Definitions for: Descant

[n] a decorative musical accompaniment (often improvised) added above a basic melody
[v] talk at great length about something of one's interest
[v] sing by changing register; sing by yodeling; "The Austrians were yodeling in the mountains"
[v] sing in descant

Webster (1913) Definition: Des"cant (d[e^]s"k[a^]nt), n. [OF. descant, deschant,
F. d['e]chant, discant, LL. discantus, fr. L. dis + cantus
singing, melody, fr. canere to sing. See Chant, and cf.
Descant, v. i., Discant.]
1. (Mus.)
(a) Originally, a double song; a melody or counterpoint
sung above the plain song of the tenor; a variation of
an air; a variation by ornament of the main subject or
plain song.
(b) The upper voice in part music.
(c) The canto, cantus, or soprano voice; the treble.

Twenty doctors expound one text twenty ways, as
children make descant upon plain song.

She [the nightingale] all night long her amorous
descant sung. --Milton.

Note: The term has also been used synonymously with
counterpoint, or polyphony, which developed out of the
French d['e]chant, of the 12th century.

2. A discourse formed on its theme, like variations on a
musical air; a comment or comments.

Upon that simplest of themes how magnificent a
descant! --De Quincey.

Des*cant" (d[e^]s*k[a^]nt"), v. i. [imp. & p. p.
Descanted; p. pr. & vb. n. Descanting.] [From descant;
n.; or directly fr. OF. descanter, deschanter; L. dis- +
cantare to sing.]
1. To sing a variation or accomplishment.

2. To comment freely; to discourse with fullness and
particularity; to discourse at large.

A virtuous man should be pleased to find people
descanting on his actions. --Addison.

Synonyms: discant, warble, yodel

See Also: accompaniment, discourse, discuss, musical accompaniment, sing, sing, support, talk about

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