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musica figurata


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(It.), Figuralmusik (Ger.). The term has 2 meanings: (1) Contrapuntal mus. in which the various melodic strands move more or less independently, shorter notes in one v. against longer in others—as distinct from mere ‘note against note’ counterpoint; (2) Deco‐rated melody in plainsong, etc., as distinct from the more sober type (such decorated plainsong is also known as musica colorata, coloured music).

(1) Contrapuntal mus. in which the various melodic strands move more or less independently, shorter notes in one v. against longer in others—as distinct from mere ‘note against note’ counterpoint; (2) Deco‐rated melody in plainsong, etc., as distinct from the more sober type (such decorated plainsong is also known as musica colorata, coloured music).

Subjects: Music.


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