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The Advent ProjectThe Later Seventh-Century Creation of the Roman Mass Proper$
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James McKinnon

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780520221987

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520221987.001.0001

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Centuries of Silence: Gaul

Centuries of Silence: Gaul

(p.60) CHAPTER 3 Centuries of Silence: Gaul
The Advent Project

James Mckinnon

University of California Press

Western countries witnessed a sharp decline in their literary output, including the kinds of ecclesiastical writing that provide evidence about the state of contemporary liturgy and chant, in the later fourth century. The notable exception is monastic rules, such as from Gaul, Caesarius of Arles, and Aurelian of Arles, and, from contemporary Italy, the Rule of the Master and the incomparable Rule of St. Benedict. The sermons of Caesarius of Arles and the historical works of Gregory of Tours furnish many scattered remarks about ecclesiastical song in Gaul, and while the majority of these are more relevant to the Office, there are a number of valuable references to the Mass. Later-fourth-century Mass psalmody, certainly, is lector chant, whereas the Roman Mass Proper of the seventh and eighth centuries is schola chant. The lector declaims a psalm and the congregation responds, in some pattern or another, with the response verse. Schola chant involves the creation of a large body of chant and its maintenance from year to year, related tasks that can be accomplished only by an established group of quasi-professional musicians.

Keywords:   Roman Mass Proper, schola chant, lector chant, Gregory of Tours, Caesarius of Arles

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