Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Grove Music Online. Grove is a registered trademark. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 19 November 2019

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

  • 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 (...

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Please subscribe to access the full content.

Limoges, Bibliothèque Francophone Municipale
Chartres, Bibliothèque Municipale
Sens, Bibliothèque Municipale
Latin American Music Review
Current Musicology
Kirchenmusikalisches Jahrbuch
Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association
Rouen, Bibliothèque Municipale
Rivista musicale italiana
Recherches sur la musique française classique
Montpellier, Bibliothèque Inter-Universitaire, Section Médecine
Monumenta monodica medii aevi
Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek
Monza, Parrocchia di S Giovanni Battista, Biblioteca Capitolare
Journal of the American Musicological Society
Prague, Knihovna Kláštera Premonstrátů (Strahovská Knihovna) [in CZ-Pnm]
Trier, Stadtbibliothek
Etudes grégoriennes
International Musicological Society: Congress Report [1930-]
Engelberg, Franziskanerkloster, Bibliothek
Allgemeine (deutsche) Musik-Zeitung/Musikzeitung (1874-1943)
Music in Facsimile (New York, 1983-91)
London, British Library
Note d'archivio per la storia musicale
Early Music
Wrocław, Uniwersytet Wrocławski, Biblioteka Uniwersytecka
Acta musicologica
Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart
Paris, Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal
Analecta musicologica
Corpus scriptorum de musica (Rome, later Stuttgart, 1950-)
Heiligenkreuz, Zisterzienserkloster
Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Musikabteilung
Das Musikwerk
Musical Quarterly
Antiquitates musicae in Polonia
Oxford, Bodleian Library
Muzïkal 'nïy sovremennik
Verona, Biblioteca Capitolare
Montauban, Bibliothèque Municipale Antonin Perbosc
Zagreb, Nacionalna i Sveučilišna Knjižnica, Zbirka Muzikalija i Audiomaterijala
Journal of Musicological Research
Poznań, Archiwum Archidiecezjalna
Plainsong and Medieval Music
Revue de musicologie
León, Catedral, Archivo Histórico
Revista de musicología
Dansk aarbog for musikforskning
Munich, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Universitätsbibliothek, Abteilung Handschriften, Nachlässe, Alte Drucke
Autun, Bibliothèque Municipale
Revue musicale
Rein, Zisterzienserstift
Gniezno, Archiwum Archidiecezjalne
Warsaw, Biblioteka Narodowa
Fontes artis musicae
Rivista italiana di musicologia
Collectanea historiae musicae (1953-66)
Vierteljahrsschrift für Musikwissenschaft
Jazz magazine (Paris)
Graz, Universitätsbibliothek
Early Music History
Cambridge, University Library
Music & Letters
Orléans, Médiathèque
Archiv für Musikwissenschaft
Annales musicologiques
Studies in Music [Australia]
Revue belge de musicologie
Studien zur Musikwissenschaft
Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana
Anuario musical
Galpin Society Journal
The New Oxford History of Music (Oxford, 1954-90)
Musica disciplina
Monumenta musica neerlandica
Vyšší Brod, Knihovna Cisterciáckého Kláštera
Muzikološki zbornik
Prague, Národní Knihovna, Hudenbí Oddělení
Wrocław, Biblioteka Kapitulna
Gesellschaft für Musikforschung: Kongress-Bericht [1950-]
Metz, Médiathèque
Pelplin, Wyzsze Seminarium Duchowne, Biblioteka
Svensk tidskrift för musikforskning
Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale Albert 1er/Koninlijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Section de la Musique
Rheinfelden, Christkatholisches Pfarramt
Laon, Bibliothèque Municipale
Dijon, Bibliothèque Municipale
Jahrbuch für Liturgik und Hymnologie
Recent Researches in the Music of the Middle Ages and Early Renaissance
Cambrai, Médiathèque Municipale
Journal of the Plainsong and Mediaeval Music Society
Hradec Králové, Státní Vědecká Knihovna
Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional
San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Monasterio, Real Biblioteca
see SMH
Seville, Institución Colombina
Prague, Národní Muzeum
St Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Handschriftenabteilung
Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France
Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
Rome, Biblioteca Angelica
Journal of the Royal Musical Association
Albi, Bibliothèque Municipale
Archiv für Musikforschung
Miscellanea musicologica [Australia]
Zeitschrift für Musikwissenschaft
Budapest, Országos Széchényi Könyvtár
Einsiedeln, Benedikterkloster, Musikbibliothek
Cambridge, Sidney Sussex College
Kraków, Biblioteka Czartoryskich
Benevento, Biblioteca Capitolare