Gregorian Chant An Its Development

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Gregorian Chant and its Development During the Middle Ages, there were two main types of songs, which were the the Sacred songs and Secular songs. The Sacred songs, known as plainchant or Gregorian Chant is one of the great treasures of Western civilization. They stand as a memorial to religious faith in the Middle Ages, symbolizes the sense of community during that period. Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainchant, a form of monophonic liturgical chant in Western Christianity. It is named for Pope Gregory who ruled from 590 to 604 AD, who is traditionally credited for the codification of chants used in the celebration of the church calendar. The main function of Gregorian chant is to strengthen the religious spirit of prayer through music. It is also used during religious feasts and Holy days as well as during the Office or Canonical Hours which are time of daily prayers. Besides that, it is also used to accompany the most sacred service of the Christian Church known as The Mass. Gregorian chant is a vocal music, which means that it is sung a capella without accompaniment of instruments by a choir of men and boys, or by religious men and women in their churches. Among the main characteristics of a chant is that it is in monophonic form which indicates that it is sung in unison (only one note simultaneously), thus all the singers sing the same melody. The range of melody is limited and is sung with free rhythm (Unmeasured rhythm). This music is based on modes, the medieval modal system developed gradually, and not all stages of the process can be clearly traced. In its complete form, achieved by the eleventh century, the system include eight modes, differentiated according to the position of the whole tones and semitones within a diatonic octave. Text setting could be syllabic when every syllable of the text corresponds to a sound

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