All Words > Descant

Sunday, May 23

Descant

[dih-SCANT]

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Middle English, mid 14th century

1.

(Music) An independent treble melody usually sung or played above a basic melody.

2.

A discourse on a theme or subject.

Examples of Descant in a sentence

"The conductor finally found a soprano to sing the descant."

"He was well-known for publishing a descant on success in business."

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About Descant

This word developed in Middle English, but originally came from the Old French word “deschant” by way of the medieval Latin word “discantus” (part-song, refrain).

Did you Know?

Many popular songs sample a basic melody from another well-established song. The singers make the musical composition their own by performing a descant incorporating different lyrics or a slightly different style. For example, MC Hammer’s ‘90’s hit “Can’t Touch This” samples from Rick James’ hit “Super Freak,” which came out a full decade earlier.

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