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Gregorian Chant The name is often taken as synonymous with plain chant qv comprising not only the Church music of the early Middle Ages but also later compositions elaborate melodies for the Ordinary of the Mass sequences etc written in a similar style down to the sixteenth century and even in modern timesCatholic Encyclopedia Gregorian Chant is a melody set to sacred Latin texts and sung a capella without accompaniment This chant is usually monophonic in texture and its rhythm is flexible without even the simplest harmoniesKaimen It is interesting to note that these melodies do not have the regular beat which is characteristic of nearly all the music of the last millennium and this tends to give the music a very spiritual quality ntuedu In a stricter sense Gregorian chant means that Roman form of early plain chant as distinguished from the Ambrosian Galliean and Mozarabic chants which were equivalent to it but were gradually supplanted by i t from the eighth to the eleventh centuryCatholic Encyclopedia Gregorian chants represent the voice of the Church which were passed down from generation to generation through oral tradition Then over time the number of chants grew into the thousands and they were notated to ensure musical uniformity throughout the Western Church The composers of most of the chants are unknownKaimen This however is not a main concern of those who study chant except for purposes of dating the material nor to the original composers because the focus was not to be on the composer but the Creator Gregorian Chant is essentially prayer sung-not merely music rendered It is prayer first music second This is where one can see the difference between this and so-called religious music which is so often confounded with liturgical musicThuis By religious music here is meant music which has a certain atmosphere of devotion as the prayer scenes in the operas as the oratories as some Masses of the masters like Bach
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