from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Style of unaccompanied monophonic singing in the Catholic Church.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. See under Gregorian.
- adj. plain song, or canto fermo, a kind of unisonous music, according to the eight celebrated church modes, as arranged and prescribed by Pope Gregory I. (called “the Great”) in the 6th century.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a liturgical chant of the Roman Catholic Church
"It may also be allowed sometimes to render the single psalms in their entirety in music, provided the form proper to psalmody be preserved in such composition, that is to say, provided the singers seem to be psalmodizing among themselves, either with new motifs or with those taken from the Gregorian chant based upon it.
"It will, nevertheless, be lawful on the greater solemnities to alternate the Gregorian chant of the choir with the so-called falsi-bordoni or with verses similarly composed in a proper manner.
The following words from the "Motu proprio" have, however, caused a great deal of uncertainty: "With the exception of the melodies proper to the celebrant at the altar and to his ministers, which must always be sung only in Gregorian chant and without the accompaniment of the organ, all the rest of the liturgical chant belongs to the choir of levites; therefore, singers in church, even when they are laymen, are really taking the place of the ecclesiastical choir."
Gregorian chant -- not only men like Witt and Gevaert, but also
'Cæremoniale Episcoporum', which prescribes the Gregorian chant for the psalmody and permits figured music for the versicles of the
The participation of the people in the singing of the Gregorian chant has been discussed under CONGREGATIONAL SINGING.
The name Gregorian chant points to Gregory the Great (590-604), to whom a pretty constant tradition ascribes a certain final arrangement of the Roman chant.
The Gregorian chant had become so overladen with mere embellishments as to make the prescribed church-form difficult of recognition in its borrowed garb, for it had become a mere jumble of sound.