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John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

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John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

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John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

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John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

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John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

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John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

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John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

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David Fuller

revised by Robert Gallagher

(Fr.)

The newly composed chant of the 17th to 19th centuries in France, similar to the Italian canto fratto. The decisive impetus came in the early 1630s from the Oratorians of the rue St Honoré, whose church was designated the royal chapel of the Louvre by Louis XIII, and whose superior conceived the idea of attracting the courtiers by introducing a new kind of chant combining features of the ecclesiastical and modern styles. This initiative resulted in the first collection of such chants – the Brevis psalmodiae ratio (Paris, 1634) by François Bourgoing, a member of the Oratory congregation. It was published with an approbation by Mersenne and contains new chants and simplified versions of known melodies; with rare exceptions, all the chants are syllabic. Resembling this work in its simplicity is Nivers’ Graduale romanum juxta missale, the most extensive collection of plain-chant musical, published by Ballard in 1658. Originally intended for use by Benedictine nuns, it was subsequently reprinted several times for Benedictine and Augustinian nuns. Both the gradual and the alleluia for any given liturgical day are composed in the same mode, probably to ease the transition between these two consecutive chants and to impose a general sense of modal and tonal order on the Mass Propers. In ...

Article

Kenneth Levy, John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham, David Hiley and Bennett Mitchell Zon

[plainsong] (from Lat. cantus planus; Fr. plainchant; Ger. Choral; It. canto plano)

The official monophonic unison chant (originally unaccompanied) of the Christian liturgies. The term, though general, is used to refer particularly to the chant repertories with Latin texts – that is, those of the five major Western Christian liturgies – or in a more restricted sense to the repertory of Franco-Roman chant (Gregorian chant). A third meaning refers to a style of measured ecclesiastical music, often accompanied by a bassoon, serpent or organ, cultivated in Roman Catholic France during the 17th to 19th centuries (see Plain-chant musical). This article is concerned with the chant of the Roman and derived rites considered historically, including its place within Christian chant as a whole and its relationship to the liturgy that it serves.

Kenneth Levy

The roots of the liturgical chant of the Christian Churches lie partly in established Jewish Synagogue practice of the apostolic period, partly in new developments within early Christianity itself and partly in pagan music at the diverse centres where the first churches were established (...

Article

Prosa  

Richard L. Crocker

[prose]

A text for a sequence ( see Sequence ). The term was sometimes used loosely in medieval sources to apply to texts of other kinds of chants, for example Kyries, or to text underlay for melismas (a phenomenon better referred to as Prosula ).

A prosa in the restricted sense is a Latin text constructed largely in ‘couplets’: two lines of text set syllabically to the same phrase of music, hence having the same (or almost the same) syllable count. Successive couplets are of varying lengths, however, so that the line structure of the whole is not regular, like verse, but rather irregular. In the early repertory (written c 850–1000) prosae neither scanned nor rhymed, but later they did both, becoming almost indistinguishable from verse.

Frequently a number of prosae were written to one sequence melody, but (in the early repertory, at least) any given prosa could be sung to only one melody. ...

Article

Prosula  

Ruth Steiner

revised by Keith Falconer

A prosula is a text created to fit a melisma in Gregorian chant. Alternative terms similarly employed in the medieval manuscripts include ‘prosa’, ‘tropus’ and ‘verba’ ( see Prosa and Trope ).

There are prosulas for chants of both the Mass and the Office, and, within the Mass, for both the Ordinary and the Proper. Best known are those for the Kyrie eleison; but more numerous than these in 10th- and 11th-century sources are those for offertory verses and alleluias. The prosula is nearly always in strictly syllabic style, with one syllable for each note of the melisma. As a rule, the contours, phrasing and articulation of the melody were carefully observed by the prosula writer, so that the phrases of text match those of the melody and accented syllables fall on appropriate notes. The beginnings and endings of words in the text often coincide with the beginnings and endings of neumes in the melisma....

Article

Paul Frederick Cutter, Brad Maiani, Davitt Moroney and John Caldwell

[Great responsory of Matins and Vespers; responsorium prolixum]

Paul Frederick Cutter, assisted by Brad Maiani

A category of Western chant serving at Matins and monastic Vespers as musical postludes to the reading of lessons, as the gradual and alleluia do at the Mass. Indeed, responsories make up the greater part of Matins, and in the total repertory of Roman chant are surpassed in quantity only by Office antiphons. From about 600 in their earliest musical source, the Hartker manuscript dating from about 1000 (PalMus, 2nd ser., i, 1900, 2/1970), the number of responsories increased to nearly 1000 in the 13th-century Worcester Antiphoner (PalMus, 1st ser., xii, 1922/R).

The responsories of the Office (like the gradual and alleluia of the Mass) are termed responsorial chants because in them choir responds with a refrain to verses sung by a cantor. In method of delivery they are clearly related to responsorial psalmody, although it is important that a distinction be maintained between the more ancient practice of responsorial psalm singing and the specific liturgical genre that bears its name....

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John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

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John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

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John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

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Te Deum  

Ruth Steiner, Keith Falconer and John Caldwell

A chant in praise of God sung at the end of Matins on Sundays and feast days, either after the last responsory (the medieval practice) or in its stead (the modern one). It has also been used as a processional chant, the conclusion for a liturgical drama, a song of thanksgiving on an occasion such as the consecration of a bishop, and a hymn of victory on the battlefield. During the Middle Ages it was widely believed that St Ambrose and St Augustine composed the Te Deum as an improvised prayer at the baptism of St Augustine. Some studies have named Niceta the probable author, but the matter remains unsettled.

Ruth Steiner and Keith Falconer

The text of the Te Deum, seemingly of Latin origin, consists of 29 verses of prose (or 30, depending on how the last verse is treated). In the first ten, which praise God the Father, parallel construction is the rule: ‘Te Deum laudamus, te Dominum confitemur’. The Sanctus of the Mass is quoted in verses 5 and 6; elsewhere the vocabulary and sequence of ideas suggest a connection with the popular hymnody of the 2nd century. Verses 11 to 13 are a doxology and are thought to be a later addition to the basic text. A second section, in praise of Christ, begins with verse 14, ‘Tu rex gloriae Christe’, and continues to verse 23. (Two verses in this section appear to be later additions: verse 15, ‘Tu Patris sempiternus es filius’, and verse 19, ‘Judex crederis esse venturus’.) The last four verses of this section are a prayer; (verses 22 and 23 are borrowed from Psalm xxviii.9 and form the conclusion of what is now regarded as the principal part of the text, about which the manuscript sources are in substantial agreement). The final section, from verse 24 to the end, consists almost entirely of psalm verses that adapt what has preceded them to daily recitation: ‘Per singulos dies benedicimus te’, etc. (Psalm cxliv.2.)....

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Kenneth Levy, John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham, David Hiley and Bennett Mitchell Zon

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Article

Alejandro Enrique Planchart

(Gk. tropos: ‘turn’, ‘turn of phrase’; Lat. tropus)

Name given from the 9th century onwards to a number of closely related genres consisting essentially of additions to pre-existing chants. Three types of addition are found: (1) that of a musical phrase, a melisma without text (unlabelled or called trope in the sources); (2) that of a text to a pre-existing melisma (most frequently called prosula, prosa, verba or versus, though sometimes also trope, in the sources); (3) that of a new verse or verses, consisting of text and music (most frequently called trope, but also laudes, versus and in certain specific cases farsa, in the sources).

The medieval terminology was far from consistent (Odelman, C1975), and scholars in the late 19th and early 20th centuries expanded it (thus compounding the problem) to include even the sequence and its proses, the conductus, verse songs that sometimes replaced the Benedicamus Domino, and the upper voices of early Ars Antiqua motets. Despite efforts by Crocker (...