descant

In music, a descant is an additional vocal part above the main melody. Many church hymns include a descant, sung at a higher pitch than the melody. Literary types use descant as a verb to mean "talk on and on in a dull way."

In medieval times, a descant was an improvised tune that singers or musicians added to a fixed melody. The medieval Latin term was discantus, "refrain" or "part-song," from dis-, "apart," and cantus, "song or bird-song." Through the years, the word has been used for the soprano in a group of singers or the highest-pitched line in any song.

Primary Meanings of descant

1.
nv
a decorative musical accompaniment (often improvised) added above a basic melody
sing by changing register; sing by yodeling
2.
v
talk at great length about something of one's interest
Full Definitions of descant
1

n a decorative musical accompaniment (often improvised) added above a basic melody

Synonyms:
discant
Type of:
accompaniment, backup, musical accompaniment, support
a musical part (vocal or instrumental) that supports or provides background for other musical parts

v sing by changing register; sing by yodeling

Synonyms:
warble, yodel
Type of:
sing
produce tones with the voice

v sing in descant

Type of:
sing
produce tones with the voice
2

v talk at great length about something of one's interest

Type of:
discourse, discuss, talk about
consider or examine in speech or writing

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