Definition of organum in English:

organum

noun

  • (in medieval music) a form of early polyphony based on an existing plainsong.

    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

Latin, from Greek organon, literally ‘instrument, organ’.

Pronunciation

organum

/ˈôrɡənəm/