This video introduces typical compositional features found in early to mid-Renaissance cantus firmus melodies. These features include certain archetypical melodic contours (arches, inverted arches, S-curves), the use of stable chord tones as peaks, the importance of balanced melody, and the avoidance of immediate or suggested forbidden intervals (sevenths as well as augmented or diminished intervals). Examples of both good and bad cantus firmi are given to draw attention to these details.

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