Medieval Church Music: Gregorian Chant & Plainchant – Video & Lesson Transcript
The arts were associated with the liturgy during the Middle Ages (500-1450), according to the church. They were powerful and wealthy, and they were in charge of the majority of choices, including dictating the job and paying musicians.
The church established a set of standards that everyone must adhere to. This music, which was termed plainchant, had a hollow tone to it. It was only slightly different from one location to the next when it came to unaccompanied church music (sang in unison). Despite this, holy music was the most popular, and it is said that the music regulations were delivered from above.
According to legend, the standardizing components It came from a dove who spoke in hushed tones to Pope Gregory. This may seem absurd, but it is the only record available, and as a result, the probable myth has endured for years. We’ll never know where it originates from in its true form. As a result, the tale continues to exist as status quo, with the belief that he is the one who established the cans and can’ts, which is why we refer to it as Gregorian Chant. Plainchant is a style of song that is sung in unison.
There was no harmony or instrumental accompaniment; they all sang the same song.
It was derived from other ancient religions, and perhaps simply a few inflections were borrowed from them.
Long, free-flowing rhythms were created from such a little quotation.
Organum and Interval Definitions
As time went on, the music became monotonous. One melody has missing notes, but they wanted it to be complete. Their hopes and ambitions came fulfilled in the year 900. Rather than simply one note, they might have two notes instead. The organum was composed of two melodic lines. Songs are sung at parallel intervals that have been properly defined The distance between two pitches on a football team’s field. You just read the notes as if they were a graph on a computer screen. It is possible to calculate the interval by counting the number of lines and spaces, which includes both notes and empty spaces.
- The clergy conferred at three different intervals: the fourth, fifth, and octave were all deserving of the title.
- It makes no difference whether you begin with a space or a line.
- Thefifthis is another one that’s regularly encountered.
- Both of the pitches lie on lines or spaces, which makes it easier to distinguish the fifth from the other pitches.
Finally, the octave is the longest span that has been seen. In between, there is a pitch range of eight different pitches. It’s a great choice for men’s and boys’ choruses. This wonderful sound is produced by an octave.
Plainchant (also known as plainsong) is a kind of ancient liturgical singing in the Western Christian Church that originated during the early decades of the church’s existence. Plainchant/plainsong, in its most literal definition, refers to the following practices:
- A single line of solo vocal melody (monophony) is performed by one person. The lyrics are in Latin, and the song is sung in free rhythm, rather than in bar-lengths. It is because of the words spoken (prayer, psalms, and so on) that a free plainsong rhythm linked with speech is produced rather than precise musical rhythms. Modes are used instead of major and minor scales
Cantus planus is the Latin name for it, whileCanto plano is the name for it in Italian. Take a listen to this sample ofmonophonic plainchant titledPange Lingua, which is in the key of A. Example of a plainchant In order to comprehend how Cantus Planus (plainchant) differs from other varieties of Cantus, it is necessary to compare them (song). Counterpoint was added to the melody in Cantus figuratus (florid song), but Cantus mesuratus (measured song) had regular rhythms.
Plainchant has its own style of notation that it uses. It makes use of a stave that contains four lines rather than the five seen in traditional sheet music. Examine the following sample of medieval plainchant from the thirteenth century: A Cistercian gradual from the Abbey of San Stephano in Corno, near Lodi, Italy, dating from the 13th century.
The term “Gregorian Chant” refers to the repertory of the Roman Catholic Church’s chants. Give this Gregorian Chant, named Deum Verum, a listen to get a sense of the style. Note: The Greek Orthodox Church and the Jewish Synagogue both have traditions of unaccompanied melodic music that are akin to plainchant or plainsong, but they are not usually classified as plainchant or plainsong.
Plainchant is written to be played in a variety of ways, including the following: Plainchant in a single vocal (monophonic)– This plainchant is intended to be played by a single voice (as in the first audio example on this page) Plainchant in the form of aresponsory– in the form of aresponsory, a solitary singer alternates with a chorus. Take a listen to this performance of Palestrina’s (1525-1594) responsory to the Matins by the composer (it is based on the original, but with English lyrics).
The Development of Plainchant
Plainchant can be done in a variety of ways, as follows: Single-vocal Plainchant– This plainchant is meant to be played by a single voice only (monophonic plainchant) (as in the first audio example on this page) A Responsorial Plainchant is a type of plainchant in which a solo performer alternates with a chorus to create a responsorial effect. Play the recording of Palestrina’s (1525-1594) version of the Matin responsory (it is based on the original, but with English lyrics). Plainchant with alternate singing by two sets of singers is known as antiphonal plainchant.
While contemporary plainchant compositions are relatively rare, the fascinating and ethereal aspect of the music continues to draw fans in the modern world, as seen by the publication of new choral recordings dedicated to the genre on a yearly basis.
About The Author
The charming and ethereal quality of plainchant music continues to draw audiences in the modern world, and new choral CDs commemorating the genre are released on a yearly basis, despite the fact that current compositions of plainchant are rather seldom.
No. 2855: Gregorian Chant
|Today, plain and simple. The University of Houston�s College of Engineering presents this series about the machines that make our civilization run, and the people whose ingenuity created them.I t�s easy to take the rich textures of today�s music for granted. Whether listening to a symphony or a rock band, the many layers of instruments and vocals create complex, captivating harmonies. How boring music would be if everything we listened to was mere melody — a lone voice floating on the wind.Yet for much of history that�s exactly what music consisted of. In western civilization we see this quite starkly in the music of the Roman Catholic Church.Cantus planus, orplainchant, refers to the form of music used in Church liturgy for almost a thousand years. Plainchant could be sung by one or many voices, but always consisted of a single, unaccompanied melody.Many different plainchant traditions developed, but central to Church history, and by extension to the history of western music, wasGregorian chant. Gregorian chant is distinguished by its own stylistic elements, but also as the result of formal efforts by the Church to capture and codify plainchant for Church liturgy. It led to the development of an early form of musical notation that bears many similarities to our present notation. Gregorian chant is traditionally credited to the efforts of Saint Gregory the Great, who served as Pope at the turn of the seventh century. However, its actual origins remain open to debate.Much of what is popularly considered Gregorian chant is actuallyorganum. Organum permits the use of more than a single melodic line. The harmonies are often quite simple, but organum proved an important milestone on the road to modern music.The use of Gregorian chant waned in the late Middle Ages as it was supplanted by ever more elaborate musical forms. But it never altogether disappeared. Gregorian chant is no longer required as part of Roman Catholic liturgy, but its use is still encouraged.And it has a following beyond church walls. In 1994 the Angel record label released a recording of Gregorian chants performed by Spanish monks. Marketed as a remedy for stress, it went triple platinum in the U.S. and sold six million copies worldwide. A similar feat was achieved by Austrian monks in 2008, who also sold millions of recordings, mostly in Europe.I for one am glad music�s evolved beyond the limited structures found in plainchant. Still, its haunting simplicity coupled with the acoustics of stone abbeys or cathedrals is admittedly transcendent.I�m Andy Boyd at the University of Houston, where we�re interested in the way inventive minds work.(Theme music)
Notes and references:Gregorian Chant.The Florida Schola Cantorum website. Accessed January 15, 2013.Gregorian Chant. Wikipedia.. Accessed January 15, 2013.The Gregorian Chant: An examination of the ancient musical and spiritual tradition. From theCross Rhythms website. Accessed January 15, 2013.Plain Chant. From the Old Catholic Encyclopedia, taken from thisWikisource website. Accessed January 15, 2013.All pictures are from Wikimedia Commons.This episode was first aired on January 17, 2013.The Engines of Our Ingenuity is Copyright © 1988-2013 by John H. Lienhard.
Gregorian chant Facts for Kids
This is a page from a book with the title Graduale Aboense, and it depicts a lion. Here is a video of a song about St. Henry, a Finnish holy man who lived in the Middle Ages. The black marks that appear above the lyrics depict the visual representation of the music. The song begins at the enormous letter G in the middle of the page, which is the starting point for the song. File:Johannes.Hymnus.ogg File:Veni.sancte.spiritus.ogg In the Roman Catholic Church, Gregorian chant is an important kind of plainchant that is mostly utilized in services.
Sometimes there is a second portion, known as the “organum,” which frequently employs the same melody as the first, but at a different time.
How it developed
Gregorian chant evolved mostly in western and central Europe during the ninth and tenth centuries, but individuals continued to write new chants and alter the old ones for centuries beyond that time period. Many people believe an old legend that Pope Gregory the Great authored the songs, which is supported by historical evidence. People who study the history of music assume that rulers such as Charlemagnebrought music from Rome to their kingdoms in France and Germany, although this is not always true.
- The Gregorian chant evolved from this new melody.
- Prayers and anthems in Roman Catholic churches are performed in accordance with a prescribed order known as the “Roman Rite.” The music of the Roman Rite is known as Gregorian chant, and it is utilized in both the Mass and the Office.
- The “Office” is a portion of the Roman Rite in which holy men and women pray at specific times throughout the day on a daily basis.
- The Roman Catholic Church, despite the fact that it no longer mandates individuals to perform Gregorian chants, continues to maintain that Gregorian chant is the most appropriate music for prayer.
- Predating the mid-1990s, many people felt that a collection of Jewish songs known as the ” Psalms,” which are included in both the Jewish and Christian Bibles, had an essential role in early Christian music and prayer.
- Some elements of Jewish music and prayer, on the other hand, found their way into Gregorian chant later on.
The Hebrew language is responsible for the terms “amen” and “alleluia.” The prayer “sanctus, sanctus, sanctus,” which literally translates as “holy, holy, holy,” is derived from the Jewish prayer “kadosh, kadosh, kadosh,” which means “holy, holy, holy.” It is recorded in the New Testament that Jesus and his companions sang together: “When they had finished singing the hymn, they walked out to the Mount of Olives” (Matthew|26.30).
- Pope Clement I and other writers from the early centuries, for example, also claimed that Christians sung sacred hymns, but they did not provide any information on the music’s sound.
- Beginning in the third century, the types of melodies that would subsequently be sung by Catholics during the Roman Rite began to appear.
- Christians in Eastern Europe began singing devotional songs back and forth between two groups sometime about the year 375; in 386, St.
- Antiphonal singing is the term used to describe singing back and forth.
- When Pope Hadrian traveled to the court of Charlemagne in 787-786, he brought several Roman songs with him.
- The term “Gregorian” was used to describe this music, which included some new chants to bring the liturgical year to a close.
When Charlemagne was elevated to the position of Holy Roman Emperor, he ordered that everyone in Europe recite this Gregorian chant. By the 12th and 13th centuries, all other types of chant had vanished, including the Roman version of the language (now known asOld Roman chant).
However, individuals continued to write new songs and alter the old ones during the development of Gregorian chant in western and central Europe throughout the 9th and 10th centuries. There is an old legend that Pope Gregory the Great authored the songs, and many people think this to be true. People who research the history of music claim that rulers such as Charlemagnebrought music from Rome to their kingdoms in France and Germany, although this is not generally accepted. When Charlemagne’s followers performed these songs, the lyrics were altered..
- In churches, Gregorian chant was usually sung by men and boys, while saintly ladies and men recited Gregorian chants as part of their daily devotions.
- When the Roman Rite’s Mass and Office are performed, Gregorian chant serves as the background music.
- Holy men and women pray at the “Office” at designated times throughout the day, according to the Roman Rite.
- The Roman Catholic Church, despite the fact that it no longer mandates individuals to perform Gregorian chants, continues to maintain that Gregorian chant is the most effective music for prayer.
- Many people believed, until the mid-1990s, that the Jewish melodies known as the ” Psalms,” which are included in both the Jewish and Christian Bibles, were a significant element of early Christian music and prayer.
- Jewish music and prayer, on the other hand, found their way into the Gregorian chant tradition later on.
The Hebrew language is the source of the terms “amen” and “alleluia.” A variation of the Jewish prayer “kadosh,” “kadosh,” and “kadosh,” which means “holy, holy, holy,” originates from the prayer “sanctus, sanctus,” which means “holy, holy, holy.” It is recorded in the New Testament that Jesus and his companions sang together: “After they had finished singing the hymn, they walked out to the Mount of Olives” (Matthew|26.30).
- Pope Clement I and other writers from the early centuries, for example, also claimed that Christians sung sacred songs, although they did not provide any information on the music’s style.
- Beginning in the third century, the types of melodies that would subsequently be sung by Catholics during the Roman Rite first appeared.
- Christians in Eastern Europe began singing devotional songs back and forth between two groups somewhere about the year 375; in 386, St.
- Antiphonal singing is the term used to describe singing that is repeated back and forth.
- Some Roman chants were conveyed to the court of Charlemagne by Pope Hadrian in the years 785-786, according to historians.
- The term “Gregorian” was used to describe this music, which included some new chants to round out the liturgical year.
Upon becoming Holy Roman Emperor, Charlemagne ordered that everyone in Europe recite the Gregorian Chant, which is still in use today. During the 12th and 13th centuries, all other forms of chant, including the Roman variety, were completely lost (now known asOld Roman chant).
- The Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy) “The Christian Church, music of the early,” Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed 11 July 2006),(subscription access)
- “David Hiley, Western Plainchantpp. 484-5”
- “Willi Apel,”Gregorian Chant,”p. 34
- “Willi Apel,”Gregorian Chant,”p. 74
- “David Hiley,”Western Plainchant,”p. 485
- “David Hiley,”western plainchant,”
Gregorian Chant Resources and History
- Aiming to promote the study and performance of Gregorian chant in accordance with the “Gregorian Semiology” approach pioneered by Dom Eugène Cardine, the International Gregorian Chant Studies Association (AISCGre) now has German, Italian, and Spanish language sections. There is a bilingual site containing news about upcoming events, a bibliography, typefaces for chant notation, and much more information that is of interest. Associazione Viri Galilaei choir and supporting organization in Florence, Italy, performing chant at the Duomo
- Canticum Novum choir in Florence, Italy, singing chant at the Duomo Instruction in the gregorian chant
- It is possible to find chants in selected manuscripts and early printed materials of the liturgical Office by searching the database CANTUS: A Database for Latin Ecclesiastical Chant. CANTUSGREGORIANUS.COM is a website maintained by the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. In this publication, the “Saint Michael the Archangel” Association of Stroncone describes the research, teaching, and musical initiatives undertaken by the association in the study of sacred music from the Middle Ages, with particular attention paid to its sources, execution methods, and the liturgy, all of which were integral to the music’s existence. Presented in both English and Italian
- Data pool for Gregorian chant study
- David Hiley, Regensburg, Germany
- Chant Christ in the Desert Monastery, New Mexico, USA
- ChantCD.com (Gregorian chant CD). Gregorian Chant CDs that are one-of-a-kind, lyrics to many renowned Chant songs, and free samples to download
- Sheets of Chants for Use by Celebrants For priests who are singing the Orations and Readings of the Mass, The Chant Kit is a sacred music resource site dedicated to restoring Gregorian chant to its proper place in Catholic liturgical music. The Windsor Tridentine Mass Community has developed a resource to assist priests in singing the Orations and Readings of the Mass. With the Chant Kit, you get two professionally recorded CDs with corresponding sheet music, as well as a brief tutorial on how to chant. Ensemble Trecanum is a classical music ensemble that performs music from the Renaissance to the present day. The group was founded in December 1996 by Etienne Stoffel, a prizewinner of the National High Conservatoire of Paris and a student of two monks from the Solesmes Abbey, Dom Eugene Cardine (d. 1988), who was Father at the Pontifical Institute for Sacred Music in Rome, and Dom Jean Claire, a former choral conductor of the Solesmes Abbey. France. Gloria Dei Cantores is a group of singers that perform for the glory of God (Singers to the Glory of God) It is dedicated to honoring the great history of sacred choral music that spans the centuries from Gregorian chant to the twenty-first century Grégoire is a piece of software. Gregorian Chant is written using a computer software
- Association of the Gregorian Calendar The Plainsong Society was established in England in 1870 to encourage the study and practice of plainsong. University of Toronto’s Gregorian Institute Research and instruction are carried out in order to promote the study and performance of Gregorian and other western chant repertoires in the country of Canada. Presented in both English and French
- The Notation of the Gregorian Chant – LPH Resource Center This website provides an explanation of the classic Gregorian Chant notation, so that anybody may read it and sing it
- Gregoriano.org.br is an example of this. Site dedicated to the Gregorian Chant in Brazil, in Portuguese
- The Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael’s Abbey in California have produced a series of Gregorian Chant albums. Notation for Gregorian Chant Description of the traditional Gregorian Chant notation, so that anybody may learn to read and sing the notation
- Gregorian Chant E-mail List
- Gregorian Chant Website A mailing list dedicated to the discussion of the use of Gregorian chant in its natural context: as the music of the Christian church for the worship of the Almighty. What kind of chanting is done in your church? What is the best way to get started learning to read chant notation? Can you tell me about the courses and books that are available? The Gregorian Schola information and connections
- Information on congregational singing as well as scholas of chant GregorianikLiturgik links and more from St. Joseph’s Parish in Fayetteville, Arkansas, United States. Internationalen Gesellschaft für Studien des Gregorianischen Chorals AISCGre
- International Association for Studies of Gregorian Chant
- International Association for Studies of Gregorian Chant Downloads of the Latin Mass Society Chant There is a large range of Ordinaries, the Asperges, and a number of additional useful chants to choose from
- Page dedicated to Luis’ Gregorian Chants The Benedictine monks of the Mosteiro de So Bento in So Paulo, Brazil, perform live mp3 recordings on a Brazilian Web site maintained by Luis Henrique Camargo Quiroz. The Medieval Music Database at La Trobe University contains Gregorian chants from the Dominican (Ordo Praedicatorum) tradition, as well as information on Scribe notation software
- It is maintained by the University of Melbourne. Nota Quadrata is an abbreviation for Nota Quadrata. Dedicated to musical notation from the late Middle Ages, the Nota Quadrata project provides an introduction to square notation as well as monthly updates on continuing research. Resources for Orthodox Music
- The Sarum Rita and Its Application Essay by Reverend Canon Professor J. Robert Wright on the Sarum Rita and Its Application. PDF files necessitating the use of Adobe Reader or a similar
- Books and CDs about Gregorian Chant are available from Paraclete Press. This organization represents the most authentic study and devotion in the subject of Gregorian chant today
- The St. Laurentius Digital Manuscript Library at the Lund University Library in Sweden is a treasure trove of manuscripts. Ordinaries of the Gregorian Chant of Sainte Antoine Daniel (Kyriale)
- The Church Music Association of America provides free sheet music, chant books, and hymns for download. Resources for chanting in both English and Latin languages
- Topics covered by the OSB include: Bibliography and websites related to Gregorian Chant Richard Oliver, of the Order of St. Benedict in Collegeville, Minnesota, United States
- RADIO SETTINGS Gregorian broadcasting Gregorian chants 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Windows Media Player in FM Stereo quality
- St. Joseph’s College Chant Institute, Rensselaer, IN
- Women in Chant: The Choir of Benedictine Nuns at the Abbey of Regina Laudis
Medieval Plainchant – Lesson Plan
Students learn about the accomplishments of medieval musician Hildegard of Bingen, as well as the qualities of plainchant music, in this course. It is taught to students about Hildegard of Bingen’s contributions to medieval music, as well as the qualities of plainchant.
- Students learn about Hildegard of Bingen’s contributions to medieval music as well as the features of plainchant.
“Hildegard of Bingen” from KET’sHumanities Through the Arts, Lesson 38 was the source for this lesson (or CDs with music by Hildegard)
Table of Contents
- Instructional strategies and activities
- Writing to communicate
- Applications throughout the curriculum
- Vocabulary, materials, and handouts
- And Response Assessment with No Restrictions
- Support – Connections – Resources – Author are all available.
Vocabulary, Materials, and Handouts
Introit, modes (modal), monophony (monophonic), Offertory, and text settings are some of the terms used in this section of the course (syllabic, neumatic, melismatic) Materials: TV/VCR or DVD player, CDs of Gregorian chants and Hildegard’s musicHandouts: Hildegard’s music and chanting
Instructional Strategies and Activities
Plainchant has some characteristics. It has various qualities that make it easier to explain and give it a distinct personality. Plainchant is a kind of chant.
- The texture is monophonic (a single line)
- It is performed a cappella
- It is sung in Latin
- It is non-metric
- It is created in modes, or it is modal
The content of each chant, which typically contains passages from scripture or single phrases (such as “Alleleuia”), is chanted on special occasions or to complement certain portions of the Mass, such as the Introit, Benediction, or Offertory, depending on the style of the chant. Plainchant is given the variations that may be heard when one listens closely to the chanted melody through the use of certain text settings. The three most often heard settings are as follows:
- Each syllable of text is set to a single note of music, and the text is syllabic. neumatic (a single syllable can have anywhere from two to a dozen notes allocated to it)
- Melismatic (singing a single syllable to a variety of notes)
Hildegard of Bingen (Hildegard of Bingen) Hildegard of Bingen was a remarkable lady, particularly in the context of the medieval period. Theologian, author, dabbler in early medicine with considerable knowledge of plants, and composer of plainchant, she was a multi-talented individual. She was the first woman to write chants, which made her a pioneer in the field. During the medieval period, another churchman rose to prominence as a result of his association with the plainchant tradition. As a result of his efforts, Pope Gregory is famous for gathering a collection of chants that bears his name: Gregorian chant.
- Students should pay great attention to the chant that concludes the episode, which is shown in the movie of “Hildegard of Bingen.” Determine which text setting type best suits Hildegard’s chant by referring to the descriptions of the text settings.
- The “Music Samples” portion of the Kentucky Department of Education CD-ROM, which is included with the Dance Arts Toolkit, contains an example of what you can do with music.
- At first, only solo vocal music was utilized, and subsequently, only vocal music accompanied by an organ.
- They were correct.
- This blockbuster song was sung by monks from a monastery in Spain, and it became an instant hit.
- At the conclusion of this talk, give students a quick assessment to see if they have a good knowledge of medieval plainchant and Hildegard of Bingen.
Make sure to include information on the features of plainchant as well as a listening segment on recognizing text settings. Students will grow more used to listening to music critically if they pay close attention to the chant. The very top of the page
Writing To Communicate
- Demand that your students study and produce feature pieces about how chanting is practiced in other major religions, including Judaism, Tibetan Buddhism, and Native American religions. They should provide comparisons and contrasts between these chant patterns and styles and medieval plainchant, where appropriate. Last but not least, consider chanting or music that sounds like chanting in modern popular culture, such as music by artists such as Enigma, Enya, Bobby McFerrin, or other New Age performers. Check out scat singing in jazz as well (Ella Fitzgerald is a great example of this)
Applications Across the Curriculum
Language Arts are a subset of the subject of language arts.
- Encourage students to work together to write a one-act play on Hildegard of Bingen and her numerous accomplishments after conducting some preliminary study on the saint.
- Organize a study in which students investigate the scientific work done by Hildegard of Bingen and create an infographic presenting the findings of their investigation
Studies in Social Sciences
- Students should investigate whether there were any other women in medieval periods who achieved similar levels of success as Hildegard in a variety of spheres of effort. Discuss and contrast them with Hildegard’s teachings.
Examine whether there were any other women in medieval times who achieved similar levels of success as Hildegard in a variety of spheres of effort. Talk about them and how they compare to Hildegard
- Plainchant may be used to relieve tension, meditate, learn, and calm newborns and small children. Discuss and test the many applications of plainchant. Distribute the results
Open Response Assessment
In response to the prompt: Plainchant has maintained its popularity and utility from medieval times to the present. Directions:Discuss some of the characteristics of plainchant that may have contributed to its current comeback in popularity, which resulted in it being included on the Billboard100 list of most popular songs. Make a case for your decisions. Guide for Open-Ended Response Scoring
|Student completes assignment effectively, exhibiting extensive understanding of elements and/or design principles of the art form. Student demonstrates extensive critical thinking skills and creativity in completing the assignment. Student completes all aspects of the task in an incisive and thorough manner.||Student completes assignment effectively, exhibiting broad understanding of elements and/or design principles of the art form. Student demonstrates broad critical thinking skills and creativity in completing the assignment. Student successfully completes all aspects of the task.||Student completes assignment, exhibiting basic understanding of elements and/or design principles of the art form. Student demonstrates basic use of critical thinking skills and creativity in completing the assignment. Student partially completes the task and/or is unsuccessful in attempt to address some parts of the task.||Student works on the assignment, exhibiting minimal understanding of elements and/or design principles of the art form. Student makes little or no use of critical thinking skills or creativity in completing the assignment. Student minimally completes the task, showing minimal interest or enthusiasm.||Student shows little or no effort of having attempted to complete the task.|
Support – Connections – Resources – Author
- In response to the prompt: Plainchant has preserved its popularity and utility from medieval times to the present. In this section, we will discuss some of the qualities that may have contributed for the current upsurge in popularity of plainchant, which has resulted in its inclusion on the Billboard100 chart. Your decisions must be defended. Guide for Scoring Open Responses
- It is possible to learn more about Hildegard by visiting her biography and works at www.fordham.edu/halsall/med/hildegarde.html.
- Print materials to consult include music history texts, nearly all of which will include a chapter on plainchant and the Mass
- And recordings. Chant recordings are sold at music stores, may be bought online, or can be accessed on chant web sites, among other places.
Music history texts, practically all of which will include a chapter on plainchant and the Mass; and recordings are recommended as print sources for this project. Chant recordings are available in music stores, may be bought online, and can be obtained on chant web sites, among other places.
See more resources for:
K-12 Language Arts and Literacy in the English Language Practical Ways of Life Science and Social Studies (S&S) The Visual and Performing Arts
K-12 Reading, writing, and speaking in the English language are all important components of learning. Daily Life in the Real World Studies in Science and Society It is through the arts that you may find happiness.
When it was first performed, it was in the seventh century…
- The first recorded performance took place in the seventh century…
In our podcast (which is now available on iTunes), we go into further detail about the era:
- Music from the Western musical history that has been passed down to us is Gregorian chant, which is the oldest form of music known to man. Tradition holds that Pope Gregory I — known as ‘Gregory the Great’ — composed the first of these hymns in 604, more than a century before it became official Christian worship music. However, because he died in 604, the tradition has been passed down down the generations since then. Gregory II, the Pope, was the most likely Gregory in question, given his name occurs on several early chant books dating back to the fifth century. We don’t know who composed the melodies
- The music consists of a melody that is sung in unison without the use of any accompanying instrumental accompaniment. When reading Latin literature, the rhythm is smooth and uniform, matching the normal flow of syllables in the original text. When it was first recorded in the 13th century, it was known as “plainchant,” to distinguish it from the more elaborate polyphonic style of music, which had several different melodic lines sung simultaneously, and rhythmic patterns of strong and weak beats, arranged into bars
- Plainchant was first recorded in the 13th century. All of the church services were sung in Gregorian chant in the Middle Ages, including the whole mass and many hours of chanting the psalms each day, according to tradition. It wasn’t until the 11th century that a consistent technique for writing music down was established, so they had to learn all of the chants by heart. The oldest notation comprised of a series of little dots and squiggles, known as ‘neumes,’ that were put above the words to indicate when the song went up and when it came down. What we currently know as a “stave” originated with an Italian monk named Guido of Arezzo who proposed the notion of utilizing a series of parallel lines ruled across the page to indicate certain musical pitches
- The lines and spaces between them are now known as “notes.” The music of the Christian church has undergone several transformations throughout the years, as methods of worship have changed and the musical language itself has grown and developed. After falling out of favor in the 17th and 18th centuries, Gregorian chant was no longer practiced, and the knowledge of how it was originally done was lost. Gregorian chant was revived in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries thanks to the efforts of French academics at the abbey of Solesmes, who were responsible for most of our present understanding of plainchant performance technique
Music from the Western musical history that has been passed down to us is Gregorian chant, which is the oldest form of music. Legend holds that Pope Gregory I — known as ‘Gregory the Great’ — composed the first of these hymns in 604, more than a century before it became official Christian worship music. However, because he died in 604, the tradition has been passed down from generation to generation. The Pope Gregory II, whose name occurs on some of the oldest manuscripts, is more likely to have been engaged in the Gregory affair.
- Following the regular flow of syllables seen in classical Latin literature, the rhythm is smooth and uniform.
- All of the church services were sung in Gregorian chant in the Middle Ages, including the whole mass and several hours of singing the psalms each day for several hours a day.
- To indicate when the song moved up and down, the very first notation was made up of tiny dots and squiggles (known as ‘neumes’), which were put above the words.
- In the 17th and 18th centuries, Gregorian chant went out of favor, and the knowledge of how it was initially performed was lost as a result.
Gregorian chant was revived in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries thanks to the efforts of French academics at the abbey of Solesmes, who were responsible for most of our present understanding of plainchant performance technique.
Musical Terms related to Plainchant
Plainchant-Related Musical Terms – The majority of the information comes from Joseph Kerman and Gary Tomlinson’s Listen. Brief Fourth Edition. St. Martin’s Press, Boston, 2000. ISBN 978-1-57259-422-5 (hardcover). Plainchant, plainsong, and Gregorian chant are all types of music that were utilized in the European Roman Catholic church throughout the Medieval Period. It was unaccompanied (there were no organs, flutes, or other instruments), monophonic (there was no harmony), vocal, and there was no prescribed rhythm or meter.
- Sung as part of the worship service.
- 540-604 CE), who is credited with standardizing the main chants of the Roman Catholic Church.
- Plainchant made extensive use of the medieval modes.
- In contemporary western music, the key of C or A is frequently the focal point.
- Do, re, me, fa, so, la, ti, do, re, me, fa, so, la, ti, do On a piano, for example, you can play all of the white notes if you choose C as the tonic.
- Kerman and Tomlinson (Kerman and Tomlinson, 25-26, 48-49) Modes of the Middle Ages- (Kerman and Tomlinson, 49) Dorianoriented in the vicinity of DPhyrgianoriented in the vicinity of ELydianoriented in the vicinity of FM ixolydian centered around the letter G.
- Texture Many simple chants, for example, are monophonic (have only one melodic line), yet they may be termed homophonic when accompanied by a drone.
Homophony is a musical form in which a single melodic line is accompanied by harmony – that is, chords.
Sequences- Hildegard of Bingen- was a frequent user of the plainsong category of sequences in her works.
A soloist is occasionally accompanied by a chorus.
Text Painting is the process of utilizing music to enhance or “paint” the content of a piece of writing.
In stanza 1a, the phrases ‘dove peered in’ and ‘balm showered down’ indicate a clear downward shift in the tone.
The ‘king’s gardens’ (3a) and a smooth undulating movement on the’suavissima’ are much higher, requiring a change of clef, and include a change of tempo.
(Accessed on the 28th of November, 2003) Sister Fenton also asserts that Hildegard used a broader range of notes and bigger intervals than is typical of most chant.
Note: A sample of Hildegaard’s music may be found on the CD “Feather on the Breath of God.” We shall pay particular attention to the “Columba Aspexit.” If you did not purchase the CD, you may still listen to “Columba Aspexit” online at the following link: You will need RealPlayer installed on your computer in order to listen.
To hear the following, click on the blue REAL button: “Columba Aspexit” is an abbreviation for “Columba Aspexit.” The book “Feather on the Breath of God” is also available for loan on a regular basis.
Hildegard of Bingen’s Art & Architecture Illuminations from Sciviascan, a gallery of Hildegard’s work, may be seen at To see bigger versions of the photographs, click on the page numbers. Several of these photographs are from Dr. Kittell’s presentation and are used here with permission.