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Psalm Tones

(Ger. Psalmtöne). Psalmody holds an intermediate position bet. accentus* and concentus. There are 8 traditional psalm tones, corresponding to the 8 kinds of octaves (Ger. Oktavengattungen) in ancient music. In course of time a 9th, for. (tonus peregrinus), or “irregular,” tone was added, which is usually treated as a separate tone since opinions regarding it differ. It occurs in the antiphons Nos qui vivimus, Martyres domini, and Angeli domini and found Luth. use for the Magnificat and Benediction. Each psalm tone is individually determined (1) by the reciting tone (see Intonation) of the psalm, which is always the dominant note of the scale; (2) by the inflection that ends the 1st half of the verse; (3) by the inflection at the end of the 2d half of the verse, which need not end on the tonic note. Each psalm tone has a festal and a ferial form. In the ferial form the initial notes leading to the reciting tone (initium; inchoatio; intonatio; incipit) are omitted, and the middle part (mediation; mediante; medium; mediatio; Ger. Mitte) is simplified by resolving the ligatures and substituting syllabic chanting. The ferial form is used, e.g., on ordinary Sundays and during the week; the festal form, e.g., on festivals and for the Magnificat and Benedictus. See also Ambrosian Music; Gregorian Music; Modes, ecclesiastical.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
All rights reserved.

Content Reproduced with Permission

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