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cantilena Line breaks: can¦ti|lena
Pronunciation: /ˌkantɪˈleɪnə/

Definition of cantilena in English:


The part carrying the melody in a composition: long string cantilenas run through works like the symphonies
More example sentences
  • The misterioso tremolo opening of the third movement was particularly effective, likewise the unison string cantilenas and some wonderful feather-light arabesques on piano.
  • This is what electronic music sounded like in the 1960s. Just when the listener thinks he has Vasks's number, however, Vasks writes a beautiful cantilena for the soloist, and the concerto takes on a new dimension.
  • As his close friend Ivan Sollertinsky remarked, Shostakovich was ‘perhaps the first among Russian composers to make his heroes speak not in conventional arias and cantilenas but in living language, setting everyday speech to music’.


Mid 18th century: from Italian, from Latin, 'song'.

Words that rhyme with cantilena

abstainer, arcana, campaigner, Cana, caner, complainer, container, detainer, drainer, entertainer, explainer, Gaenor, gainer, Gaynor, grainer, Jena, Lena, maintainer, Marlene, N'Djamena, obtainer, ordainer, planar, planer, profaner, Rayner, retainer, scena, seiner, Sinn Feiner, strainer, sustainer, trainer, uniplanar
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