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Plainchant Platonic philosophy and its influence on Medieval aesthetics

Jan 19, 2016




PlainchantPlatonic philosophy and its influence on Medieval aestheticsMonophonyone + sound a single voice texture (one note at a time).


More commonly called Gregorian Chant and sometimes called Plainsong; plainchant is the sung, monophonic music used in worship by the Roman Catholic Church as well as other Christian denominations. Plainchant used to be sung exclusively in Latin and Greek, but is now sung in other languages, including English. Plainchant developed over many centuries (from Roman times to about 1300 A.D.) and still has an enormous influence on choral music and composers. Pope Gregory the Great

14-year Papacy (590-604)

Reformed and standardized worship

Clarified the roles of Deacons and Bishops

Spread the Church to England via St. Augustine

Why Gregorian chant?

Standardized chant melodiesBegan the arduous task of writing chants down for future generationsMay have written some chant himself; we cannot be sureSalve Regina

The Rules of ChantMonophonic (Chant was single line)Mostly stepwise - few skips or large intervalsRhythm was based on syllable count and accents (no steady beat)Instruments were looked on as extensions of the voice or used to support or double the vocal line.About 8 different scales (called modes) were used in plainchant.Musical Modes

Modes are just scalesOur major and minor scales can be considered modesThere are many different church modes (7). Each has a different feel or soundSome folk and pop music is modal, just major and minor are much more common