Definitions for longa

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  1. Longa

    A longa or quadruple/sextuple whole note is a musical note that could be either twice or three times as long as a breve, four or six times as long as a semibreve/whole note, that appears in early music. When it occurs in modern music, it is almost universally four times as long as a whole note, and can sometimes take on a different appearance analogous to the modern appearance of the breve. Rare, but historical, is the duplex longa, called maxima in the 14th century, which is an effective "octuple whole note." As the name suggests, it was always equal to two longæ, never to three, though in the early Ars nova there was a corresponding modus maximarum which could be either imperfect or perfect. In some early sources the duplex longa has twice the body of a longa, but more often there is no clear difference of shape and the presence of the duplex longa is instead merely suggested by a greater distance between the notes in the tenor, caused by the greater number of notes in the upper parts.

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"longa." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 30 Sep. 2014. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/longa>.

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