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KANT – (pl. kanty or kanti) – A type of polyphonic extra-liturgical song, which was widespread in Russia, the Ukraine, and Byelorussia in the 17th-18th centuries. Originally kant were composed on religious texts (sacred or spiritual k.); in the 18th c., the subject matter came to include patriotic, everyday, and romantic themes. In musical terms, the kant is characterized by a 3-part texture, with parallel motion of the top two voices and a bass voice providing a harmonic foundation; and a four-square phrase structure, consisting, as a rule, of two to four lines of text with cadences between them; there are also 4-voice k. Some kant were adapted from Polish songs known as “kantyczki,” from which the term “kant” is derived.