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Cento (Lat: patchwork, Fr: centon, Il. centone)

(1) a composition in literature or music formed by piecing together excerpts from different authors or pre-existing works. Pope Gregory the Great (d. 604), for example, is reputed to have compiled an 'antiphonarius cento', a combination and revision of earlier books containing texts for sunt items of the Mass. More specifically, the term refers to poetry made up entirely of lines or refrains quoted from other works, or any artistic technique that relies on patchwork construction, citations, or borrowings such as the quodlibet (see also) or any of its parallel types; see Ensalada, Fricassee; Incatenatura; Medley; Misticanza.

(2) A melody pieced together from pre-existing chant formulae (standard phrases) in chants of a certain group, such as tracts or graduals of one mode; see Centonization.