1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Chant

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CHANT (derived through the Fr. from the Lat. cantare, to sing; an old form is “chaunt”), a song or melody, particularly one sung according to the rules of church service-books. For an account of the chant or cantus firmus of the Roman Church see Plain-Song. In the English church “chants” are the tunes set to the unmetrical verses of the psalms and canticles. The chant consisted of an “intonation” followed by a reciting note of indefinite length; a “mediation” closed the first part of the verse, leading to a second reciting note; a “termination” closed the second part of the verse. In the English chant the “intonation” disappeared. Chants are “single,” if written for one verse only, “double,” if for two. “Quadruple” chants for four verses have also been written.