Gregorian Chant Intonations and the Role of Rhetoric

Author: Kelly, Columba
With Accompanying CD

This study provides instruction to perform or conduct Gregorian chant in an historically informed way. It provides the reader with a Schenker style analysis of individual chant pieces, identifies the structure pitches of the composition and shows how these are then elaborated by ornamental figures. It also shows, for the first time, how the same creative tradition can be carried on in the English language. A CD with short examples is included with the book. This is the first volume in an exciting new series on Gregorian chant, edited by Father Columba Kelly.


“A thorough and revealing work showing how all facets of chant composition – mode, rhetoric, neumatic rhythms, and ornamentation – combine to bring out the proper concepts in the text. The thorough discussion of chant construction is followed by instruction for teaching and conducting the chant – a most important facet for those used to conducting regular rhythms instead of verbal rhythms. Any chant conductor would probably derive some new aspects from this work and all beginners should study it.” – Dr. Robert M. Fowells

Table of Contents

Preface; Foreword; Introduction
1. The Role of Modality
2. The Role of Rhetoric
3. Making a Conductor/Singer Score
Epilogue: The Role of Rhetoric in English Chant
Two Examples of English Chant: Versions of the Puer natus and the Haec dies
Appendix A: Letters and Abbreviation used in St. Gall and Laon 239
Appendix B: The Rhythmic Interpretation of Two-note and Three-note neume designs