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The Solfeggio TraditionA Forgotten Art of Melody in the Long Eighteenth Century$
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Nicholas Baragwanath

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197514085

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197514085.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 January 2022

Eighteenth-Century Plainchant—for Beginners

Eighteenth-Century Plainchant—for Beginners

(p.37) 4 Eighteenth-Century Plainchant—for Beginners
The Solfeggio Tradition

Nicholas Baragwanath

Oxford University Press

The chapter introduces the surprisingly uncharted world of eighteenth-century plainchant, which remained a cornerstone of the Divine Service. Plainchant was performed in updated versions so as to appear modern and conventional, as opposed to ancient and exotic, as it usually sounds today. The chapter surveys its many modes of performance, from solo cantillation to accompanied polyphony, and speculates on the significance of Gregorian cantus firmus melodies for multivoiced compositions. It also investigates the different types of chant then in use and scrutinizes a typical example from a 1761 service book, published in Turin, to try to decipher its notation. The updating of performance practice helps explain the persistence of hexchordal solmization as the basis of music education.

Keywords:   plainchant, canto fermo, hexachord, performance practice, mensuration, Solesmes, musica ficta, modes, rhythmic modes, post-Tridentine chant, neo-Gallican chant

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