or plain song
- the unisonous vocal music used in the Christian church from the earliest times.
- modal liturgical music; Gregorian chant.
- a cantus firmus or theme chosen for contrapuntal development.
- any simple and unadorned melody or air.
Origin of plainsong
1505–15; translation of Medieval Latin cantus plānus
Also called plainchant (for defs 1, 2).
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for plain-song
No, it was the simple strains of the plain-song that they knew, understood and loved.A Short History of English Music
First, that in the Plain-song period, words and music seem pretty equal and well matched.A Practical Discourse on Some Principles of Hymn-Singing
It may be beautiful in secular music, but it is null and void when it attempts the venerable sequences of plain-song.The Cathedral
When opposed to plain-song, it meant counter-point as distinguished from mere melody.Shakespeare's Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet
A plain-song by Alexander Reinagle is used by some congregations, but is not remarkably expressive.The Story of the Hymns and Tunes
Theron Brown and Hezekiah Butterworth
- the style of unison unaccompanied vocal music used in the medieval Church, esp in Gregorian chantAlso called: plainchant
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
Word Origin and History for plain-song
also plainsong, plain-song, 1510s, translating Latin cantus planus, French plain chant.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper