You should be aware that when you chant the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra, you are present; Krishna is also present; and, as a result, an interpersonal interaction between you and Krishna is present as well. In this sense, chanting should not be considered a routine task that must be completed every day, but rather as an opportunity to enhance your relationship with Krishna. “I am present here, my mercy is present here, my love is present here; please accept it, please accept it, please experience it,” the Holy Name is pleading.
All living beings may be certain that Krishna exists in their hearts and that He is a sincere friend to them.
As Krishna’s everlasting servant, you may be certain that He will continue to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead under all circumstances.
Simply offering your heart to the Holy Name will result in Krishna’s response.
You may be joyful indefinitely if you chant Hare Krishna.
Medieval Music: Introduction to Gregorian Chant
Sonja Maurer-Dass contributed to this article. Gregorian chant is one of the most famous musical legacies of medieval Europe, distinguished by its free-flowing melodies, holy Latin lyrics, and distinctive monophonic texture. Gregorian chant, which was developed and propagated during the Carolingian dynasty, appears to be a world away from the much more contemporary epochs of Western music to which many of our ears are accustomed; however, it is from this ages-old liturgical tradition that our current understanding of Western music and its accompanying system of musical notation derives from.
This section will look at how Gregorian chant came to be and how it spread throughout the world.
Many medieval music fans nowadays are aware with Gregorian chant (also known as Frankish-Roman chant), which is the most well-known of the liturgical chant traditions; nevertheless, throughout early medieval Europe, there were numerous distinct styles of holy chant that differed according to area.
- When one considers the several diverse Western liturgical chant traditions that have existed throughout the centuries, one would wonder why Gregorian chant has become the most generally recognized and maintained of them all.
- The development of Gregorian chant took place between the seventh and ninth centuries CE, during a period in which Frankish monarchs, most notably Charlemagne, tried to bring liturgical consistency to their kingdoms.
- Charlemagne declared in 789 that all of his kingdoms would be consolidated under a single Roman liturgy and chant, which became known as the Roman Rite.
- In essence, Gregorian chant was, as Margot Fassler puts it, “the revised song of the Franks,” which arose from a fusion of Old Roman chant with the Gallican chant of the Franks, according to Fassler.
- So far, we’ve looked at how the Carolingians had a crucial part in the spreading and development of Gregorian chant, but what about the popular tale that claims that Pope Saint Gregory I (“Gregory the Great”) is responsible for the spread of Gregorian chant?
- Because it was sung to Gregory I by the Holy Spirit, who came to him in the guise of a white dove, it was considered the most sacred and true type of liturgical chant.
- Some musicologists, on the other hand, have speculated that Gregory may have had a role in the codification and consolidation of previous chants, which eventually served as the foundation for later Gregorian chant.
A common depiction of the dove is that it is singing its sacred songs to Gregory, while Gregory is concurrently dictating the dove’s melodies to a nearby scribe.
Gregorian Chant’s Texture and Melody are both beautiful.
“Monophonic” is a musical word that refers to the performance of a single tune with no accompaniment (that is, there is no harmony played with a melody).
In the opening minute of the following chant sample, which was produced by the twelfth-century abbess, philosopher, mystic, and composer Hildegard of Bingen, you can hear a drone that is repeated several times.
For those who have heard different recordings of Gregorian chant, you may have noticed that its melodies are quite flowing in comparison to many modern types of Western art music and popular music.
Classical Gregorian melodies were produced using the notes of an organized pitch system known as modes (which were distinct from the major and minor keys that are now employed in Western music), and they were set to sacred Latin texts from religious services such as the Mass and the Divine Office.
- Gregorian Chant and Early Types of Medieval Musical Notation are two examples of medieval musical notation.
- This necessitated the development of a method of recording tunes that could be correctly taught and conveyed without the limitations of human memory.
- Instead, it made use of symbols known as “neumes,” which served as a kind of trigger for melodies that had previously been acquired and retained as part of an oral culture.
- They reflect the relative rising and descending melodic motion of the text.
- The St.
- Gall in Switzerland, is one of the earliest existing sources of this notation (which was copied in the tenth century).
- Guido d’Arezzo, a prominent music theorist who lived in Arezzo in the eleventh century, continued to create the framework for modern music notation by developing a four-line musical staff divided by intervals of thirds (an interval is the distance between two pitches).
Guido described the manner in which his employees worked in the preface to his antiphoner (of which only the prologue has been preserved): As a result, the notes are organized in such a manner that any sound, no matter how many times it appears in a song, can always be located in the same row.
–Margot Fassler provided the translation.
As a singer or member of a chorus, you may be acquainted with the syllable pattern Do-Re-Mi-Fa Sol, etc., in which each syllable corresponds to a written note (Guido’s syllable pattern differed somewhat in that the first syllable he used was “Ut” instead of “Do”).
Square notation allowed for the inclusion of more melodic elements that may be interpreted by vocalists who were unfamiliar with the source material.
It’s possible that you’ve already seen some square notation in medieval chant manuscripts, such as punctum (a single note sung to a single syllable); podatus (two notes—one is written on top of the other and the lowest of the two notes is sung first followed by the second note which moves in ascending motion); clivis (contains two notes that are sung in descending motion); and torculus (three notes sung consecutively When compared to our modern experiences of melody and notation, the notation and melodies of Gregorian chant may appear to be foreign and unfamiliar at first glance and listen; however, upon closer examination, it is fascinating and possible to see how the earliest attempts to record and accurately transmit sacred chant evolved over many centuries and eventually matured into the comprehensive system that is widely used and understood in the modern day.
- Sonja Maurer-Dass is a Canadian musicologist and harpsichordist who specializes in Baroque music.
- In addition, she possesses a Master’s degree on Musicology from York University, where she specialized in late medieval English choral music and the Old Hall Manuscript, among other things (Toronto, Canada).
- The paper was presented at the 9th International Medieval Meeting.
- Read on for more information: Willi Apel is the author of this work.
- Western Music in Context: Western Music in the Medieval West is a book on music in the Medieval West (W.W.
- Carolingians and Gregorian Chant are two examples of medieval music (Princeton University Press, 1998) Richard Taruskin is the author of this work.
From the earliest notations through the sixteenth century, there has been music (Oxford University Press, 2010) Adiastematic gregorian aquitanian notation is seen in the top image. Commons image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
What is Gregorian Chant – GIA Publications
|Before reviewing the main Gregorian chant books and resources, perhaps it is good to state what Gregorian chant is.Gregorian chant is the church’s own music, born in the church’s liturgy. Its texts are almost entirely scriptural, coming for the most part from the Psalter. For centuries it was sung as pure melody, in unison, and without accompaniment, and this is still the best way to sing chant if possible. It was composed entirely in Latin; and because its melodies are so closely tied to Latin accents and word meanings, it is best to sing it in Latin. (Among possible exceptions are chant hymns, since the melodies are formulaic and are not intrinsically tied to the Latin text.) Gregorian chant is in free rhythm, without meter or time signature.Because the liturgy was sung almost entirely in Gregorian chant in the Middle Ages (with polyphony saved for special occasions), every type of liturgical text has been set in chant: readings, prayers, dialogs, Mass propers, Mass ordinaries, office hymns, office psalms and antiphons, responsories, and versicles. Although Pope St. Gregory the Great (590–604) certainly did not play a role in the creation or compilation of our chant melodies, popular legend led the church to name Gregorian chant after this great leader.Many other types and styles of music are similar to Gregorian chant or inspired by it, but one should distinguish them from Gregorian chant. Taizé chants, for example, are generally in Latin, similar to Gregorian chant antiphons. But the musical style is quite different: metered and with choral harmonies and/or instrumental accompaniments.Many psalm tones have been written since the Second Vatican Council. They are much like Gregorian chant psalm tones with their free rhythm and their repeatable melodic formulas. By Gregorian psalm tones, however, we mean a set of particular melodies, one for each of the Gregorian modes, always in the form of two measures. The Gregorian psalm tones are well suited to the Latin language, but do not work very well with English accents, unless one takes freedom in adapting them. For English psalm verses, it is probably wiser to use psalm tones written for the English language. Back to Gregorian Chant Resources|
Difference between syllabic, melismatic and neumatic singing
The objective of this tutorial is to provide answers to the questions listed below: In music, what does the terms syllabic and melismatic mean? What is the difference between syllabic, melismatic, and neumatic singing, to be more specific? Let us begin by stating that syllabic and melismatic singing styles are two sorts of singing styles that may be found in both holy and profane music across the world. In Western music theory, these names have been created to describe distinct types of melodies that are classified as syllabic or melismatic, depending on how the words of a text are put to music.
When listening to Christian medieval music or old Vedic chanting, the syllabic and melismatic phrasing may be readily distinguished from one another.
Let’s get this party started!
Syllabic singing: definition and examples
Singing in syllabics, which implies one note per syllable, is a melodic style that may be heard in a wide range of musical genres, including anything from medieval Gregorian plain chant to Indian Vedic recitation to current pop-rock music. When the text is placed to music, the fact that each note has its own syllable makes it easier to discern the words. Take a look at an example of syllabic singing to illustrate my point. My selection for you is a Gregorian chant called Condit0r alme siderum, and the music is drawn from that piece.
On the score, you can see that each word of this Latin hymn has a matching note, which is sufficient to indicate that the singing style is syllabic: If you listen to this rendition of Conditor alme siderum, you will gain a better understanding of how a syllabic chant sounds.
The following Mantra Pushpam, a sacred scripture composed in Sanskrit and chanted in a syllabic way by all of the priests together after completing any Pooja (worship), is available for listening pleasure:
Melismatic singing: definition and examples
Melismatic singing is fundamentally different from syllabic singing in that it requires you to start with a single syllable and move your voice around it by singing different notes on the vowel of the same syllable over and over again. The word melismatic derives from the latin word melisma, which refers to a series of notes sung on the vowel of a single syllable in a song. Melismatic singing is a term that refers to a succession of more than four notes that are sung to a single syllable in a technical sense.
melismatic singing, as seen by the vocal sections sung in this Halleluiah According to the score below, there are several notes sung on the last vowel “a” of the word alleluia, as shown in the example below.
Take a listen to this enthralling vocal performance by athumribyNina Burmi, which has multiple melismatic passages:
Neumatic singing: definition and examples
We speak to melismatic singing in general and neumatic singing specifically when we talk about neumatic singing. Neumatic singing is a sort of melismatic singing that originated in the Middle Ages and is based on groups of notes ranging from 2 to 4 notes, which are referred to as neuma. As you can see, Gregorian chants are replete with neumatic sections, which were written specifically for the goal of enhancing the strict melodic structure that results from syllabic singing. According to the score below, Ave Maris Stella opens with a blend of neumatic and syllabic singing, which is easy to notice: Ave Maris Stella Several of the words, including “ave,” “stella,” “mater,” and “alma,” are punctuated with neumatic passages.
The term “stella” is also embellished with a2-note neuma.
So, to summarize the differences between syllabic, melismatic, and neumatic singing, consider the following: when singing is syllabic, you will find one note for each syllable; when singing is melismatic, there can be several notes for each syllable; and when singing is neumatic, there will be no notes at all. When it comes to Christian monastic singing, neumatic singing refers to a unique method in which those groupings of 2 to 4 notes that were sung on the same syllable of a liturgical text were referred to.
Throughout the history of western civilisation, syllabic singing has been adopted by religious traditions and artistic groups that wish for their adherents to remain focused on the meaning of the lyrics rather than becoming distracted by the intriguing embellishment of melismatic parts.
These religious traditions are known as melismatic traditions.
Hallelujatic jubilations are a type of jubilation associated with Christian sacred music.
Get into Gregorian Chant with These 5 Essentials
Gregorian Chant, commonly known as plainchant or plainsong, is a type of Christian liturgical music that dates back thousands of years. Plainsong has existed for as long as the Christian church has been, and it was first cataloged and codified by Pope Gregory I in the late sixth and early seventh centuries, when he was the head of the Roman Catholic Church. All of the voices sing the same note, with no harmony, and the sound is monophonic (all voices sing the same note, with no harmony), and the chants are done with a basic, typically unaccented beat.
Tradition dictates that the lyrics of the Gregorian Chants be taken mostly from the psalms, as well as from the old phrases of the Latin Mass.
Chant: The Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos
Angel Records is a record label based in Los Angeles, California. Chant was the CD that sparked the unexpected Gregorian Chant boom that began in the mid-1990s and continues to this day. An order of Benedictine Monks has been worshiping in the old Santo Domingo Abbey in Burgos, Spain, since the eleventh century, and they have been singing Gregorian Chant in their services ever since. They’ve put out a lot of albums, but this one occurred to capture the attention of a very substantial number of people who were listening to it.
Konrad Ruhland and Choralschola of the Niederaltaicher Scholaren
Konrad Ruhland was a renowned German musicologist who passed away in 2010 after a long illness. The Gregorian Chant and other lesser-known forms of plainsong piqued his interest throughout his life; indeed, despite their simplicity, there is a great deal of musical and liturgical history and theory surrounding these chants, and he was considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject. However, Ruhland and one of his choirs, the Choralschola of the Niederaltaicher Scholara, have put together an album that is no less beautiful for having been compiled with an academic perspective in mind.
Voices: Chant From Avignon
Decca Records released a new album in 2010. This beautiful album has one of the greatest collections of Gregorian Chants ever recorded, all delivered by female voices. Despite being a tiny and relatively new community (the convent was formed in the 1970s and currently houses 30 sisters), the Sisters of L’Abbaye Notre-Dame de l’Annonciation, near Avignon, France, live modestly and in the traditional Benedictine manner. All of the revenues from the sale of this CD go to support their humanitarian endeavors.
Chant – Music for the Soul: The Cistercian Monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz
Decca Records released a new album in 2008 titled Decca. The Heiligenkreuz Abbey, located in southern Austria, is the world’s oldest continuously-occupied Cistercian abbey, and it is currently one of the largest and most influential in the world. The monks at the abbey have been singing plainchant for as long as the abbey has existed, and they continue to do so today. They have been praised by Pope Benedict XVI personally for their exceptionally beautiful rendition of plainchant, and this record (which was created after the monks auditioned through YouTube) has sold millions of copies worldwide since its first release in 2008.
Salve Regina – Gregorian Chant
In 2008, Decca Records released a new album. When it comes to Cistercian abbeys, the Heiligenkreuz Abbey in southern Austria is the world’s oldest continuously occupied abbey and is currently one of the largest and most influential in the world. The monks at Heiligenkreuz Abbey have been singing plainchant for as long as the abbey has been in existence.
As praised by Pope Benedict XVI himself, they deliver a particularly exquisite rendition of plainchant on their debut CD, which was created after the monks auditioned through YouTube and went on to sell millions of copies worldwide when it was first released in 2008.