• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Cantilena (Mus) See Cantabile.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n cantilena In medieval music: A singing exercise or solfeggio.
    • n cantilena A cantus firmus, or melody for church use.
    • n cantilena In modern music, a ballad or light popular song.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Cantilena kan-ti-lē′na a ballad or light song: a cantus firmus or melody for church use: a singing exercise or solfeggio.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
It. & L
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary


In literature:

A Serenata must be regarded as a kind of Intermezzo, in the Cantilena manner, with an accompanying rhythm suggesting an ancient Spanish dance.
"Symphonies and Their Meaning; Third Series, Modern Symphonies" by Philip H. Goepp
What a lifelike portrait Chopin drew in this "beautiful, deep-toned, love-laden cantilena"!
"The Loves of Great Composers" by Gustav Kobbé
A cantilena is at the same time a recitation and an ode.
"A Popular History of the Art of Music" by W. S. B. Mathews
There is a fragmentary cantilena which would make the fortune of a comic opera.
"Contemporary American Composers" by Rupert Hughes
The adagio is one of those slow movements for which Beethoven was noted; the cantilena is lovely and the sentiment deep and tender.
"The Masters and their Music" by W. S. B. Mathews
Yet this lovely cantilena extorted anger from the young pianist.
"Melomaniacs" by James Huneker
Should Signora Cantilena come before or after Madame Pianota?
"Fragments of an Autobiography" by Felix Moscheles
What soprano vocalist is there who has not sung the suave cantilena, "Connais-tu le pays"?
"Masters of French Music" by Arthur Hervey
We shall have no more cantilenas; they would be thought poor and cold.
"The Great Musicians: Rossini and His School" by Henry Sutherland Edwards