Cantio is a Latin term simply meaning ‘song’ which has been applied to many repertoires, but which usually refers to sacred but non-liturgical Latin song traditions of the 14th-16th century (Schlager 1972, 286). Stevens uses this term for the Notre Dame conductus* in order to differentiate it from the type of conductus found in northern French Christmas-time liturgies. Cantiones are similar to hymns: both are strophic settings of devotional Latin poetry. However, cantiones often include a refrain, which is rare in hymns outside those intended for processions, and they tend to be melodically more elaborate than Latin hymns. Cantiones can be monophonic or polyphonic, and they range from the...
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