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Plainsong 

Plainsong may have been influenced by the musical tradition of the Jewish synagogue and the Greek modal system. A musical mode provides a scale or pattern of intervals for the arrangement of tones and semitones. At the end of the fourth century, Ambrose (c. 339-397), Bishop of Milan, ordered plainsong into four modes. Four more modes were added to the system of plainsong during the papacy of Gregory the Great (c. 540-604). This work was attributed to Gregory, and Gregorian Chant was named for him. There has been controversy concerning the extent of Gregory's personal responsibility for this work. Other "dialects" of plainsong include Ambrosian, Mozarabic, Gallican, and Byzantine. The system of eight ecclesiastical or church modes for plainsong has continued to the present day. The plainsong repertory divides into chants for the Mass and chants for the Daily Offices. 




Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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