cantus firmus

[ kan-tuhs -fur-muhs ]
/ ˈkæn təs ˈfɜr məs /

noun

the ancient traditional unisonal plainchant of the Christian Church, having its form set and its use prescribed by ecclesiastical tradition.
Music. a fixed melody to which other voices are added, typically in polyphonic treatment.

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Origin of cantus firmus

1840–50; <Medieval Latin: literally, firm song
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020