Unaccompanied church music sung in unison in medieval modes and in free rhythm corresponding to the accentuation of the words, which are taken from the liturgy. Compare with Gregorian chant.
- Melody, harmony, and rhythm became as important to music as plainsong and counterpoint, and the arts of ornamentation and virtuoso extemporization thrived among the virginalists, and among the lute and consort players.
- It's one of the sections of the Ordinary of the Mass which the congregation needs to join in: often in the Catholic church they sing it to traditional plainsong.
- If you have no stomach for plainsong and church polyphony, steer clear of this recording.
Late Middle English: translating Latin cantus planus.
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