Part of speech: noun
Origin: Middle English, mid 14th century
(Music) An independent treble melody usually sung or played above a basic melody.
A discourse on a theme or subject.
Examples of Descant in a sentence
"The conductor finally found a soprano to sing the descant."
"He was well-known for publishing a descant on success in business."
Popularity Over Time
This word developed in Middle English, but originally came from the Old French word “deschant” by way of the medieval Latin word “discantus” (part-song, refrain).
Did you Know?
Many popular songs sample a basic melody from another well-established song. The singers make the musical composition their own by performing a descant incorporating different lyrics or a slightly different style. For example, MC Hammer’s ‘90’s hit “Can’t Touch This” samples from Rick James’ hit “Super Freak,” which came out a full decade earlier.