What is Gregorian chant, and where does it come from? What purpose does it serve, and how did it take on the form and features which make it instantly recognizable? Designed to guide students through this key topic, this book answers these questions and many more. David Hiley describes the church services in which chant is performed, takes the reader through the church year, explains what Latin texts were used, and, taking Worcester Cathedral as an example, describes the buildings in which it was sung. The history of chant is traced from its beginnings in the early centuries of Christianity, through the Middle Ages, the revisions in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and the restoration in the nineteenth and twentieth. Using numerous music examples, the book shows how chants are made and how they were notated. An indispensable guide for all those interested in the fascinating world of Gregorian chant.
'The clarity of prose and organization are to be emulated and Hiley's welcoming style allows the reader to feel at home with some of the most challenging concepts in musicology … Maintaining the highest standards of both scholarship and writing, it is easy to imagine this book's becoming an indispensable classic for general readers.' James Vincent Maiello, Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association