Mass & Offices: Roman & Non-Roman Liturgial Summaries

Mass & Offices

Main Ideas:

1. Terminology: plainchant, Gregorian chant, Roman, Ambrosian, Mozarabic, Gallican, Sarum
Eastern dialects: Byzantine, Ethiopian

2. Liturgy: set order of worship

• 2 main ones: Mass & Offices, with their own Proper & Ordinaries
• focused around the Liturgical Year
• Offices: focus upon antiphonal psalmody, canticles, hymns
• more syllabic, simpler than Mass

3. Vocabulary for analysis & Classification

a. text considerations

• biblical: prose, poetic; psalms & canticles
• non-biblical: hymns, additions

b. text settings

• syllabic: Credo, Gloria
• neumatic: Offertory (functional)
• melismatic: Agnus Dei (shorter)

c. performance: psalmadic (functional)

• free melodies with refrains
• direct, responsorial, antiphonal
• form: FM-Ps1-[FM]-Ps234-LD-FM
• purpose: antiphony-accompanies action
• responsorial: follows readings

4. Influences on Completed Structure

5. Notation


• used to be longer
• whole phrases epeated
• 3 main phrases


2nd Vespers: 5 psalms, all preceded & followed by antiphon 

• at psalm endings, sing LD
• flex: minor cadences, breath

• short responsory
• hymn: non- biblical poem set to music; St. Ambrose; strophic
• canticle: biblical poetry; non psalmadic

• simplest chants are oldest: repetition
• surviving chants indicates age or common useage

Summary of Non-Roman Liturgies

• see New Oxford vol. 2, JAMS

Eastern: Byzantine, etc.

• initial seat of Christiandom
• capitol in Constantinople
• liturgy of Justinian, slightly ahead of Gregory
• demanded Offices be sung under financial penalty
• all Monks must take turns on St. Sophia's Church
• hymns: quite long, complicated, complex; calls into question Eastern influence
• 8 modes: echoi- 8th C
• 3 main dialects: Coptic (Egyptian), Armenian, Ethiopian
• separate Chant liturgies



• older, elaborate, oriental influences, different parts of Mass


• shortest life span; not much surviving
• after Charlemagne, Gallican & Roman fused
• different neumes
• longer service


• by 711, fixed liturgy; 1065: suppressed by Roman church; music subsequenty lost in notation transmission (i.e., omission)
• never transmitted into heightened neumes
• not as melismatic