Anglican Chant

   Method of chanting psalms and canticles in four-voiced harmony used by the Anglican Church (See figure 1.). The first half of each verse is chanted without meter on the first harmony for as long as the number of syllables demands, until the pointing of the text indicates the next harmony. The last few syllables are then sung to measured beats, always in whole, half, or quarternote values. The second half of the psalm verse follows similarly,
   
   Figure 1. Anglican chant.
   with one additional measure for finality. The tradition owes something to both the unmetered Gregorian psalm tones and the English practice of faburden, or improvised polyphony. The earliest sources of Anglican chant are examples in Thomas Morley’s A Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practicall Musike (1597) and a small number of 17th-century sources. Robert Janes published a system of text pointing in The Psalter or Psalms of David (1837), and most of the chanting formulas in modern service books date from the 19th century.

Historical dictionary of sacred music. . 2006.

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