a simple, lyric, melodic passage for voice or instrument.
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How to use cantilena in a sentence
A similar freely riming poem in lines of seven syllables is Villegas' cantilena (p. 17).Modern Spanish Lyrics | Various
The term cantilena is given to any short piece of verse intended to be set to music (p. 17).Modern Spanish Lyrics | Various
Almost any really good melodic line, especially a cantilena, will sound with a fitting harmonic development.Violin Mastery | Frederick H. Martens
The successors of these supple singers even learned to sing Richard Strauss with broad cantilena effects.The Merry-Go-Round | Carl Van Vechten
The accent here too is perfectly pleasing, intelligible, and expressive; and I like their cantilena vastly.
British Dictionary definitions for cantilena
a smooth flowing style in the writing of vocal music
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012