Trans: Transcultural Music Review vol:13 issue:2009 pages:1-23
This article discusses aspects of the performance practice of plainchant, with a special focus on (office) sources and repertory from the Low Countries, and argues that the performance practices within the region widely varied. The most important sources for the study of chant performance are discussed. Eight parameters of performance (notation, rhythm, tempo, melody, polyphony or accompaniment, text, acoustics, and ensemble) are analyzed in view of their pertinence to chant in the Low Countries. Furthermore, the importance of ceremonial aspects and the handling of relics, and their (in)direct impact on the performance of processions and the office are studied. Finally, it is argued that the processes of selection, repetition, and addition are pertinent to the practice of chant performance as well. This is demonstrated through an analysis of the interrelations between office and processional chants.