A compilation of the practical rules and methods required to perform this ancient form of church music.

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THE perfection of any accompaniment is that it be in stricl: agreement with the me­lody which it is to support. Strict atten­ tion, therefore, should be paid to the moda­lity (or tonality) of each piece.
The harmonies should be founded on the Diatonic scale of five tones and two semi-tones.
Chromatic progressions [i.e. made up of semi-tones) are absolutely foreign to the Plain Chant melody, and rob it of many of its strongest and most beautiful effeds.
The organist must be thoroughly conversant with the theory of the Chant which he is to accompany.
He must be careful to mark the rhythm of each piece, bringing out its accents, and passing lightly over unaccented notes and phrases. Hence, the chords should be played only on the rhythmical accent, or thesis.
The best accompaniment, that which fully bears out its name, does not aim at leading the voices in an obtrusive manner, still less at drowning them in its magnificence.
Hence, the Chant should be accompanied softly. A loud accompaniment covers the voices, injures sing-
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III