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In a more detailed historic overvieuw, 'plainchant' is a term that is relatively young, compared to the ancestry of Gregorian (Ambrosian, Beneventan, Old Roman, Gallican, Hispanic and what have you). It is reasonable to use the term as a synonym for: choraliter, monophonic song, as opposed to 'organaliter', various forms of improvised or composed polyphony that were gaining place of importance in liturgic practice, attestable since late twelfth century, Paris. From then on, it is useful to discern between polyphony and plainchant. Admittedly, since the rise of polyphony has brought about a decline in the earlier refinement in the performance and notation of Gregorian chant, which is amply demonstrated in the history of notation. Since the term 'plainchant' thus applies to the period that semiologists and paleographers refer to as that of decline and corruption, it would be an anachronism to have it apply to the chant traditions of its heighday, when it reigned surpreme. Martinuddin (talk) 20:44, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
In my experience the two are one and the same, gregorian being the older somewhat misleading name and plainsong (or plainchant) the newer more self-evident one. I guess one could could describe many more types of music than Gregorian chant as "a plain chant" but the plainsong article makes no mention of anything but gregorian chant. In my mind it would be far better just to have a paragraph mentioning the use of both terms in the far supperior Gregorian chant article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sonarpulse (talk • contribs) 21:41, 19 May 2010
Well Ambrosian chant is usually regarded as another form of plain chant, I think there are others too, so maybe it's more a case of reworking the plainchant article to cover the other forms of chant. David Underdown (talk) 15:21, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
The term plainsong (or plainchant) incorporates any piece if 1. It is monodic. 2. It is purely vocal (though in recent times modern composers have used instrumental accompaniments). 3. It comprises verbal prose-rhythms and therefore lacks strict time values. 4. It does not correspond to "modern scales" but is modal. 5. It is printed in square notes called neumes. Most music which falls into this category is Gregorian Chant, however, historians seem to agree that there are either four or five other varieties of plainchant: Ambrosian, Gallican, Mozarabic, Old-Roman, and some people also include plainchant from Benevento in S. Italy. What would seem to make best sense would be if as Sonarpulse suggested the two were merged. However, the new article plainsong would also have to include the other four/five varieties of plainchant, as David pointed out. We would have to either 1. merge all the articles, editing the entire Gregorian plainchant article history to accommodate the other types or 2. simply edit the plainsong page as it is in giving it a summary of plainchant in general, and therefore covering all of the varieties of the style, which it currently does not. We could just give a general introduction about what qualifies as plainchant, and then a résumé of the 4/5 various styles with Template:Main at the top of each section concerning the subcategories. Any thoughts? Jay-Sebastos (talk) 19:32, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
Plainchant is a collective term. Slavic Prostopinije, Gregorian Chant, Ambrosian Chant, and even the systems used to sing the Jewish and Muslim prayers, these all are forms of plainchant. Gregorian is probably the best known of these, but far from the only one, and quite worthy of separate entry. Gregorian mode should probably be merged into Gregorian Chant, but neither into plainsong. Wfh (talk) 00:57, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree with "quite worthy of separate entry" and no merge. History2007 (talk) 08:32, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree as well, however I think that the article plainsong has to be much more encompassing since at the moment it only talks about Gregorian chant. Instead it should include short summaries of all the major chants and have links to each one's main article. Gregorian chant is not the only type of plainsong. Jay-Sebastos (talk) 09:41, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, plainsong should be improved, and could go on someone's to-do-list. History2007 (talk) 12:59, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
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Hello everyone - Unfortunately, this article does not meet the current standards for a featured article. The major issues is that it is significantly under-referenced, with many sections and paragraphs being partially or completely unreferenced. The external links section also needs a trim, and possibly merging with the "learning resources" section. The very short "Miscellaneous" section probably also needs integration with one of the other sections. More minor issues, such as dead links, page numbers needed for books, publishers needed for web references and date standardization, also exist. If work is not completed on these issues in the next few weeks, this article will need to be taken to WP:Featured article review for a possible revocation of its featured status. Dana boomer (talk) 17:58, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Not a single mention of Syriac chant in the section on early history? Is there no connection between these traditions? (Anon - Berkeley, CA 11/24/14)
"Scientists in Germany have published details of flutes dating back to the time that modern humans began colonising Europe, 35,000 years ago.
The flutes are the oldest musical instruments found to date.
The researchers say in the Journal Nature that music was widespread in pre-historic times.
Music, they suggest, may have been one of a suite of behaviours displayed by our own species which helped give them an edge over the Neanderthals."
"I think the occurrence of these flutes and animal and human figurines about 40,000 years ago implies that the traditions that produced them must go back even further in the evolutionary history of modern humans - perhaps even into Africa more than 50,000 years ago.
"But that evidence has still to be discovered."
The Oldest 'Central European' music, that is knowable in its musically significant parameters, through historic notations, giving us reasonably precise ideas of melody and performance style. Anything older is just too sktchy and incomplete. Note that the Gregorian tradition has been broken and reinvented, there is no line back to the 10th century styles. In this respect, the various Eastern traditions of Hebrew, Coptic , Melkite, Arabic or Hindu cantillation have been passed on for twenty generations or more. Martinuddin (talk) 21:11, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Last edited at 21:11, 24 September 2012 (UTC). Substituted at 16:45, 29 April 2016 (UTC)