LESSONS ON
GREGORIAN CHANT
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History
Characteristics
Notation
The Rhythm
Latin pronuntiation

Gregorian Chant in
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CHARACTERISTICS
NOTATION
THE RHYTHM

Gregorian Chant will never be understood without the text which has priority on the melody

It is vocal music, which means that it is sung a capella.

Its Rhythm is free and its writing differs from that of the modern music writing.

It is Modal music.

The stage in which it is interpreted is the liturgy of the Church.

Gregorian Chant is written on four line staffs.

The notes are named square point (punctum cuadratum) or sloping point (punctum inclinatum) that can be simple or grouped in Neumes.

The clefs used are of C and of F which can be in the second, third or fourth line.

The musical rhythm is the arrangement of the sounds with base in the distinction among those with impulse character, called ARSIS, and those that have character of rest, called THESIS.

This classification starts on the smallest groups of sounds and goes relating them in more and more wide contexts, through different stages of rhythmic synthesis, in a unifier process.

In Gregorian chant the synthesis is carried out by means of three stages: elementary rhythms, groups and great rhythm.

CHIRONOMY
THE MODES
HISTORY

Chironomy is the way that conductor uses to move his hands in order to show the rhythmic elements of the musical work and their different shades; the purpose of Chironomy is to achieve the most perfect interpretation.

The two fundamental movements are those that describe the arsis and the thesis.

It is a modal music written in scales of very particular sounds, which serve to wake up varied feelings, like withdrawal, happiness, sadness, serenity.

A good history sketch in spanish can be found on the Web site of Monasterio de Santo Domingo de Silos (Burgos, Spain). We have translated here having in mind the authorization of using it only for documental or cultural purposes.

http://www.silos.arrakis.es

THE PSALMODY
 
Psalmody is meant to be the chant of the psalms and canticles of the Church. A tutorial for chanting the psalms is given.  

 

 


 

 

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