Review: Gregorian Chant: A Short Guide to the History and Liturgy

Gregorian Chant: A Guide to the History and LiturgyGregorian Chant: A Guide to the History and Liturgy by Daniel Saulnier
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I doubt I’ll be singing Gregorian Chant at all hours of the day and night, but it was interesting to read this book that covers the historical and musical background of this form of music that has been such a significant part of the Church’s liturgical life. Given that it has never been officially abandoned – only abandoned in practice – there is much to be gained from reading about this aspect of the Church’s life, and it’s impact on contemporary liturgical music.

Well worth reading.

From the back cover:

Chant is finding a new and widespread audience throughout the world today. Gregorian Chant brings together two of the forces that have fueled this modern-day chant revival: The Abbey of Saint Peter of Solesmes, France, and the late Dr. Mary Berry, who translated this unique work.

A compact and scholarly book, Gregorian Chant offers a fascinating tour through chant’s historical and musical origins, showing the role that chant plays in the history and liturgy of the Western church. Broad themes are discussed, such as the Divine Office and the Mass, but also detailed subjects such as psalmody, cantillation, modes, and pivotal chant manuscripts. Gregorian Chant tells the story of how this unique form of music and worship functions – and has the power to enhance and revitalize worship.

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