Gregorian chant

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Gregorian chant:

see plainsongplainsong
or plainchant,
the unharmonized chant of the medieval Christian liturgies in Europe and the Middle East; usually synonymous with Gregorian chant, the liturgical music of the Roman Catholic Church.
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Gregorian Chant


the general designation of the liturgical chants of the Roman Catholic Church. Gregorian chant developed as a result of the selection and recasting of local Christian chants by the Catholic Church. The process of arranging prayer texts was begun under Pope Gregory I the Great (died 604 A.D.). Canonization of the melodies and their strict distribution according to the days of the liturgical year was concluded toward the end of the seventh century. The chorales of the Catholic Church were named after Gregory I 300 years after his death.

The church tried to impart to the chants the qualities of otherworldliness, mystical contemplation, and religious ecstasy. At the same time, the chants reflected the centuries-old development of musical culture, embodying artistically valuable elements from the song cultures of various peoples. A male choir singing in unison is prescribed by Gregorian chant. Most of the chants are based on prose texts taken from the Bible, and the melodies are constructed on the so-called medieval modes. Notes of equal duration were dominant (hence, the later designation for Gregorian chant— cantus planus, even or plain chant). When church music assimilated multivoiced music, Gregorian chant remained the thematic basis (cantus firmus) for sacred polyphonic works.

References in periodicals archive ?
Gregorian Chant of Paris is a group created in 1974 under the auspices of the French government with a mandate to preserve and disseminate the sacred Gregorian chant.
In the '90s, there was a burst of renewed interest by mainstream audiences in Gregorian chants after the group Enigma incorporated Gregorian chant in the song "Sadeness Part I," which topped charts across the world, including the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play (surprise, surprise).
where listeners will be greeted by Gregorian chants sung by Schola Cantorum Riga, as well as the solo ensemble "Butterflies for the Sky.
The late pope repeatedly emphasized the value and necessity of Gregorian chant even to the extent that "new compositions must be imbued with the same spirit that inspired" it.
He then looks at the history of chanting from ancient Egyptian times to the golden age of Gregorian chant from 800-1500.
It is eclectic, melodic, and ranges from imitations of Gregorian chants to mellifluous romances.
Yet there were lengthy developments behind both the Gregorian chants and the tropes at Benevento, and one must come to grips with them.
The other thing I come back to are French monastic songs, which are not like Gregorian chants but sound like new mantra singing.
She shared her deep knowledge of liturgical music including Gregorian chants.
SINGING nuns from Avignon are to record a Gregorian chants album - on Lady Gaga's label Decca.
Gregorian chants aren't to most people's tastes, but it's hard to argue with the quality of singing.
My nearest shop uses a tape loop of monastic Gregorian chants that have the same effect, but which I find rather soothing