Gregorian Chant History

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Gregorian chant is a central tradition of the Western plainchant. The Western plainchant is in the form of a monophonic sound. All these are of course unaccompanied sacred songs of the western Roman Catholic Church. During these years, everything was religious and that seemed to follow and lead people through life. The Gregorian chant was developed mainly in western and central Europe during the 9th and 10th centuries and in later years adjustments and articulations were made through the songs. Some of the popular legends credited for producing and making the chant possible were Pope St. Gregory the Great but scholars believe that it came about from a later Carolingian type of Roman chant and the Gallican chant. Gregorian chants were organized originally into 4, 8, and/or 12 different modes. Some basic melodic features include the ambituses, mode final, incipits and cadences. Another important substance is the use of reciting the correct tones at a specific distance from the mode final, around which the other notes of the melody revolve. The vocabulary of musical motifs brought together through a process is called centonization which is used to create pieces of similar chants. The scale patterns are organized against a background pattern formed of conjunct and disjuncted tetrachords, producing a bigger and better pitch system called the gamut. The chants can be sung in a choir by using the six-note patterns called hexachords. Gregorian melodies were and in present day still are traditionally written using neumes. An earlier form of musical notation is from what has become the modern four-line and five-line staff was developed. Multi-voice or more than one voice elaborations of Gregorian chant, known as a organum, was an early stag... ... middle of paper ... ...e Priest which was always male and the choir which mostly contained male singers. The choir was considered an official liturgical now and all the duties were reserved to clergy. The women were not allowed to sing in the famous Schola Cantorum or other choirs except in convents. In these convents women were allowed to sing the Office and the parts of the Mass pertaining to the choir as to show a part of their life. The chants were normally sung in unison. Later they invented things such as innovations that included tropes. Tropes where a new type of text sung to the same melodic phrases in a melismatic chant and harmonic embellishment of chant melodies. These melodies focused mainly on octaves, fifths, fourths, and thirds. The odd thing is that either tropes or organum belonged to the chant repertory proper. The Council of Trent made sequences from the Gregorian corpu

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