plainsong


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Related to plainsong: Gregorian chant

plainsong

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.

In the Western church four main dialects of plainsong developed—Ambrosian, Roman, Mozarabic and Gallican—that seem to have been derived from similar sources. Gregorian chant is named for Pope Gregory IGregory I, Saint
(Saint Gregory the Great), c.540–604, pope (590–604), a Roman; successor of Pelagius II. A Doctor of the Church, he was distinguished for his spiritual and temporal leadership. His feast is celebrated on Mar. 12.
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, whose credited role in compiling liturgical books during his papacy (590–604) is now considered questionable.

The origins of the chant go back to early Christian times, and it seems to have derived from musical practice in the Jewish synagogue and Greek musical theory. During the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and also in later times, the chant melodies were used as the basis for polyphonic composition. In the 19th cent. the Benedictine monks of Solesmes sought to restore the Gregorian chant to its original form and their published editions from 1889 onward became the official music of the Catholic Church. The texts of plainsong are the words of the Mass, the Psalms, canticles, and certain verse hymns.

The tonality of Gregorian chant is based on the system of eight modes (see modemode,
in music. 1 A grouping or arrangement of notes in a scale with respect to a most important note (in the pretonal modes of Western music, this note is called the final or finalis
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). The notation of the chant evolved into systems of neumes (see musical notationmusical notation,
symbols used to make a written record of musical sounds.

Two different systems of letters were used to write down the instrumental and the vocal music of ancient Greece. In his five textbooks on music theory Boethius (c.A.D. 470–A.D.
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) that were still used in the 20th cent. in preference to modern mensural notation for plainsong. Little is known of the rhythm with which the chants were performed in the Middle Ages. The chants were contained in two principal books: those for the Mass in the "Gradual," those for the Office in the "Antiphoner." The modern Liber usualis is a compilation of most frequently used chants from the two.

Bibliography

See W. Apel, Gregorian Chant (1958); J. R. Bryden and D. G. Hughes, ed., An Index of Gregorian Chant (2 vol., 1969).

plainsong

the style of unison unaccompanied vocal music used in the medieval Church, esp in Gregorian chant
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References in periodicals archive ?
In that regard the mind of the monk is "content to rest in a reflective gaze," Merton says, "without specific acts of reasoning," (6) and basic to that gaze I suggest is the repeated chanting of plainsong. The very nature of Gregorian chant makes it the perfect means of inner reflection on the outer ritual and that no doubt is why a general initial reaction to it as a musical form stresses what it does not have rather than what it has.
"Our Souls at Night may not inspire the devotion of Plainsong or the equally touching Eventide, but it's a surprisingly powerful little book that ends the author's career on a bittersweet note.
Comper, plainsong, and the Tridentine Mass are all very well but if the arts have something profound to say to humans and to the Church, we might need a bit more than that to be going on with.
Cannily it was decided to start sans orchestra so as not to distract from the chorus, who took the opportunity to showcase a firm grasp of the Russian text and the piece's shifting vocal tones and textures, from a plainsong opening for male voices to some high running passages for the sopranos, and a full-voiced finale.
The concert explored music for morning and evening, interspersing parts of William Byrd's monumental Great Service with works by contemporary composers and plainsong hymns.
Pamela Coren's article "Gerard Manley Hopkins, Plainsong and the Performance of Poetry" (Review of English Studies 60, no.
I like the plainsong and polyphony vibes of the 16th and 17th centuries.
MacNutt's compositions and arrangements covered a wide variety of art songs, instrumental arrangements, Christmas carols, devotional motets, hymns, descants and plainsong accompaniments.
Fontes Artis Musicae (ISSN 0015-6191) indexed from first issue in 1954, full text available from 2007 forward, and the Cambridge University Press tides Plainsong and Medieval Music (ISSN 0961-1371) indexed from first issue in 1978, full text available from 2001 to 2007 and Twentieth Century Music (ISSN 1478-5722) indexed from first issue March 2004, full text from March 2008.
In 1999, when Kent Haruf burst on the scene, so to speak, with his bestselling novel Plainsong, he was already fifty-six years old.
Monte Mason's The Dances of Our Lady is a two-movement work for soprano saxophone and organ that is highly syncopated and adds a new twist to two plainsong chant melodies in honor of the Virgin Mary.
been published in many journals, including APR, Plainsong, and Poetry