Skip to main content

changing note

changing note or nota cambiata (It.). Idiomatic melodic formula, salient characteristic of which is leap of a third away from an unessential note. Earliest form (in the polyphonic age) was a 3-note figure (a). This was soon joined and eventually superseded by a 4-note idiom (b). In the harmonic age of counterpoint (from Bach and Handel onwards) a variety of other changing note figures appears (c) (d) (e).

In USA the term cambiata is in common use for ‘changing note’. Also when the leap of 3rd is in the dir. opposite to that of the step-wise movt. the term échappé is sometimes used, and, where the movt. is back to the orig. note, the term returning tone.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"changing note." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . 23 Mar. 2019 <>.

"changing note." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . (March 23, 2019).

"changing note." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Retrieved March 23, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.