Music in History

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gregorian chant

early middle ages
 


Gregorian chant

Pope Gregory the Great was the one who strengthened church as an institution.  In his time the Roman Catholic church had spread from Northern Europe to northern Africa. In such a huge area an uncontrolled production of liturgical hymns affected by local musical traditions had been observed. This phenomenon had created an impression that churches  under the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church were being splitted. So it had to be clear that this was not happening. Gregory codified the liturgical hymns according to the Roman Catholic church calendar .  Thus  revised sacramentaries  were created and   western liturgy acquired distinct characteristics that set it apart from the traditions of the eastern liturgy . Pope Gregory is not known to have written something included to the Gregorian  repertoire.
"sacramentaria" are old books  containing Pope's speeches concerning  the liturgy of the Eucharist and other liturgies. Pope Gregory  also perfected the alphabetical notation.
Till nowadays, Gregorian chant remains the Roman Catholic Church's  traditional music. It consists of  3000  works, all Chants.  A Gregorian melody consists of two monophonic  phrases sung a capella.
The standard book is  called Gradual. Some  texts, like Psalms  and readings, come  straight from the Bible, while others (Kyrie,Te Deum) come  from other sources.
During 13th century, because the music was transmitted more through the oral tradition rather than written, the Gregorian style had been forgotten; verses were being translated like a  text with long unified note values. The term "cantus planus" has to do with this phenomenon. Neumatic notation was used  for Gregorian chant.
Since the end of the Gregorian era the medieval music's  period  is considered to  arose. It lasted up to c 1400 AD.

Hοw Gregorian hymns are sung
1) antiphons. There are two choirs to sing alternately.
2) responsio. There is a solo sung by one voice  and a refrain sung by the chorus.
3) unison

"jubilus"
jubilus is a long Melisma placed during the last syllable of the word "Hallelujah" as it is  sung in Gregorian chant. During fasting (like Lent) the "hallelujah" was  replaced by  "passages" or "sequences" which were small groups of psalms with  lyrics.

                                     alleluia with jubilus and troped kyrie
                                  

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