from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A kind of counterpoint with a drone bass.
  • n. A succession of chords of the sixth.
  • n. A monotonous refrain.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.
  • n. A species of counterpoint with a drone bass.
  • n. A succession of chords of the sixth.
  • n. A monotonous refrain.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In medieval music: The rudest kind of polyphony, consisting of a melody or cantus firmus with the third and sixth added to each tone: not radically different from organum.
  • n. Later, the process or act of adding a simple counterpoint to a cantus, especially by improvisation.
  • n. A drone-bass or a refrain; a burden.
  • Monotonous.


French faux bourdon. See false, and burden a verse. (Wiktionary)


  • The term ‘faburden’ originally designated the lowest voice in an English technique of polyphonic vocal improvisation that enabled a group of soloists or a choir to sing at sight a three-part harmonization of plainchant, derived from the notes of the chant itself.

    Archive 2008-02-01

  • There was something beautifully human in the way the professor turned the traditional stiff and starched catechism into a delightfully informal chat, in which the faburden, the Netherland School, early notation, the great clavichord players, suites and sonatas, formed the main topics.

    Edward MacDowell

  • Superseding the primitive unisonous plain-song, the old parallel concords, and the simple faburden (faux bourdon) counterpoint that succeeded Gregory, they taught how musical tones can better assist worship with the beauty of harmony and the precision of scientific taste.

    The Story of the Hymns and Tunes

  • "Green, in 1588, says he had been 'had in derision' by 'two gentlemen poets' because I could not make my verses get on the stage in tragical buskins, every word filling the mouth like the faburden of Bow-bell, daring God out of heaven with that atheist tamburlane, or blaspheming with the mad priest of the sun.

    Notes and Queries, Number 53, November 2, 1850


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