A Different Sense of Time

Bernard D. Sherman

in Inside Early Music

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780195169454
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199865017 | DOI:
A Different Sense of Time

Show Summary Details


Newspaper reports on the monks of Santo Domingo de Silos have called their best-selling CD “an album of 1,000-year-old Gregorian chant” or even “1,500-year-old chant”. But both estimates erroneously assume that the chants on the CD are unaltered relics from the Middle Ages. If anything in music can be shown clearly, it is that the chanting of modern monks bears only a general resemblance to what was sung a thousand years ago. It can be argued that today’s historical-performance movement began with plainchant. Marcel Pérès has devoted his career to exploring such chant traditions as the Old Roman, the Beneventan, and the Mozarabic. Pérès has also explored Ambrosian chant, which escaped suppression and was sung in Milan—though not necessarily in its original form—until our own time, and various Gregorian “dialects”, such as the 17th- and 18th-century plainsong repertoires of Auxerre, Paris, and the Italian Franciscans. This chapter presents an interview with Peres, who discusses plainchant, Gregorian chant, ancient chant, musicology, and the use of microtones in early chants.

Keywords: Marcel Pérès; plainchant; Gregorian chant; Middle Ages; medieval music; musicology; microtones; ancient chant

Chapter.  9121 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.