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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for plainsong
Historical Examples
  • Florid music, or all church music that is not plainsong, or its Lutheran equivalent the chorale-melody.

    Bach

    Charles Francis Abdy Williams
  • Descant in music is the melodious accompaniment to a simple theme, the plainsong or ground.

  • There was a chapel in the house, of a High Anglican kind, where vestments and incense were used, and plainsong sung.

    Hugh

    Arthur Christopher Benson
  • He appears familiar with the plainsong, and has based a symphony and portions of a quartet on Gregorian modes.

    Musical Portraits Paul Rosenfeld
  • And Winchester, too, has all and more than all, the surprise of the plainsong; the better you know it the more you are impressed.

  • It is therefore of some interest to find that in 1548 the Master at Giggleswick had a knowledge of plainsong as well as grammar.

British Dictionary definitions for plainsong

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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