Side-to-side examples of rhythmic and non-rhythmic gregorian chant?
  • I am wondering if there is a youtube video, or a pair of links, by which I could learn *by hearing it* how the different schools of Gregorian Chant sound? Mensuralism, etc.
    Can anyone help me?
  • Perfect! Exactly what I was looking for! Thank you @CantorCole I love this forum!
  • @CantorCole - could I trouble you with one more question? What is the role (if any) of the "pulsing" sound that sometimes really sticks out in some interpretations -- I think perhaps at St. Meinrad's? Where volume/intensity seems to pulse on/off between syllables or triples? Is this a feature of the Gregorian "interpretation wars"? or is this is a side-wing idiosyncracy of some choirs? From what I am learning right now, that seems to be perhaps a feature of Solesmes style?
  • CantorCole
    Posts: 40
    I am but a humble and lowly disciple of @FSSPmusic

    From what I understand, the pulsed notes are nearly universal in the range of interpretations.

    See https://www.cantatorium.com/ for more general information.
  • FSSPmusic
    Posts: 245
    Is the pulsation you refer to crescendo and decrescendo, or repercussion?
  • I think -- and I am really swimming in water far too deep for me here, as I am crash-coursing this all today -- I think i just mean an overly pronounced arsis and overly diminished thesis - so it sounds very "pulsy".
    Thanked by 1FSSPmusic
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,044
    Well, I would just nitpick and note that it’s all rhythmic.

    I do recommend the exercise that @Charles_Weaver does: compare the various schools, as best we can do, either by listening when possible, and by reading Dom Pothier’s principles which he explicates the chant Justus Dominus, then trying it on your own, and so on and so forth with Mocquereau, the Graduale Triplex, what Patrick Williams or others propose (mensuralism/proportionalism and semiology — there is a Venn diagram here; some semiologists follow Cardine and Solesmes, others are more proportionalist, some lie in the middle).

    I find that the chant has less of an obvious pulse with the Mocquereau method — particularly if you listen to Fontgombault, Triors, and others in that tradition. I grant that Santo Domingo de Silos, in the recordings rereleased in the 90s, sang with a somewhat straight reading of the neumes so, for instance, the ictus is felt in Gloria XI in perhaps a way that is too much. The ictus is seen but not heard — unless you’re like me and know the score well enough or know that there is a tendency to give a (slight) accent to the first note of most compound neumes, to isolated notes below a bistropha or tristropha, to what Mocquereau and Gajard call the disaggregated neume, and so on.

    As far as the bistropha and tristropha, they are somewhat relaxed to me, but they are held in the classical Solesmes style maintained, e.g. by the Fontgombault part of that monastic family. However, they have long privileged the virga, and since the Vatican Edition lacks the bivirga, you can’t tell it apart from a bistropha. Mocquereau and Gajard added the bivirga to later editions, and the Vatican adds an episema to what appear as bistropha for the communion of Christmas at the Mass in the night, In Splendoribus. These neumes are virgae in the manuscripts.

    There are also neumes like the salicus where Mocquereau’s best explanation (that the middle of the three notes is lengthened or sung expressively) no longer holds for scholars, but where it is stuck in the repertoire for many, many people.

    The combination of these things could give rise, I suppose, to feeling like the arsis and thesis are too much — and I hate singing by myself in order to record so apologies if I made a mistake, but I do tend to sing in the Fontgombault style myself. The dynamics, for me, tend to be on the individual neumes, and because those shape a portion of the chant, then the overall melodic line has a general rise or fall (or paradoxically, the music comes to a quiet end while individual neumes are treated with an increase in volume).

    This should work.
  • @MatthewRoth This is really helpful! Thank you!
  • Has anyone ever made an "infographic" to help explain the different schools of chant interpretation, and how they sit in relation to eachother? Like, plotting them on a graph, with X-axis being "how standard is the length of each note" and Y-axis being (something else)? And then arrows drawn between the plot points, indicating which school came out from which? I CANNOT tell, for instance, from these forums, if the following are all discrete schools, or if some of these are synonyms?:
    1. Equalist
    2. Old Solesmes
    3. Mensuralist
    4. Proportionalist
    5. Solesmes as modified by Mocqereau
    6. Solesmes as it is done today at Fontgomblaut
    and how Van Biezen fits into this?

    & Are there sub-species of semiologism? Or is that just one monolith?

    Any help (or a napkin-drawn info-graphic?) would be amazing! @FSSPMusic @Charles_Weaver @madorganist @MatthewRoth
    Thanked by 1DavidOLGC
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,992
    And I'd be curious how likely congregations are to follow these schools when singing the chants of the Ordinary from the Kyriale.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen rich_enough
  • FSSPmusic
    Posts: 245
    @father_ben_jefferies
    I feel like I already did my due diligence with the YouTube presentation and am unlikely to draw up an infographic. Some use "old Solesmes" to refer to what others call "classic Solesmes," i.e., the method of Mocquereau and Gajard, which is what is still used at Fontgombault, Triors, and Clear Creek, and others use "old Solesmes" to refer to Pothier's accentualism. Proportionalism is one type of mensuralism. Van Biezen is proportionalist, as are Vollaerts, Murray, and Blackley. Semiology includes a wide range of interpretations from nearly equalist (Kelly) to nearly proportional (Coro Gregoriano de Lisboa) to arabesque (perhaps I would put some of Vellard's in this category), but most of it is nuanced equalist. My chant glossary may be helpful:
    https://www.ccwatershed.org/2023/03/12/chant-glossary/

    If you are inclined to make your own table, you might ask the following questions:
    Are long and short values normally in 2:1 proportion?
    Is there a steady beat?
    If yes, are there frequently tuplets or irregular proportions?
    Does it sound like it has a meter or time signature, e.g., 3, 4, or 6 beats to a measure?
    Is the normal syllabic value long or short?
    Is it divisible?
    Do textual considerations affect note lengths beyond what is notated in the manuscripts?
    Is the middle note of the salicus normally long or short?
    Is the top note of the scandicus and salicus normally long or short?
    Are long-short forms of the pes and clivis rather common or very rare?
    How long is the prolongation or rest at end kind of bar line?
    For each kind of bar line, does the bar line add time to the preceding note, take time away from it, or add a silent rest?

    @Liam
    And I'd be curious how likely congregations are to follow these schools when singing the chants of the Ordinary from the Kyriale.

    I sincerely doubt there are any congregations where the majority are thinking about ictus placement, arsis and thesis, or the assignment of normal, augmented, or diminished value relative to the time it takes to pronounce each syllable when singing the Ordinary of the Mass. I would also wager that the clergy aren't thinking about that during their chants—nor should they be.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,044
    It’s true that “old Solesmes” is ambiguous. Dr. Weaver uses “classic Solesmes” to refer to Mocquereau’s method, whereas “old Solesmes” refers to Pothier. This division makes sense.

    The considerations for a table are good, but, knowing what I do about Solesmes-style singing, I would have more room for free response.

    Under “classic Solesmes”, there are a couple of variations based on when they split away from Solesmes or received the “wisdom” of Mocquereau. Santo Domingo de Silos recordings, Solesmes under Dom Gajard (and groups or people that learned from Gajard: Ted Marier, the Regina Laudis nuns, and so on) and Fontgombault (and its daughter houses, as well as the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, which has had instruction directly from Fontgombault and the Schola Saint-Grégoire of Le Mans; Dr. Weaver mentioned in the thread about the Alleluia that they publish the Laus in ecclesia textbook and run a correspondence course in addition to singing chant. The monks of Clear Creek in Oklahoma translated the book and do the course for Anglophones.) are all using the Mocquereau method and are the major representatives. I think that everyone using the classical Solesmes interpretation today is influenced by one or more versions, e.g. the SSPX sing somewhat like the Institute of Christ the King and therefore like Fontgombault. There are some quirks that I’vd noticed at the abbey of Le Barroux; they are traditionalist monks, but they are directly subject to the Holy See and are not in the French tradition, i.e. the Solesmes congregation, despite being in France (their founder was originally a monk of the Subiaco-Cassinese congregation). So they use the organ infrequently for accompaniment, and they sing the psalmody in a unique way. Check it out.. Does it matter much? No. They follow the Solesmes method — I hope that this isn’t too much into the weeds.

    As far as the Ordinary goes I suppose that congregations do what the schola does, and that usually means Mocquereau, in the US. (Saint-Eugène in Paris does something sort of Vaticana!) But as Dr. Weaver notes, every choir and church has its own traditions, some more universal, such as a mora vocis added to -pe in “suscipe” of Gloria XI.

    I do recommend books and articles for this.

    For Pothier and the Vatican, since Pothier's own rules are in French: Johner's New School of Gregorian Chant.

    The preface to the Vatican Edition (and in the Liber Brevior, you have the Solesmes rules in English.

    Gajard, The Rhythm of Plainsong. (I note that sometimes, other expositors of the Solesmes method draw out individual points more clearly or forcefully, e.g. Carroll's Technique of Gregorian Chironomy does this for certain neumes.)

    Dr. Weaver’s dissertation “André Mocquereau’s Theory of Rhythm” is an easy read for non-specialists, as easy as it could be anyway.

    Cardine's "Last Will and Testament"

    Murray: "Gregorian Rhythm in the Gregorian Centuries", p. 177 of the printed version.

    "Plainsong Rhythm: the Editorial Methods of Solesmes"

    "Accentual Cadences in Gregorian Chant"

    Thanked by 1Charles_Weaver
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,044
    I took a stab at such a table, for the classical Solesmes method, although it's sort of odd.

    The second document is my summary of the notation as presented in Laus in ecclesia. (It's meant to be printed as a booklet and should scale to A5 nicely.) Even without the chapters from later in the book that give some idea of interpretation, and which will be followed up on in books II and III (whenever they appear, in English or in French…), I think that studying this and listening to, say, Fontgombault or Triors recordings will give some insight into this style of singing.
    Thanked by 2FSSPmusic DavidOLGC
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,188
    Robert Fowle's book? Where does he figure in all this? I could be mistaken but I beleive he was a student of Cardine...No?
  • @father_ben_jeffries

    I don't have an infographic, but Patrick's video is nice and there was also this recent thread, in which I made a side-by-side recording of four different ways of singing:

    https://forum.musicasacra.com/forum/discussion/21458/my-thoughts-on-chant-rhythm-and-a-few-other-things/p1

    I am hoping to write a book on the subject of different ways of approaching the rhythm of the chant. I haven't done much writing this academic year, since I've been very busy with teaching. I think there is a gap that could be filled by a history of the subject that doesn't take one side or the other, but it may be a while before I can produce such a thing.

    You list the following approaches:


    1. Equalist
    2. Old Solesmes
    3. Mensuralist
    4. Proportionalist
    5. Solesmes as modified by Mocqereau
    6. Solesmes as it is done today at Fontgomblaut


    And you also ask about Van Biezen.

    I would frame it this way: the question of Gregorian rhythm is quite complicated, primarily because the chant has been in continuous use for well over a millenium, but with no consistent performing tradition. Instead, there has been a steady trickle of reforms, renewals, rises and falls in the popularity and vitality of chant within the musical/liturgical life of the Church. The performer today has to sort through an often-confusing mix of historical research, present tradition, local liturgical custom, ecclesial legislation from Pius X to the present, and general questions of musical style and taste. One could reasonably conclude that we ought to follow historical research above all these other factors, but this leads to further difficulties, since the relevant historical evidence has been interpreted differently by different people.

    So there are various solutions that people propose, and that I would say #1 is not really a school, but rather a it seems to describe a way the chant was often sung in the late middle ages. As the name implies, every note would be the same length, setting aside all the various issues of rhythmic differentiation.

    #2, Old Solesmes, is, in my terminology, the same as the Pothier method, which is also called Accentualism. The best books on the subject are by Dom Pothier himself and by Dom David, who was Pothier's secretary. Someday I would love to translate these into English, but who knows when that will happen!

    #3 and #4 are different names for the same thing. Van Biezen would also be in this category. The writings by Dom Murray that Matthew recommended above are an excellent (if polemical) introduction. The Vollaerts book is also very good, but much more detailed. There are a ton of resources on Patrick's website.

    I would also say that #5 and #6 are the same. There are indeed differences between Mocquereau, Gajard, and the present cantors of Fontgombault, but these are relatively minor. The big, systemic answers to the questions of Gregorian rhythm are the same.

    I would add to your list the style of semiology, which is used to describe a rather wide range of approaches. I would define its usual usage this way: a method committed to historical research into the earliest neumes as the primary source for the performance practice of rhythm, but, are at the same time, resistent to a strict proportionality in note length between long and short neume signs. Instead, the large-scale rhythmic organization is generally a modification of the other "free rhythm" approaches like those of Pothier and Mocquereau. Elsewhere you asked for recordings in this style. Alberto Turco is representative. Lately I also have been enjoying the recordings of Consortium Vocale Oslo.

    So to sum up, there are basically four main important interpretive styles in use since the end of the nineteenth century. Many of these could be further classified into subcategories, as with the differences between Vollaerts and van Biezen. These four main approaches (giving all the different names that people use) are:

    1. Accentualism/Pothier/Old Solesmes
    2. Classic Solesmes/Mocquereau/Gajard/Fontgombault
    3. Semiology/Cardine/New Solesmes
    4. Mensuralism/Proportionalism

    This list is maybe a little skewed, since three of the four of these are "free rhythm," and really all three of these share a common ancestry from the abbey of Solesmes and ultimately dom Guéranger. So perhaps one could also reduce these four to two: "the nuance theory" and "proportionalism." With that caveat in mind, I still think the fourfold division is sensible. Part of what I have tried to do in my research on Mocquereau is to relate his ideas to trends in the broader field of music theory around the beginning of the twentieth century, which is really what distinguishes him from the Solesmes methods developed before and after his time.

    For the sake of completeness we must add a few other approaches like that of Marcel Pérès. Many performers nowadays are quite comfortable saying "we don't really know what the rhythm is so we are going to create our own based on our stylistic preferences, or on various historical hunches, or on our own musical instincts." This often leads to extraordinarily beautiful results, as with the Sequentia recordings of the chant of St. Hildegard.
  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 1,167
    Is it possible to pursue #3 or #4 above without doing detailed and questionable palaeography? Or looking for samizdat editions reflecting someone else's palaeography?

    It seems to me that the only practical approach for a parish schola is the “create our own” method... informed by listening to recordings and reading, perhaps.
  • FSSPmusic
    Posts: 245
    Surely we have some semiologists on this forum who can answer that? My understanding is that the Cardinian semiologists expect not only the choirmaster but the singers as well to read the adiastematic neumes (usually giving preference to St. Gall) and eschew using rhythmic editions just as Cardine eschewed the Graduale Lagal. In his Kommentarband for the Novum, Göschl explains that the square notation of the Vatican edition was left unreformed for that reason, although the Novum does reproduce more of the neumatic breaks than the old edition.

    As for proportionalism, singing every long as a quarter note (crotchet) and every short as an eighth (quaver) will get you most of the way there, observing grace notes for what Cardine calls the special torculus and the pes initio debilis, likewise for the short-long form of the clivis. But what about contradictions between Laon and St. Gall? What about three short notes between two longs and similar syncopations? Hence the need for editorial decisions. After a while, singers get a sense for the rhythm of centonizations and stock phrases, some of which are inconsistently notated by the first-millennial scribes or omitted altogether. This also underscores the necessity of editorial decisions.

    As for readings, Murray's Gregorian Chant according to the Manuscripts [link corrected] is my number 1 suggestion, followed by Van Biezen's "The Rhythm of Gregorian Chant" in Rhythm, Meter and Tempo in Gregorian Chant.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,044
    Dr. Weaver added Pérès. I was wondering about whether we should mention him… Bruno de Labriolle is another example of this. We mentioned such in another thread, and it’s worth stating clearly so I’m glad that it came up again. Melody and rhythm are not inseparable particularly if ornamentation is considered. I’m just not at all convinced by the approach of Pérès.

    Pérès like linguistics popularizers seems to think that the farther away from the mainstream tradition one is, the more conservative it is, and this across all features and in all places. At best, this is a form of begging the question, and it does seem to rely on facts not in evidence and treat all periods of chant as almost one and the same.

    Pérès would be more convincing if he stuck to the repertoire and style of, say, a particular time and place. I also could be wrong about his assumptions! But the takeaway is “this is what chant was really like just before or after the Carolingians, and into the High Middle Ages,” so if that’s not what he thinks, then something is completely lost “in translation” as it were.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 1,167
    “[S]inging every long as a quarter note (crotchet) and every short as an eighth (quaver) will get you most of the way there...”

    Fair enough, but from which editions? In the usual old editions, there are no formal longs and shorts, of course. Do you mean, then, from the Triplex? Or am I missing something obvious?

    “Pérès like linguistics popularizers seems to think that the farther away from the mainstream tradition one is, the more conservative it is, and this across all features and in all places.”

    LOL. Indeed “how Etruscan really sounded” and “will Welsh speakers understand ancient Gaulish?” popularize reconstructed speech that's curiously similar to... reconstructed classical Latin!
  • In answer to your last question, Patrick has his own proportionalist edition of the Mass propers, in progress, on his website. But certainly one could read from the Triplex edition with near unanimity on what is long and what short, provided everyone agreed to pick one or the other manuscript to follow. The choir would also have to agree how to perform, say, the quilisma. But this is true in many styles of singing. One of the strengths of the mensuralists is that their approach to the manuscript sources is much simpler than Cardine’s. I would imagine that Patrick and I could chant proportionally together from the Laon plus Vatican notes with reasonable accuracy, just as we could probably also sing from the Solesmes edition together with reasonable unity. It becomes easier with rehearsal and habit. Semiology is a little trickier, in that different people sing differently within that tradition, but it is certainly possible for a group to develop enough skill to sing together from a Duplex or Triplex edition.
  • FSSPmusic
    Posts: 245
    Fair enough, but from which editions? In the usual old editions, there are no formal longs and shorts, of course. Do you mean, then, from the Triplex? Or am I missing something obvious?
    From the adiastematic neumes, and one needs a duplex or triplex edition to do so, or an edition with added rhythmic signs—as you said, "reflecting someone else's palaeography."
  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 1,167
    Good, I'm glad to understand that this is possible. It means that the information in the Laon notation and presumably also the St Gall is a superset of the proportionalist information.

    If the ground truth is proportionalist, though, then what are the differentiae and addita there for? Why does the oldest notation reveal anything beyond the oldest content?
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,044
    Proportionalists tend to prefer Laon neumes; however, lacuna and melodic disagreements mean that one must turn to SG manuscripts.
  • FSSPmusic
    Posts: 245
    What do you mean by differentiae and addita? Significative letters? Tironian notes?
  • I don’t know. I do not myself believe it has been irrefutably established that the ground truth is proportionalist. I’d be more inclined to take a neutral position; not “it doesn’t matter” but “it matters a great deal, only I don’t know for certain because I see conflicting evidence, and it would be good to teach several sides of the issue to those interested in it to stimulate further research.” This is how we go about teaching other controversial issues in performance practice. Pretty much everything about the act of composing, performing, and analyzing music has been controversial or at least disputed at some point.

    My skepticism of proportionalism takes two forms. One form is that I agree with what you seem to be suggesting: there is a great variety of signs in the manuscripts that suggests more than two possible note values. It seems at least plausible to me that there might be a whole range of duration, ornament, and accent that we have only an imperfect record of.

    The other form is really a broader critique of proportionalism for not considering the possibility of rhythmic flexibility in the chant, hinted at especially by Guido and his horse. In other words, even the possible proportion between durations does not preclude other rhythmic considerations like phrases, pauses, changes of tempo, nuances of time, etc.

    I’ve written about Guido's horse before and taken some pretty sharp criticism for it as well; both my thoughts (1 and 2) and the critique can be found at CCWatershed. The sort of free rhetorical interpretation of Guido (already in Pothier and reinforced in Mocquereau and so on) conforms to my own musical instincts in a way that might color my own thoughts about proportionalism. To me, it is not a virtue or a sign of historicity to have a fixed and invariable tempo when performing medieval or any other music. I am pretty sure Patrick disagrees with me vehemently on this point.

    In general, and I’m thinking as a performance-practice teacher mostly focused on baroque music here, applying metronomic thinking to any music before the nineteenth century is too mechanical/anachronistic, and even in the nineteenth century there was plenty of rubato. In the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, there is abundant evidence that that tactus (the all important combination of arsis and thesis that measured and governed musical motion) was not rigid but responded to fluctuations of affect and considerations of phrasing. Anyway, that’s a whole other controversial topic for some other forum!

    Suppose for the sake of argument that long and short signs in the early manuscripts really do have something like the relationship of our modern eighth and quarter notes. To me it does not immediately follow that there needs to be a perceptible isochronous meter (beat, tactus, call it what you will) that could be calibrated to a metronome. In many other ancient Christian traditions there does seem to be a steady beat, but I don’t see why that should color our approach to the unique and extraordinary variety of information in the early Gregorian notation, which really does seem to have a uniquely beautiful relationship with the accentuation and declaration of the sacred words.

    Still, these points of skepticism wouldn’t prevent me from singing Patrick’s way if I ever had the chance to visit with his choir. And my point remains that I think it is quite possible for a group to learn to do this with not much more difficulty than that of a group learning to sing the Mocquereau method well.

    At any rate, everyone interested in chant rhythm ought to learn to sing proportionally because it is an important theory of how the rhythm of the chant works. This is true whether you accept all the arguments or not.

    *Edited 4/21/24 to add a few links.
  • FSSPmusic
    Posts: 245
    In fact, I acknowledge six note values; besides the quarter and eighth, which are the normal values, there are also the half (double-long), sixteenth (grace note, short passing tone between two longs), dotted quarter (long-and-a-half), and dotted eighth (long with time subtracted for an ornament or passing tone), which are illustrated clearly in modern notation on my website. There is of course room for a reasonable amount of expressive rubato and something like a fermata, but only where it is textually, musically, or paleographically appropriate—not every few notes as in many chants sung according to the Solesmes method. My opinion concerning the significative letters and the redundant episemata added in various manuscripts is that they are generally meant for reinforcement, not to indicate additional agogic nuances. The most reliable half dozen manuscripts normally agree with each other about which notes are long and short, but why do they not agree in these significative letters (St. Gall 339 doesn’t include them at all) and redundant episemata added to notes already understood to be long? I don’t propose them as marks of reinforcement simply to evade a discrepancy and alleged problem, but because we should expect them to agree across the various manuscripts to the same extent as the basic note values if they represented an integral part of the authentic rhythmic tradition. Where the same letter or episema is reproduced in several sources, look more closely to see what’s going on.

    Supposing for the moment that 1. significative letters, 2. sometimes two of them used in combination, 3. redundant episemata, 4. neumatic breaks after notes that are already written long, 5. tiny variations in the size of the notes, 6. musical context or structure, 7. grammar and syntax, 8. the tonic accent, 9. the relative amount of time it takes to pronounce each syllable in ordinary speech, and 10. the spiritual significance of the text are all agogic nuances of 11. only relatively long and short notes that are themselves nuances, we may be dealing not only with nuances of nuances, but even, in exceptional cases, nuances to the power of eleven. In syllabic chant, at least half of these apply to each note; nuances^6 are the semiological norm. See the example below from the gradual Benedictus qui venit:
    image
    We’re considering the second and third notes in the first red box. Next to the middle note, the St. Gall Cantatorium has mt, which means mediocriter tenere, hold moderately. The lower note, a tractulus with episema, is followed by a neumatic break. Laon gives us a single a, which means augete or increase and applies to both notes. We’re at the final syllable of a word, shortly before a bar line. The neume begins a step higher than the tonic accent. Understandably the word Lord is of great spiritual importance. Here it is the object of a preposition. The syllable -no consists of one consonant and one vowel, the normal syllabic beat. Not taking the foregoing nuances into account, the St. Gall notation shows a short upper note and a longer lower note, but which one is a nuance of the other? This is an example of nuances to the tenth power, in contrast to the straightforward long-long proportional rhythm equivalent to two quarter notes.

    In the second box, we’re considering only the middle of the threefold upper note. The same five textual and contextual considerations apply, and we’re again approaching another bar line. Here St. Gall has tb, which means tenere bene or hold well. That combination of letters and an episema are added to a virga that would already be understood as long. Now look above the staff at the Laon notation. See how that uncinus is written a little smaller that the next one? We don’t want to take a ruler to both notes and sing them in exact proportion to their size, because that would also be a form of mensuralism, which semiologists don’t do, but it remains a nuance to inform the interpretation. Again, nuances to the tenth power, in contrast to the straightforward long proportional rhythm equivalent to a quarter note.

    Have I exaggerated, or is this not what various semiologists actually teach? Yet they would have us all believe that such a hypernuanced style of singing was transmitted from memory for several generations, not just from one soloist to another, but for the entire schola cantorum. I say not only consider the evidence—rather the lack thereof—but compare the various reliable sources to each other to determine whether the nuance theory is tenable. The triplex editions are a great starting point.

    Let it be noted that I acknowledge more than two possible note values in Gregorian chant according to the oldest extant sources as well as rubato and fermata to an extent consistent with some later Western classical music.
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