody, creating two-part organum.’
Latin, from Greek organon, literally ‘instrument, organ’.
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