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Sumer Is Icumen In

Sumer Is Icumen In (sŏmˈər ĭs ēkŏmˈən ĭn) [key] [M.E., = summer has (literally: is) come in], an English rota or round composed c.1250. It is the earliest extant example of canon, of six part music, and of ground bass. Four tenor voices are in canon and two bass voices sing the pes, or ground, also in canon. The secular text is in Wessex dialect, and in the same manuscript source, from Reading Abbey in England, is a Latin text to adapt the tune for church use. The attribution to the monk John of Fornsete, who kept the records of Reading Abbey, is no longer credited.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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