Gregorian chant

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

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.
..... Click the link for more information.

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 ?
What Gregorian chant is is a melody directly bearing meaning from composer to listener with a style that in essence was determined not by words but by its role in the service, with service requiring a broader definition than modern usage generally affords it.
Martin, who happens to be a son of the group's founder, Louis-Marie Vigne, invites Pinoys to sample authentic Gregorian chant via a series of shows coinciding with the country's 450th anniversary of Christianization and to kick off Lent.
Beethoven made slight changes to the tune of Pange Lingua, a 1,000-year-old Gregorian chant, Prof Cooper added.
His work on this Monza manuscript is part of a larger study to edit all of the existing sources of Gregorian chant for the Mass up to the end of the ninth century.
Especially with Gregorian Chant there's still a widespread prejudice that this is a kind of liturgical intended for male voices.
Despite its imbalance, I found the conclusions on "using inherited musical genres" (such as Gregorian chant or polyphonic motets) intelligent and appropriate.
Emanating from the dark central apse of the 12th-century church, the ancient, mystical sound of Gregorian chant stirred the crowd and lived up to the subtitle of Reznikoff's show, "The Movement of the Soul.
604), best described as the "reluctant Pope", is perhaps remembered by most for Gregorian chant but his achievements were many and varied.
Gregorian chant, not rock and roll music, will be heard, and the congregation dresses up more - most women in hats or veils - at the Tridentine Rite Mass.
Anyone with an interest in the powerful religious music of the traditional Gregorian Chant will relish Colin Shearing's strikingly illustrated, informed and informative history, which pairs a music cd with a history of chant from ancient Egyptian times to its heyday in the early 9th century.
He then looks at the history of chanting from ancient Egyptian times to the golden age of Gregorian chant from 800-1500.
The music itself draws on Gregorian chant, Indian ragas and jazz motifs.