browse words by letter
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
descant

more about descant

descant


  4  definitions  found 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Descant  \Des*cant"\  (d[e^]s*k[a^]nt"),  v.  i.  [imp.  &  p.  p. 
  {Descanted};  p.  pr  &  vb  n.  {Descanting}.]  [From  descant; 
  n.;  or  directly  fr  OF  descanter,  deschanter;  L.  dis-  + 
  cantare  to  sing.] 
  1.  To  sing  a  variation  or  accomplishment. 
 
  2.  To  comment  freely;  to  discourse  with  fullness  and 
  particularity;  to  discourse  at  large 
 
  A  virtuous  man  should  be  pleased  to  find  people 
  descanting  on  his  actions.  --Addison. 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Descant  \Des"cant\  (d[e^]s"k[a^]nt),  n.  [OF.  descant,  deschant, 
  F.  d['e]chant,  discant,  LL  discantus  fr  L.  dis  +  cantus 
  singing,  melody,  fr  canere  to  sing.  See  {Chant},  and  cf 
  {Descant},  v.  i.,  {Discant}.] 
  1.  (Mus.) 
  a  Originally,  a  double  song;  a  melody  or  counterpoint 
  sung  above  the  plain  song  of  the  tenor;  a  variation  of 
  an  air;  a  variation  by  ornament  of  the  main  subject  or 
  plain  song. 
  b  The  upper  voice  in  part  music. 
  c  The  canto,  cantus,  or  soprano  voice;  the  treble. 
  --Grove. 
 
  Twenty  doctors  expound  one  text  twenty  ways,  as 
  children  make  descant  upon  plain  song. 
  --Tyndale. 
 
  She  [the  nightingale]  all  night  long  her  amorous 
  descant  sung.  --Milton. 
 
  Note:  The  term  has  also  been  used  synonymously  with 
  counterpoint,  or  polyphony,  which  developed  out  of  the 
  French  d['e]chant,  of  the  12th  century. 
 
  2.  A  discourse  formed  on  its  theme,  like  variations  on  a 
  musical  air;  a  comment  or  comments. 
 
  Upon  that  simplest  of  themes  how  magnificent  a 
  descant!  --De  Quincey. 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Figurate  \Fig"ur*ate\,  a.  [L.  figuratus  p.  p.  of  figurare.  See 
  {Figure}.] 
  1.  Of  a  definite  form  or  figure. 
 
  Plants  are  all  figurate  and  determinate,  which 
  inanimate  bodies  are  not  --Bacon. 
 
  2.  Figurative;  metaphorical.  [Obs.]  --Bale. 
 
  3.  (Mus.)  Florid;  figurative;  involving  passing  discords  by 
  the  freer  melodic  movement  of  one  or  more  parts  or  voices 
  in  the  harmony;  as  figurate  counterpoint  or  descant. 
 
  {Figurate  counterpoint}  or  {descant}  (Mus.),  that  which  is 
  not  simple,  or  in  which  the  parts  do  not  move  together 
  tone  for  tone,  but  in  which  freer  movement  of  one  or  more 
  parts  mingles  passing  discords  with  the  harmony;  --  called 
  also  {figural},  {figurative},  and  {figured  counterpoint} 
  or  {descant}  (although  the  term  figured  is  more  commonly 
  applied  to  a  bass  with  numerals  written  above  or  below  to 
  indicate  the  other  notes  of  the  harmony). 
 
  {Figurate  numbers}  (Math.),  numbers,  or  series  of  numbers, 
  formed  from  any  arithmetical  progression  in  which  the 
  first  term  is  a  unit,  and  the  difference  a  whole  number, 
  by  taking  the  first  term,  and  the  sums  of  the  first  two 
  first  three  first  four  etc.,  as  the  successive  terms  of 
  a  new  series,  from  which  another  may  be  formed  in  the  same 
  manner,  and  so  on  the  numbers  in  the  resulting  series 
  being  such  that  points  representing  them  are  capable  of 
  symmetrical  arrangement  in  different  geometrical  figures, 
  as  triangles,  squares,  pentagons,  etc 
 
  Note:  In  the  following  example,  the  two  lower  lines  are 
  composed  of  figurate  numbers,  those  in  the  second  line 
  being  triangular,  and  represented  thus:  --  .  1,  2,  3, 
  4,  etc  .  .  .  1,  3,  6,  10,  etc  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  etc  1, 
  4,  10,  20,  etc  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  descant 
  n  :  a  decorative  accompaniment  (often  improvised)  added  above  a 
  basic  melody  [syn:  {discant}] 
  v  1:  sing  in  descant 
  2:  sing  by  changing  register;  sing  by  yodeling;  "The  Austrians 
  were  yodeling  in  the  mountains"  [syn:  {yodel},  {warble}] 
  3:  talk  at  great  length  about  something  of  one's  interest 




more about descant