plainsong


plainsong
/playn"sawng', -song'/, n.
1. the unisonous vocal music used in the Christian church from the earliest times.
2. modal liturgical music; Gregorian chant.
3. a cantus firmus or theme chosen for contrapuntal development.
4. any simple and unadorned melody or air.
Also, plain song. Also called plainchant (for defs. 1, 2).
[1505-15; trans. of ML cantus planus]

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music
also called  plainchant 

      the Gregorian chant (q.v.) and, by extension, other similar religious chants. The word derives from the 13th-century Latin term cantus planus (“plain song”), referring to the unmeasured rhythm and monophony (single line of melody) of Gregorian chant, as distinguished from the measured rhythm of polyphonic (multipart) music, called cantus mensuratus, or cantus figuratus (“measured,” or “figured,” song). Its other main application is to ancient Christian music with the same unmeasured rhythm and monophony—in the West, Ambrosian (Ambrosian chant), Gallican (Gallican chant), and Mozarabic (Mozarabic chant) chants (qq.v.); in the East, Byzantine (Byzantine chant), Syrian (Syrian chant), Coptic (Coptic chant), Ethiopian (Ethiopian chant), and Armenian (Armenian chant) chants (qq.v.). It may also refer to similar non-Christian religious music, such as Jewish and Hindu chants.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • plainsong — (also plainchant) ► NOUN ▪ unaccompanied medieval church music sung in free rhythm corresponding to the accentuation of the words …   English terms dictionary

  • plainsong — [plān′sôŋ΄] n. [transl. of ML cantus planus] 1. the monophonic and unmeasured ritual chant of the early Christian church, esp. Gregorian chant 2. any similar religious chant, as in Hindu liturgies …   English World dictionary

  • Plainsong — For other uses, see Plainsong (disambiguation). Plainsong (also plainchant; Latin: cantus planus) is a body of chants used in the liturgies of the Catholic Church. Though the Eastern Orthodox churches and the Catholic Church did not split until… …   Wikipedia

  • plainsong — noun Date: 1513 a monophonic rhythmically free liturgical chant of any of various Christian rites; especially Gregorian chant …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • plainsong — noun A form of monophonic chant, sung in unison using the Gregorian scale and sung in various Christian churches …   Wiktionary

  • Plainsong — Generic term for the unaccompanied music of monks singing in unison, e.g. *Gregorian chant. The rhythm of the song was and still is determined by the natural accents of the text being sung. The word plain refers to the single line of melody, its… …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • Plainsong —    See Chant; Plainchant …   Historical dictionary of sacred music

  • plainsong — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) n. [liturgical, Gregorian, etc. ] chant. See music, rite. II (Roget s IV) n. Syn. plainchant, chant, Gregorian chant, melody; see song …   English dictionary for students

  • plainsong — plain|song [ˈpleınsɔŋ US so:ŋ] n also plainchant [U] a type of old Christian church music in which people sing a simple tune without musical instruments …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • plainsong — plain|song [ pleın,sɔŋ ] noun uncount a type of old religious music heard in Christian churches, sung by a group of people together without the use of musical instruments …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English


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