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    Coram Deo is offline. Inactive User
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    Question Regulative Worship, EP, and Chant

    Hello,

    Quick question for those of us who are Epers..

    Would Chanting a line be considered singing, hence breaking regulated worship with Psalmody? or would be just be considered Rhythmic Speech and not breaking regulated worship?

    Also, how does one feel about the Gloria Patri? Chanted? Recited? Not Biblical?

    Thoughts, Opinions, and such...

    Michael
    Michael Daniels
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    Davidius is offline. Inactive User
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    Quote Originally Posted by thunaer View Post
    Hello,

    Quick question for those of us who are Epers..

    Would Chanting a line be considered singing, hence breaking regulated worship with Psalmody? or would be just be considered Rhythmic Speech and not breaking regulated worship?

    Also, how does one feel about the Gloria Patri? Chanted? Recited? Not Biblical?

    Thoughts, Opinions, and such...

    Michael
    We have a few chanted selections in our Psalter and I love them because they take the words straight out of the KJV without any change. I just learned how to chant them a few weeks ago and have been having fun doing it on my own at home.

    I definitely don't think there's a break in the EP with chanting since it involves pitches, rhythm, etc. We often attribute what we know as "singing" to the commands to sing we find in the bible but I'm sure it looked much different from our metrical songs. In fact, I'd even say that the chants we have may be closer to what used to be done back then.
    Davidius
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    Member of All Saints Anglican Church - Chapel Hill (AMiA / Anglican Church of North America)
    Student: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, German and Classics

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaCalvinist View Post
    In fact, I'd even say that the chants we have may be closer to what used to be done back then.
    Why do you think this? Do you mean back when the Psalms were originally written or when the English Bible was written? Why is chanting closer to the original? Just curious...


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    Coram Deo is offline. Inactive User
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    I guess I am refering to non psalm chant.. Would simple non musical chant of gloria patri be considered a song hence breaking the regulative worship or would it be considered more a rhythmic speech?

    How about any doxology? would it be better to recite them or chant them in a simple two tonal chant?

    Also, how would someone here regard the gloria patri? non-biblical, also breaking the regulative worship, or biblical since patterns of doxology appears through out the new testament?

    Michael




    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaCalvinist View Post
    We have a few chanted selections in our Psalter and I love them because they take the words straight out of the KJV without any change. I just learned how to chant them a few weeks ago and have been having fun doing it on my own at home.

    I definitely don't think there's a break in the EP with chanting since it involves pitches, rhythm, etc. We often attribute what we know as "singing" to the commands to sing we find in the bible but I'm sure it looked much different from our metrical songs. In fact, I'd even say that the chants we have may be closer to what used to be done back then.
    Michael Daniels
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    Denton, Maryland

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    Davidius is offline. Inactive User
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMK View Post
    Why do you think this? Do you mean back when the Psalms were originally written or when the English Bible was written? Why is chanting closer to the original? Just curious...
    I guess I don't really know. It sounded good at the time.

    But the Roman Catholic Church did chants for a long time so I figured that they're at least older than metrical songs. *shrug* Personally, I'm waiting for Andrew to say something.
    Davidius
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaCalvinist View Post
    I guess I don't really know. It sounded good at the time.

    But the Roman Catholic Church did chants for a long time so I figured that they're at least older than metrical songs. *shrug* Personally, I'm waiting for Andrew to say something.
    Polyphony is a rather recent "invention" (c. 1000) -- and it's difficult to know how ancient music sounded since notation was "invented" late, too.

    I have wondered why EPers forbid instruments but allow for polyphony
    Casey, Chicagoland, OPC

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    Well, there's a lot to address here and I'm not the most qualified person to do it but I'll try to assemble some thoughts on these issues which may hopefully be of some assistance.

    To the question of whether it is consistent with the RPW to sing or chant the Gloria Patria -- it is not consistent with the RPW. It is not commanded to be sung, and it is not part of the canon of Psalms which alone is commanded to be sung / chanted.

    It is among the liturgical parts of worship that was expunged during the Puritan era in Scotland (and reintroduced to Scotland with the Restoration of Anglican liturgy).

    George Washington Sprott, The Worship of the Church of Scotland During the Covenanting Period, 1638-1661, pp. 19-20:

    After 1640 the reading of prayers by [ ] was gradually given up, and an increasing number discontinued the habitual use of the Lord's Prayer, Gloria Patri, and kneeling for private devotion.
    To the question of whether chanting itself is acceptable, I will cite some previous posts that I have made on the subject.

    Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot on 8-11-2005

    If I can boil your question down, I think you are asking why is metre required in English psalmody? If that's the question, the answer is pretty simple. It's not. Metrical psalmody is not of the essence of exclusive psalmody.

    Chanting prose psalms is entirely acceptable and in accordance with the principles of psalmody. In fact, my RPCNA psalter has a section in the back which provides an introduction to chanting. Moreover, Psalm 100C uses an irregular tune called "Enter" to sing the KJV Bible translation of that Psalm (non-rhyming prose). There are multiple examples of this in my RPCNA psalter, including Psalm 23. Gregorian chant was used for centuries to sing the psalms.

    There are no inspired tunes. But the Psalms are meant to be sung. They are poetic musical compositions. Hence, when the Reformation restored the Psalter to its rightful place in Christian worship, it was connected to 1) the rise of the vernacular language in contrast to the Latin in use in Gregorian chant 2) the rise and development of both poetry and music as art forms and 3) the emphasis on congregational singing. Metrical versification was almost universally recognized by the Reformers in most countries as the best means of using vernacular language Psalm translations to convey the musical poetry of the Hebrew psalms for the purpose of being sung by all members of the congregation. It is simple and easy to learn, and conforms with principles of orderliness in worship. But overall the decision to move from chanting to metre is ultimately one of informed discretion, not a matter of doctrine or an application of the RPW.

    This commentary on the 1635 Scottish Psalter may be helpful as it sheds light on musical development in connection with psalmody:

    Quote:
    The musical language that our ears hear as "normal" today came on the scene just before the year 1700 in Europe. This musical vocabulary of major and minor scales for melodies, and the emphasis on the relationship between the first and fifth degrees of the scale ("do" and "so") for harmonies has spread to every modern nation and influenced it to a great or greater degree. (In fact, the popular "Do, Re, Mi" from The Sound of Music is a celebration of this neat and consistent musical system. Not only is each note of the major scale lauded one step at a time, but each big chorus of the tune always ends with that most important leap of "so-do.")

    Because our ears have been programmed to this at least from birth, it is understandable that almost all musical pieces we listen to regularly today, including our oldest classical favorites, were written after 1700. On the other hand, the further we go backward from 1700, the odder the music sounds to modern ears. This is because melody (the "tune") was conceived as a string of almost exclusively step-wise tones, without consideration of how it would be harmonized or even how it might be set into a nice, square, repetitive rhythmic pattern. This would be rather like taking the white keys on the piano, starting from any key at random, meandering up and down at will but without skipping over a key, and ending on the starting note. Actually a couple of small leaps were permissible in a tune, but steps were the rule. "The Star Spangled Banner," not having anything but leaps among its first eight tones, would have sounded like a kitten on the keys to ancient ears, and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" would have been dumped after the first word with its huge leap up from the first to the second note.

    To oversimplify we might say that the modern (post-1700) philosophy is "Make sure the harmony and rhythm are good and we can fit a nice tune on top," while the ancient (pre-1700) philosophy was "Make sure the tune is smooth and easily singable and we can live with whatever harmonies, scales, and rhythms happen along the way."

    It follows that a hymnal from 1635 will have music that seems a bit strange at first, and the uneven rhythmic patterns probably won’t lead to an immediate, uncontrollable urge to jump up and dance. But step back a moment and let the words and music speak on their own terms, and it will soon become clear why the ears of the time found the combination to be a perfect fit.

    [Edited on 8-11-2005 by VirginiaHuguenot]
    And

    Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot on 8-11-2005

    From a Wikipedia article on metrical psalters:

    Quote:
    Note also should be taken of the frequently quoted thoughts of Erasmus, who in the preface to his edition of the Greek New Testament wrote that:

    I would have the weakest woman read the Gospels and the Epistles of St Paul. I would have those words translated into all languages, so that not only Scots and Irishmen, but Turks and Saracens might read them. I long for the ploughboy to sing them to himself as he follows the plow, the weaver to hum them to the tune of his shuttle, the traveler to beguile with them the dullness of his journey.

    The Reformers, taking their cue from these Scriptures and from Erasmus, shared a common interest in Scripture that would be singable.

    Various Reformers interpreted these texts as imposing strictures on sacred music. The psalms, especially, were felt to be commended to be sung by these texts. A revival of Gregorian chant, or its adaptation to the vernacular, was apparently not considered; few Gregorian chants are merry in any case. Instead, the need was felt to have metrical vernacular versions of the Psalms and other Scripture texts, suitable to sing to metrical tunes and even popular song forms.

    During the pre-reformation days, it was not customary for lay members of a church's congregation to communally sing hymns. Singing was done by the priests and other clergy; communal singing of Gregorian chant was the function of professional choirs, or among communities of monks and nuns. John Calvin, inspired by Erasmus's comments, desired singable versions of the Psalms and other Christian texts for the communal use of the Reformed churches.
    And

    Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot 9-18-2006

    The Catholic Encyclopedia says that congregational singing was an "ancient practice" (words of Pope Pius X, 1903). It was discouraged by the Council of Laodicea (c. 360 AD, Canon 15), which also affirmed the apostolic prohibition on uninspired psalms or hymns (Canon 59). The decline in congregational singing in the Christian era and rise in trained professional choirs and monastic Gregorian chant mirrors the general return to Jewish ceremonial worship (ie., Levitical-Papist choirs, Levitical-Papist musical instruments, etc.) and accretion of power by the elite found in the Roman Catholic Church (ie., withholding the cup and the Bible from the laity, interposition of the priest between laity and God, etc.). Luther, I think, was the first after that long period of decline to insist on the return to congregational involvement in this element of public worship, and Calvin agreed on its importance.

    Quote:
    "From the apostolic age singing was always a part of divine service, in which the whole body of the Church joined together; and it was the decay of this practice that first brought the order of singers into the Church. The council of Laodicea (canon 15) prohibited singing by the congregation; but this was a temporary provision, designed only to restore and revive the ancient psalmody. We find that in after-ages the people enjoyed their ancient privilege of singing all together" (John M'Clintock and James Strong, Cyclopedia of biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, Vol. 9, pg. 776).

    Quote:
    Professor Donald Hustad who was formerly Director of the Sacred Music Department at the Moody Bible Institute wrote the following:

    "The early worship music of the Christian church was completely congregational, so far as we can tell. However, following the spread of Christianity throughout the western world, the increasing power and sophistication of the church was accompanied by the development of trained choirs and music leaders. Church history records that about the fifth century congregational singing was largely eliminated in Christian worship, and the music was given to choirs…" (Jubilate!, pg. 46, referenced in Singing and New Testament Worship, by Dave Miller, pg. 3).

    John Barber, Luther and Calvin on Music and Worship:

    Quote:
    “By re-introducing public worship, the reformers displaced virtually overnight a thousand years of high church ritual. The Reformation fathers condemned the Gregorian Chant for some very telling reasons, revealing along the way their own evolving concepts of music. They objected to the distractions of elaborate vocal and instrumental music, the dangers of overly theatrical performances, the unwarranted expense of elaborate ceremonies and enormous pipe organs and the uselessness of text unintelligible to the common man. Contrasting with the high church’s entrenched musical traditions was the simple and pragmatic approach of men like Martin Luther. Luther’s stated goal was the restoration of true worship. He understood the tremendous benefit resulting from hearing the Word of God and then uniting as a congregation to offer thanksgiving in song. This stress on congregational participation in worship became a lynchpin of the Reformation.�

    Westminster Directory of Public Worship:

    Quote:
    Of Singing of Psalms:

    It is the duty of Christians to praise God publickly, by singing of psalms together in the congregation, and also privately in the family.
    ...
    That the whole congregation may join herein, every one that can read is to have a psalm book; and all others, not disabled by age or otherwise, are to be exhorted to learn to read. But for the present, where many in the congregation cannot read, it is convenient that the minister, or some other fit person appointed by him and the other ruling officers, do read the psalm, line by line, before the singing thereof.

    [Edited on 9-18-2006 by VirginiaHuguenot]
    I also came across this quote:

    Johannes Baptist Alzog, History of the Church, pp. 696-697:

    The Gregorian chant, so dignified and solemn, was taught and brought to perfection in a school founded by the excellent Pope from whom it derives its name, whence it gradually spread through the whole Church. Ecclesiastical chant, departing in some instances from the simple majesty of its original character, became more artistic, and, on this account, less heavenly and more profane; and the Fathers of the Church were not slow to censure this corruption of the old and honored Church song. Finally, the organ, which seemed an earthly echo of the angelic choirs in heaven, added its full, rich, and inspiring notes to the beautiful simplicity of the Gregorian chant.
    I did inquire on the PB once recently about a Scottish Prose Psalter once but got no replies -- see this thread.

    However, although I fully concur that chanting is lawful and in some cases may even desirable, as a whole, I think the Reformers were right to enable their congregations to sing in metre, which helps with memorization and congregational singing. I view the issue of chant v. metre as fundamentally a matter of circumstance not regulated element.

    But there are principles at work which lead me personally to prefer metre (WCF I, vi). As I said, I think metre is more conducive to both congregational singing and memorization. Less skill is required to sing in metre as opposed to chanting, which allows for congregational unity in song as opposed to the use of trained choirs which historically developed along with Gregorian chanting. Also, the Catholic Encyclopedia points out that metre may in fact be part of the original psalmody. (See also this link for a different historical perspective.)

    B. METRE

    Is there metre in the Psalms? The Jews of the first century A.D. thought so. Flavius Josephus speaks of the hexameters of Moses (Antiq., II, xvi, 4; IV, viii, 44) and the trimeters and tetrameters and manifold meters of the odes and hymns of David (Antiq., VII, xii, 3). Philo says that Moses had learned the "theory of rhythm and harmony" (De vita Mosis, I, 5). Early Christian writers voice the same opinion. Origen (d. 254) says the Psalms are in trimeters and tetrameters (In Ps. cxviii; cf. Card. Pitra, "Analecta Sacra", II, 341); and Eusebius (d. 340), in his "De Praeparatione evangelica", XI, 5 (P.G., XXI, 852), speaks of the same metres of David. St. Jerome (420), in "Praef. ad Eusebii chronicon" (P.L., XXVII, 36), finds iambics, Alcaics, and Sapphics in the psalter; and, writing toPaula (P.L., XXII, 442), he explains that the acrostic Pss. cxi and cxii (cx and cxi) are made up of iambic trimeters, whereas the acrostic Pss. cxix and cxlv (cxviii and cxliv) are iambic tetrameters. Modern exegetes do not agree in this matter. For a time many would admit no metre at all in the Psalms. Davison (Hast., "Dict. of the Bible", s. v.) writes: "though metre is not discernible in the Psalms, it does not follow that rhythm is excluded". This rhythm, however, "defies analysis and systematization". Driver ("Introd. to Lit. of O. T.", New York, 1892, 339) admits in Hebrew poetry "no metre in the strict sense of the term". Exegetes who find metre in the Psalms are of four schools, according as they explain Hebrew metre by quantity, by the number of syllables, by accent, or by both quantity and accent.

    (1) Defenders of the Latin and Greek metrical standard of quantity as applied to Hebrew poetry are Francis Gomarus, in "Davidis lyra", II (Lyons, 1637), 313; Mark Meibom, in "Davidis psalmi X" (Amsterdam, 1690) and in two other works, who claim to have learned his system of Hebrew metre by Divine revelation; William Jones, "Poeseos Asiaticae commentariorum" (Leipzig, 1777), who tried to force Hebrew words into Arabic metres.

    (2) The number of syllables was taken as the standard of metre by Hare, "Psalmorum liber in versiculos metrice divisus" (London, 1736); he made all feet dissyllabic, the metre trochaic in a line of an even number of syllables, iambic in a line of an odd number of syllables. The Massoretic system was rejected, the Syriac put in its stead. The opinion found chief defence in the writings of the learned Innsbruck Professor Gustav; and in Bickell's "Metrices biblicae" (Innsbruck, 1879), "Suplementum ad Metr. Bibl." (Innsbruck), "Carimina veteris testamenti metrice" (1882), "Dichtungen der Hebraer" (1882-84). Gerard Gietmann, S.J., "De re mentrica Hebraeorum" (Freiburg im Br., 1880); A. Rohling, "Das Solomonische Spruchbuch" (Mainz, 1879); H. Lesetre, "Le livre des psaumes" (Paris, 1883); J. Knabenbauer, S.J., in "Job" (Paris, 1885), p. 18; F. Vigouroux, "Manuel biblique", II, 203, have all followed in Bickell's footsteps more or less closely. Against this system some patent facts. The quantity of a word is made to vary arbitrarily. Hebrew is treated as Syriac, a late dialect of Aramaic -- which it is not; in fact, even early Syriac poetry did not measure its lines by the number of syllables. Lastly the Massorah noted metrical structure by accents; at least soph pasuk and athnah indicate comlete lines or two hemistichs.

    (3) Accent is the determining principle of Hebrew metre according to C. A. Anton, "Conjectura de metro Hebraeorum" (Leipzig, 1770), "Vindiciae disput. de metr. Hebr." (Leipzig, 1771), "Specimen editionis psalmorum" (Vitebsk, 1780); Leutwein, "Versuch einer richtigen Theorie von der biblischen Verkunst" (1775); Ernst Meier, "Die Form der hebraischen Poesie nachgewiesen" (Tübingen, 1853); Julius Ley, "Die Metrischen Formen der hebraischen Poesie" (Leipzig, 1886); "Ueber die Alliteration im Hebraischen" in "Zeitsch. d. Deutsch. Morgenlandisch. Ges.", XX, 180; J. K. Zenner, S.J., "Die Chorgesange im Buche der Psalmen" (Freiburg im Br., 1896), and in many contributions to "Zeitsch. fur kathol. Theol.", 1891, 690; 1895, 373; 1896, 168, 369, 378, 571, 754; Hontheim, S.J., in "Zeitsch. fur kathol. Theol.", 1897, 338, 560, 738; 1898, 172, 404, 749; 1899, 167; Dr. C. A. Briggs, in "The Book of Psalms", in "International Critical Commentary" (New York, 1906), p. xxxix, and in many other publications therein enumerated; Francis Brown, "Measures of Hebrew Poetry: in "Journal of Biblical Literature", IX, 91; C. H. Toy, "Proverbs" in "Internat. Crit. Comm." (1899); W. R. Harper, "Amos and Hosea" in "Internat. Crit. Comm." (1905); Cheyne, "Psalms" (New York), 1892; Duhm, "Die Psalmen" (Freiburg im Br., 1899), p. xxx. This theory is the best working hypothesis together with the all-essential principle of parallelism; it does far less violence to the Massoretic Text than either of the foregoing theories. It does not force the Massoretic syllables into grooves that are Latin, Greek, Arabic, or Aramaic. It is independent of the shifting of accent; and postulates just one thing, a fixed and harmonious number of accents to the line, regardless of the number of syllables therein. This theory of a tonic and not a syllabic metre has this, too, in its favour that accent is the determining principle in ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, and Assyrian poetry.

    (4) Of recent years the pendulum of Hebrew metrical theories has swung back upon quantity; the syllabic must not be utterly neglected. Hubert Grimme, in "Grundzuge der Hebraischen Akzent und Volkallehre", Freiburg, 1896, and "Psalmenprobleme" (1902), builds up the metre chiefly upon the tonic principle, at the same time taking into account the morae or pauses due to quantity. Schlogl, "De re metrica veterum Hebraeorum" (Vienna, 1899), defends Grimme's theory. Sievers, "Metrische Studien" (1901), also takes in the unaccented syllables for metrical consideration; so does Baethgen, "Die Psalmen" (Gottingen, 1904), p. xxvii.
    If metre is embedded in the psalms, as some argue, then there are strong grounds to employ metre. Others will argue that chanting was used in the Temple, and so chanting has historical precedence. Either way, as I mentioned, I see the question as one of circumstance, not element, and thus subject to WCF I, vi and the light of nature and of Christian prudence.

    This post has become very long, my apologies. But I hope these thoughts / resources are helpful. God bless!
    Last edited by VirginiaHuguenot; 05-10-2007 at 10:09 PM.
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    Coram Deo is offline. Inactive User
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    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for your reply.. Though, I am unsure if it helps me and the question I posed... I am not denying the exclusive use of the Psalms for singing. I believe the Psalms are the ONLY thing that should be sung in Corporate Public Worship.

    The Question though that remains is this: Is Simple Chant Rhythmic Speech or is it Song?

    And if it is Rhythmic Speech, would it be wrong to chant the Gloria Patri since it is a doxology and prayer of praise?

    Any takers?

    Michael

    Quote Originally Posted by VirginiaHuguenot View Post
    Well, there's a lot to address here and I'm not the most qualified person to do it but I'll try to assemble some thoughts on these issues which may hopefully be of some assistance.

    To the question of whether it is consistent with the RPW to sing or chant the Gloria Patria -- it is not consistent with the RPW. It is not commanded to be sung, and it is not part of the canon of Psalms which alone is commanded to be sung / chanted.

    It is among the liturgical parts of worship that was expunged during the Puritan era in Scotland (and reintroduced to Scotland with the Restoration of Anglican liturgy).

    George Washington Sprott, The Worship of the Church of Scotland During the Covenanting Period, 1638-1661, pp. 19-20:



    To the question of whether chanting itself is acceptable, I will cite some previous posts that I have made on the subject.



    And



    And



    I also came across this quote:

    Johannes Baptist Alzog, History of the Church, pp. 696-697:



    I did inquire on the PB once recently about a Scottish Prose Psalter once but got no replies -- see this thread.

    However, although I fully concur that chanting is lawful and in some cases may even desirable, as a whole, I think the Reformers were right to enable their congregations to sing in metre, which helps with memorization and congregational singing. I view the issue of chant v. metre as fundamentally a matter of circumstance not regulated element.

    But there are principles at work which lead me personally to prefer metre (WCF I, vi). As I said, I think metre is more conducive to both congregational singing and memorization. Less skill is required to sing in metre as opposed to chanting, which allows for congregational unity in song as opposed to the use of trained choirs which historically developed along with Gregorian chanting. Also, the Catholic Encyclopedia points out that metre may in fact be part of the original psalmody. (See also this link for a different historical perspective.)



    If metre is embedded in the psalms, as some argue, then there are strong grounds to employ metre. Others will argue that chanting was used in the Temple, and so chanting has historical precedence. Either way, as I mentioned, I see the question as one of circumstance, not element, and thus subject to WCF I, vi and the light of nature and of Christian prudence.

    This post has become very long, my apologies. But I hope these thoughts / resources are helpful. God bless!
    Michael Daniels
    Reformed, RPCNA
    Denton, Maryland

    [i][b]As For Me And My House, We Will Serve The Lord[/i][/b]

    [SIZE="1"][I][FONT="Century Gothic"]Unum Deum in Trinitate: Pater, Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus [RIGHT]Sola scriptura - Sola gratia - Sola fide - Solus Christus - Soli Deo gloria - Solum psalterium - Lex talionis[/RIGHT][/FONT][/I][/SIZE]

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    I am getting a doctorate in music from the University of Washington and I have to say that the previous post by Andrew was excellent. Kudos brother.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thunaer View Post
    The Question though that remains is this: Is Simple Chant Rhythmic Speech or is it Song?

    And if it is Rhythmic Speech, would it be wrong to chant the Gloria Patri since it is a doxology and prayer of praise?

    Any takers?

    Michael
    Let me say at the outset how much I appreciate Andrew's learned and helpful discourse.

    Thunaer raises the question Is simple chant rhythmic speech or is it song? By simple chant I presume you mean plainsong chant. I would say it is song. I can hum plainsong chant tunes. I do not think we could say that about rhythmic speech.

    Other chant forms, like Anglican chant tunes, are clearly song tunes.

    I would consider the tunes used in the Geneva Psalter a variation of chanting.
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