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Example of responsorial psalmody in Gregorian chant Problems playing these files? Antiphonal chants such as the Introitand Communion originally referred to chants in which two choirs sang in alternation, one choir singing verses of a psalm, the other singing a refrain called an antiphon.
Over time, the verses were reduced in number, usually to just one psalm verse and the doxologyor even omitted entirely. Antiphonal chants reflect their ancient origins as elaborate recitatives through the reciting tones in their melodies.
Ordinary chants, such as the Kyrie and Gloriaare not considered antiphonal chants, although they are often performed in antiphonal style. Responsorial chants such as the GradualAlleluiaOffertoryand the Office Responsories originally consisted of a refrain called a respond sung by a choir, alternating with psalm verses sung by a soloist.
Responsorial chants are often composed of an amalgamation of various stock musical phrases, pieced together in a practice called centonization.
Tracts are melismatic settings of psalm verses and use frequent recurring cadences and they are strongly centonized. Gregorian chant evolved to fulfill various functions in the Roman Catholic liturgy. Broadly speaking, liturgical recitatives are used for texts intoned by deacons or priests.
Antiphonal chants accompany liturgical actions: Responsorial chants expand on readings and lessons. In sequences, the same melodic phrase is repeated in each couplet.
The strophic texts of hymns use the same syllabic melody for each stanza.
Modality Early plainchant, like much of Western music, is believed to have been distinguished by the use of the diatonic scale. Modal theory, which postdates the composition of the core chant repertory, arises from a synthesis of two very different traditions: The earliest writings that deal with both theory and practice include the Enchiriadis group of treatises, which circulated in the late ninth century and possibly have their roots in an earlier, oral tradition.
In contrast to the ancient Greek system of tetrachords a collection of four continuous notes that descend by two tones and a semitone, the Enchiriadis writings base their tone-system on a tetrachord that corresponds to the four finals of chant, D, E, F, and G. The disjunct tetrachords in the Enchiriadis system have been the subject of much speculation, because they do not correspond to the diatonic framework that became the standard Medieval scale for example, there is a high Fa note not recognized by later Medieval writers.
These were the first steps in forging a theoretical tradition that corresponded to chant. AroundGuido d'Arezzo revolutionized Western music with the development of the gamut, in which pitches in the singing range were organized into overlapping hexachords.
The B-flat was an integral part of the system of hexachords rather than an accidental. The use of notes outside of this collection was described as musica ficta. Gregorian chant was categorized into eight modesinfluenced by the eightfold division of Byzantine chants called the oktoechos.
The final is the ending note, which is usually an important note in the overall structure of the melody. The dominant is a secondary pitch that usually serves as a reciting tone in the melody. Ambitus refers to the range of pitches used in the melody.
Melodies whose final is in the middle of the ambitus, or which have only a limited ambitus, are categorized as plagal, while melodies whose final is in the lower end of the ambitus and have a range of over five or six notes are categorized as authentic.
Although corresponding plagal and authentic modes have the same final, they have different dominants. In the Roman Chantbooks the modes are indicated by Roman numerals. Modes 1 and 2 are the authentic and plagal modes ending on D, sometimes called Dorian and Hypodorian.
Modes 3 and 4 are the authentic and plagal modes ending on E, sometimes called Phrygian and Hypophrygian. Modes 5 and 6 are the authentic and plagal modes ending on F, sometimes called Lydian and Hypolydian. Modes 7 and 8 are the authentic and plagal modes ending on G, sometimes called Mixolydian and Hypomixolydian.
Although the modes with melodies ending on A, B, and C are sometimes referred to as AeolianLocrianand Ionianthese are not considered distinct modes and are treated as transpositions of whichever mode uses the same set of hexachords.
The actual pitch of the Gregorian chant is not fixed, so the piece can be sung in whichever range is most comfortable.
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Certain classes of Gregorian chant have a separate musical formula for each mode, allowing one section of the chant to transition smoothly into the next section, such as the psalm verses that are sung between the repetition of antiphons, or the Gloria Patri.
Thus we find models for the recitation of psalmverses, Alleluia and Gloria Patri for all eight modes.
For example, there are chants — especially from German sources — whose neumes suggest a warbling of pitches between the notes E and F, outside the hexachord system, or in other words, employing a form of chromatism.The Calloway brothers are at the height of their powers here – and the album strikes a perfect balance between mainstream soul and percolated electronics – never falling too far into one direction, and making a number of different strands resonate perfectly together – from mellow soul, to street sound jammers, to more conventional tracks.
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