Anglican chant

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Anglican chant. Simple type of harmonized melody used in the Anglican Church (and nowadays often in other Eng.-speaking Protestant churches) for singing unmetrical texts, principally the Psalms and the canticles (when these latter are not sung in a more elaborate setting). The main principle is that of the trad. Gregorian tones, i.e. a short melody is repeated to each verse of the text (or sometimes to 2 or more verses; see below), the varying numbers of syllables in the different lines of the words being accommodated by the flexible device of a reciting note at the opening of each line—this being treated as timeless and so capable of serving as the vehicle for many or few syllables, while succeeding notes are sung in time and (normally) take one syllable each. The 1st part of the chant has 3 measures and the 2nd part 4.

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Anglican Chant. The music of the Psalms and canticles as sung in many Anglican churches, developed out of the plainchant psalmtones about the end of the 17th cent. See also liturgical use of PSALMS.