Centuries of Silence: Gaul

James Mckinnon

in The Advent Project

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2000 | ISBN: 9780520221987
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520924338 | DOI:
Centuries of Silence: Gaul

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Western countries witnessed a sharp decline in their literary output, including the kinds of ecclesiastical writing that provide evidence about the state of contemporary liturgy and chant, in the later fourth century. The notable exception is monastic rules, such as from Gaul, Caesarius of Arles, and Aurelian of Arles, and, from contemporary Italy, the Rule of the Master and the incomparable Rule of St. Benedict. The sermons of Caesarius of Arles and the historical works of Gregory of Tours furnish many scattered remarks about ecclesiastical song in Gaul, and while the majority of these are more relevant to the Office, there are a number of valuable references to the Mass. Later-fourth-century Mass psalmody, certainly, is lector chant, whereas the Roman Mass Proper of the seventh and eighth centuries is schola chant. The lector declaims a psalm and the congregation responds, in some pattern or another, with the response verse. Schola chant involves the creation of a large body of chant and its maintenance from year to year, related tasks that can be accomplished only by an established group of quasi-professional musicians.

Keywords: Roman Mass Proper; schola chant; lector chant; Gregory of Tours; Caesarius of Arles

Chapter.  7569 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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