The highest voice in polyphonic choral music.
- ‘When copying Monteverdi's Ahi dolente partita on pp.410-11, each occurrence of a unison between the two cantus parts is marked with a cross.’
- ‘Musically, the next, extended subsection is built around the brooding, mainly narrowstepped cantus in violas, (later with cellos and horns), shown in Ex.1b, with sonorous chords above and below which settle on a sustained C in the bass.’
- ‘But Farmer's cantus part had no independent existence, and certainly would not have been used for congregational singing.’
Late 16th century: from Latin.