Introduction to Gregorian Chant

Learning Objective
Gregorian chant is the basis for the development of Western European music. The objective of this course is to acquire knowledge and insight into the many aspects of the Gregorian chant repertoire, the development of the notation (a-diastematic and diastematic), the interpretation, the different musical forms, repertoires for the office of hours and the mass, aspects of modality and the relation between the Gregorian repertoire and polyphonic music.

Course Content 
Subjects include:

  • history and use of notation
  • theory of form
  • composition techniques of Proprium songs
  • history of the interpretation of Gregorian chant
  • Gregorian repertoire as a basis for polyphonic vocal and instrumental music

Course details

teacher Richard Bot
term lessons: January-April 2023
  Recital: Mass Sunday morning the 10th of June 2023 with Gregorian Songs, Choir & Organ alternatim. Extra rehearsals in May on Fridays, 15:00-16:00. Last rehearsal on Friday, the 9th of June; dress rehearsal before the Sunday Mass.
method of instruction Weekly classes of 90 minutes on Friday (16.15-17.45). Singing of examples, audio-visual recordings of Gregorian Chant and polyphonic repertoire.
assessment * weekly preparation of the songs and participation in a Gregorian Mass on the 10th of June (the feast of Trinity). NB! This day should already be kept free. See credits.
  * presentation of several papers with an analysis of different Gregorian chants concerning neums, modality, and melody type. Final presentation of about 20-25 minutes on a special subject concerning the interpretation and use of Gregorian Chant or the relation between Gregorian Chant and vocal/instrumental music.
readings and course materials * songbook In hymnis et canticis: Chorbuch Gregorianischer Choral Stuttgart: Carus, 2007
  Cardine, E., Semiologia Gregoriana. Rome: Institut Pontifical de Musiques Sacrées, 1968 (translated in different languages. Optional).
  * handouts/scores
  * sound and visual material
credits 5, only by attendance of 80% of the classes, in addition to the submission of several papers, the final presentation, and participation in the Gregorian Mass of June 10.
information Dr. Richard Bot,
related electivesHistory of the Early Music Movement