Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Introduction to Gregorian Chant

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Gregorian Chant"— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to Gregorian Chant

2 The Staff There are four lines and three spaces used in Gregorian chant notation Both lines and spaces are counted from the lowest to the highest There may (rarely) be one supplementary line above or below the staff


4 The Notes and Their Names
Musical sounds are distinguished by sonic “packages” called notes Notes used in Gregorian melodies include: (1) la ti do re mi fa sol la ti do re mi fa sol (2) A B C D E F G a b c d e f g (3)

5 The Diatonic Scale Gregorian chant uses notes arranged in a “diatonic scale”: seven pitches arranged in a set pattern of tones and semitones There are only two semitones in the diatonic scale: between mi and fa and between ti and do All other pitches are at intervals of a whole tone

6 The Flat There is only one accidental permitted in Gregorian chant: the flatted ti which is then called teu The flat is in effect: (1) as long as the word lasts (2) until the next bar line of any type (3) until revoked by a natural sign

7 The Flat

8 The Natural

9 The Clefs A clef is a stylized letter placed on a line at the beginning of a staff A clef indicates the name of the note written on that line Gregorian chant notation utilizes two clefs: (1) the UT or DO clef (2) the FA clef

10 The UT / DO Clef The form of the UT or DO clef is derived from the letter C in alphabetic notation The C clef is usually found on the third and fourth lines More rarely it is found on the second line It is never found on the first line or in spaces


12 The FA Clef The form of the FA clef is derived from the letter F in alphabetic notation The FA clef is normally placed on the third line On rare occasions the FA clef may be placed on the second line The FA clef is never placed on the first line or in the spaces


14 Bar-Lines Bar-lines in Gregorian notation do not indicate time-division Gregorian notation uses four kind of bars: (1) the double bar (2) the full bar (3) the half / member bar (4) the quarter / incise bar

15 The Double Bar Closes a chant piece or one of its major divisions
May indicate where whole choir takes up singing (also indicated by **) May indicate where the chanting alternates and changes sides in choir (also indicated by *)

16 The Double Bar

17 The Full Bar Cuts all four lines of the staff
Indicates the end of a phrase Specifies that the last notes just before it be prolonged Directs a full breath be taken before resuming the chant

18 The Full Bar

19 The Half Bar Cuts the two middle lines of the staff
Indicates divisions known as “clauses” or “members” Specifies that the notes just before it may be given a slight prolongation Directs that a short breath may be taken

20 The Half Bar

21 The Quarter Bar Cuts only the top line of the staff
Indicates divisions known as “sections” or “incises” Specifies a short sustaining of the voice When serving as a “comma” or “virgula” it may indicate a very rapid breath

22 The Quarter Bar

23 The Custos Sign placed at the end of each line of Gregorian notation to indicate in advance the first note of the following line Also employed in the course of a line when there is a change in the placement of the clef to show the relative pitch of the first note after the change

24 The Custos

25 Single Notes The ordinary single note is the punctum (quadratum): a simple square note As part of a group of notes (neum) as single note may appear as: (1) a virga (punctum with a “tail”) (2) a rhombus / punctum inclinatum (diamond-shaped note)

26 Punctum (Quadratum)

27 Virga

28 Rhombus (Punctum Inclinatum)

29 Duration The duration of a single note may be modified:
(1) by the addition of a dot, doubling its length (2) by the horizontal episema, a slight prolongation without doubling its length

30 Neums The grouping together of several notes is called a neum
Neums may be classified as: (1) simple (podatus, clivis, torculus, porrectus, climacus, scandicus) (2) augmented (flexus, resupinus, subpunctis, praepunctis) (3) compound (combination of simple neums) (4) ornament (quilisma, distropha, tristropha, pressus, oriscus, salicus, liquescent)

31 Two-Note Neums Two-note neums occur in four categories:
(1) podatus / pes (second note higher than first) (2) clivis / flexa (second note lower than first) (3) distropha (second note on same pitch as first) (4) bivirga (same as distropha with differing notation)

32 Podatus / Pes

33 Clivis / Flexa

34 Distropha

35 Bivirga

36 Three-Note Neums Three-Note Neums appear in five categories:
1) torculus 2) porrectus 3) climacus 4) scandicus 5) tristropha

37 Torculus (2nd note higher than 1st and 3rd)

38 Porrectus (2nd note lower than 1st and 3rd)

39 Climacus (each successive note lower -- may have more than 3)

40 Scandicus (each successive note higher -- may have more than 3)

41 Tristropha (three notes on same pitch)

42 Four-Note Neums Four-note neums appear in five categories:
1) torculus resupinus 2) porrectus flexus 3) climacus resupinus 4) scandicus flexus 5) pes subbipunctis

43 Torculus Resupinus ( torculus + 4th note higher than 3rd)

44 Porrectus Flexus (porrectus + 4th note lower than 3rd)

45 Climacus Resupinus (climacus + 4th note higher than 3rd)

46 Scandicus Flexus (scandicus + fourth note lower than 3rd)

47 Pes Subbipunctis (podatus followed by descending rhombi -- may be more than 2)

48 Five-Note (+) Subpunctis Neums
Subpunctis neums of five or more notes include: 1) porrectus subbipunctis / subtripunctis 2) scandicus subbipunctis / subtripunctis

49 Porrectus subbipunctis / subtripunctis (porrectus + 2 or 3 descending rhombi)

50 Scandicus subbipunctis / subtripunctis (scandicus + 2 or 3 descending rhombi)

51 Special Neums Special Neums include: 1) the quilisma 2) the oriscus
3) the pressus 4) the salicus 5) liquescent neums or groups

52 Quilisma (a tremulant note whose preceding note is prolonged)

53 Oriscus (meeting of a neum and a note on the same pitch)

54 Pressus (meeting of a note and a neum [minor] or 2 neums [major] on the same pitch

55 Salicus A scandicus with the ictus (vertical episema) on the second last note, which second last note is somewhat prolonged (but not two beats) A scandicus is not considered a salicus unless it has the ictus (vertical episema) printed on the second last note of the neum

56 Liquescent Neums Neums in which the last note is printed smaller than the note or notes which precede it Facilitates the pronunciation of words at the juncture of vowels and certain consonants The smaller note has the same duration as the larger note(s)

Download ppt "Introduction to Gregorian Chant"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google