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plainsong

or plain song

[pleyn-sawng, -song] /ˈpleɪnˌsɔŋ, -ˌsɒŋ/
noun
1.
the unisonous vocal music used in the Christian church from the earliest times.
2.
modal liturgical music; Gregorian chant.
3.
a cantus firmus or theme chosen for contrapuntal development.
4.
any simple and unadorned melody or air.
Also called plainchant (for defs 1, 2).
Origin of plainsong
1505-1515
1505-15; translation of Medieval Latin cantus plānus
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for plain-song
Historical Examples
  • Ravenscroft's Psalms and Walter's book had given the melody, or plain-song, to the tenor.

    Sabbath in Puritan New England Alice Morse Earle
  • When opposed to plain-song, it meant counter-point as distinguished from mere melody.

  • Music embraced the rules of the plain-song of the Church, some theory of sound, and the connexion of harmony and numbers.

  • To speak of it as in any vital-194- sense a reversion, because it makes use of certain principles of plain-song, is mere trifling.

    Aspects of Modern Opera Lawrence Gilman
  • The mean was intermediate between the plain-song or tenor (so called from its holding on the notes) and the treble.

  • The plain-song is perhaps more often found in a lower part, the Descant being higher.

    Shakespeare and Music Edward W. Naylor
  • It may be beautiful in secular music, but it is null and void when it attempts the venerable sequences of plain-song.

    The Cathedral Joris-Karl Huysmans
  • But the tremendous passion of that Eastern plain-song would have offended these discreet walls.

    Appearances Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson
  • Under Fulbert, indeed, the school of Chartres became famous for its music and for its plain-song renderings of the sacred offices.

    The Story of Chartres Cecil Headlam
  • “Sussex,” by Joseph Barnby, a plain-song with a fine harmony, is good congregational music for the hymn.

    The Story of the Hymns and Tunes Theron Brown and Hezekiah Butterworth
British Dictionary definitions for plain-song

plainsong

/ˈpleɪnˌsɒŋ/
noun
1.
the style of unison unaccompanied vocal music used in the medieval Church, esp in Gregorian chant Also called plainchant
Word Origin
C16: translation of Medieval Latin cantus plānus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for plain-song
n.

also plainsong, plain-song, 1510s, translating Latin cantus planus, French plain chant.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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7
10
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