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Jul 27, 2021
This week’s theme
There’s a word for it

This week’s words
misericord
contrafactum
akrasia
aquabib
eidolon

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

contrafactum

PRONUNCIATION:
(KON-truh-fak-tuhm)

MEANING:
noun: A composition that makes use of an existing piece of music with different lyrics.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin contrafacere (to counterfeit), from contra- (against) + facere (to make or do). Earliest documented use: 1940.

NOTES:
A contrafactum aka contrafact is, literally speaking, counterfeiting. It’s what you get when an existing tune is used with a new set of words. A well-known example is The Star-Spangled Banner, the national anthem of the US, which is sung to the music of “The Anacreontic Song” popularly known as a drinking song. Other examples of contrafacta are when secular music is used for religious purposes and vice versa.

USAGE:
“At other times, the relationship between contrafacta seems far-fetched. Why should ‘Peter’s Denial’ have the same music as Judas’s reproach of Jesus for befriending Mary Magdalene?”
Joseph P. Swain; The Broadway Musical; Scarecrow Press; 2002.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Euphemism is a euphemism for lying. -Bobbie Gentry, singer and songwriter (b. 27 Jul 1944)

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