One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In a cathedral or collegiate church: a precentor's deputy; a succentor; (in certain institutions also) the leader of the vicars choral.
Late 15th century; earliest use found in Acts of Lords of Council in Civil Causes. From sub- + chanter. Compare Middle French souchantre, soubchantre, soubschantre, French sous-chantre, Old Occitan sochantre.
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