Gregorian Chant


Salve Regina in cantus planus & gregorian notation

Image via Wikipedia

Gregorian Chant

Sacred Vocabulary
eight modes of prayer
minor and major
moods to match mine
joy and pain.

Sacred Living
unfolding in hours
cast upon a staff
etched on vellum
etched in flesh.

Sacred Thought
echos through the years
rendered in music
rendered in breath.
Sacred poetry.

Gregorian chant or plainchant is a form of music used in Monastic Communities and Religious Orders for the singing of the Liturgy of the Hours. It is also an age-old tradition for many liturgical ceremonies in the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian communities. Its style is reminiscent of ancient Hebrew chanting.

It is composed in eight modes or scales in major or minor tones. The minor modes are usually associated with the more serious or penitential times of the liturgical year, while the major tones for celebration and joyful events. In general, true Gregorian chant is sung without accompaniment or harmonization. In more recent years, Gregorian chant has caught the attention of popular culture and has on occasion merged with contemporary songs. The music of Enigma is an example of this.

The Liturgy of the Hours, along with the celebration of the Eucharist, constitute part of the official public prayer of the Church (including Anglicanism and Greek Orthodoxy). Also known as the Divine Office or Breviary, this prayer is recited eight times throughout the twenty-four hour day. In strict monastic settings, the monks arise during the night to recite one of the “hours.” While the hours may be recited privately, the ideal is to do so in community, preferably chanted. The Psalms make up a major part of the liturgical hours.

If you would like to listen to Gregorian Chant, there are numerous examples when you do a search on the Internet.

The image is of a portion of sheet music for the Salve Regina. Notice that there are only four lines of music and square notes.

Submitted to Jingle’s Poetry Potluck where the theme for this week is Saints, Hermits and Monks.

http://jinglepoetry.blogspot.com

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23 thoughts on “Gregorian Chant

  1. […] Gregorian Chant (liv2write2day.wordpress.com) […]

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  2. […] Gregorian Chant (liv2write2day.wordpress.com) […]

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  3. Oh I love that second stanza this is wonderful

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  4. trisha says:

    i have a collection of gregorian chants, thanks for letting me know what they are. i used to think that its the name of a group.

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  5. Chimnese says:

    ive never been much into teh Gregorian as teh ancient catholic priest used it in there sermons still into this day and age..and just listening to it, sends out a calming stillness within the spirit…this poem reflects exactly that…wonderful expressive of the prayer…

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  6. Claudia says:

    as a musician..immediately loved this..minor and major
    moods to match mine…there’s a key for each emotion…true..

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  7. mairmusic says:

    Knowing chant, I love how your words match the feel of the music– nicely done!
    http://mairmusic.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/week-141-we%E2%80%99ll-save-our-golden-eggs/

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  8. Beautiful, I really love the style of the poem and the chant, sounds so mysterious and enchanting!=P

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  9. wordcoaster says:

    Sacred Thought
    echos through the years
    rendered in music
    rendered in breath.
    Sacred poetry.– Beautiful and captures so much meaning

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  10. thingy says:

    It really sounds lovely. I would love to be able to look into their world. Lovely and lonely and otherworldly.

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  11. booguloo says:

    In the 70’s 1 monk and his brother sang “Create in me a clean heart oh Lord” and it was beautiful. I wish I could remember who did it.

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  12. I love your explanation of this. Gregorian chant has always appealed to me, and although they can be eerie (I wouldn’t listen to one alone in the dark!), they’re also wonderfully inspiring and uplifting.

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  13. wolfsrosebud says:

    I enjoyed the musical approach.

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  14. Jingle says:

    Sacred Vocabulary
    eight modes of prayer
    minor and major
    moods to match mine
    joy and pain.

    love it absolutely, you remind me of the best poetry, smiles.
    🙂

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  15. Jamie Dedes says:

    Oh, well done, Victoria. A wonderful poem.

    I do love Gregorian Chant, by far the most beautiful of all religious chanting.

    You are featured here today:
    http://jinglepoetry.blogspot.com/2011/06/sunday-rally-dispatch-jp-news-views.html

    and

    here:
    http://musingbymoonlight.com/2011/06/26/writers-roundup-1/

    Happy Sunday, Victoria!

    Jamie

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  16. Good poem and fine explanation of a very strange type of music.Strange, at least, to our modern ears. 🙂

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  17. brian says:

    nice…love listening to them…etched in flesh, yes and deeper still, coming out in breath…very nicely done victoria

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  18. siggiofmaine says:

    Thank you for your post…a reminder to me, to listen more to the chants for peace of mind.
    I enjoy when they are included in a service (Episcopalian}…they are so special.
    Peace. Siggi i Maine

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  19. LeRoy Dean says:

    One can smell the incense; I was raised a Catholic. Great music to calm the soul.

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  20. I Googled and listened. Very beautiful to listen to. Very calming. Blessings to you…

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  21. jgavinallan says:

    Victoria:
    I went to youtube and heard a few pieces. A scared cat as myself should have been frightened…they have an eerie quality…I am pathetic…but I know the importance and the history of these beautiful songs(I guess they are songs) and the devotion of those that preform them. Oh—they are lovely—Salve Regina—very beautiful
    Jaye

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