One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in medieval music) a form of early polyphony based on an existing plainsong.
- ‘In 1620 he published his Novum organum, presenting his philosophy of science in the form of aphorisms, many of them memorable.’
- ‘In an organum piece, a fragment of an older melody is slowed down to the point where it almost becomes a drone.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘The opening motif of the second part is extremely Debussian in its parallel organum chords, much as in Debussy's Nuages of 1899.’
- ‘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.’
Latin, from Greek organon, literally ‘instrument, organ’.
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