Musical notation was tied to oraltransmission.
The cantor had time to prepare himself before the service. Oncesystem of notation was developed, everyone focused their attention to the book.Singers weren’t able to reproduce vocal pronunciation.
A new chapter of music history began. According to Don Daniel Saulner, professor ofGregorian Chant, “The loss of momentum in the flow of Gregorian music, causedby fixed restrictive points of phraseology, opened up a new era of creation.”Syllabication of melisma (moment of pure music that develops over singlesyllable) was essential to the chant. When melisma was transformed intosyllabic chants, this changed the original Simple Declamation to Psalmody: Original singing used about three to fourdifferent pitched. It produced risen pitch for accent words and drop fromreciting tone to whole step. Next step was creating simple melodic patternsaround accents of phrase.
Next stage was creating memorized patterns forphrases. Last note of neume gains full syllabicvalue. If there are two or more notes on a syllable, they move to the finalnote, regaining its full syllabic value. When the notes are in unison, it’svital to practice the repetition of vowel sounds for each note. Remember: thelast note is not at unison. Join the vowel of each not the next. Repeatinstruction and sing while changing the volume of your voice. Latin accent ishandled by composition of melodic elevation.
Music was meant to be sung and executed acertain way. Let’s dissect musical theory during the middle Ages. GregoriantChant contained a vertical dimension with additional pitches and patterns.
Therecitation pitch consisted of a pitch level by good speakers. Intonationpatterns linked to rising patterns used by speakers. Cadence patternscorrelated to a dropped pitch used by speakers. Also, Gregorian chantscontained a horizontal dimension.
The rhythm and tempo correlated to rhythmic flowof speech. Pretonic syllables flowed more or less toward tonic accent of wordor phrase. Post tonic syllables are carried by energetic tonic accent syllable.
Final syllables scatter energy from tonic accent (Ex: coasting boat).There are four basicGregorian chant modes: Protus Dorian (Mode I & II). Deuterus Phrygian (ModeIII & Mode IV), Tritus Lydian (Mode V &VI), and Tetrardus Mixolydian(Mode VII &VLL). The letters of fifth above the Finals indicate the Dominantof each authentic mode (I, III, V & VII).
The letters in bold specify ancientDominants of the Plagal modes (II, IV, VI & VIII). Modes IV and VIII have moved their dominantsto the fourth above Finals. Gregorian pieces terminate with only four notes: D,E, F, or G.