Contrafactum


Contrafactum
(Lat. "counterfeit")
   The practice of fitting an existing vocal work with a new text. In the Middle Ages this occurred frequently with the establishment of new feasts or simply the composition of new sequence or hymnodic poetry. After the 15th century, the term almost always indicates the replacement of a secular text by a sacred one in order to create a piece suitable for devotion or liturgy. Such contrafacta are common in laude, spiritual songs of all types, and early Protestant chorales and hymns.
   See also Amalar of Metz; Lahan; Parody.

Historical dictionary of sacred music. . 2006.

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