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Religions 2014, 5(4), 961-971;

Dominican Chant and Dominican Identity

Dominican House of Studies, 487 Michigan Ave NE, Washington, DC 20017, USA
Received: 25 August 2014 / Revised: 12 September 2014 / Accepted: 16 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music and Spirituality)
Full-Text   |   PDF [117 KB, uploaded 29 September 2014]


The Order of Preachers possesses a venerable chant tradition that dates back to the thirteenth century. This essay describes Dominican chant, showing how it developed as a consequence of the attitudes to the liturgy expressed in the Ancient Constitutions of the Order of Preachers. These constitutions stressed that the liturgy was to be performed with careful attention to bodily posture, with a succinctness and brevity that would allow time for study and preaching, and with gradations of solemnity that would express the inner hierarchy of parts of the liturgy and of the liturgical year. After the initial development of the repertoire, Dominican chant has gone through periods of decline and revival, which are briefly traced in this article together with a consideration of the place of the chant in the contemporary practice of the Order. Throughout the last eight centuries, the chant of the Order of Preachers has played an important role in the inculcation and preservation of Dominican identity within the Order and in the lives of individual friars and sisters. View Full-Text
Keywords: Dominican chant; Gregorian chant; Humbert of Romans; Thomas Aquinas; progressive solemnity; liturgy Dominican chant; Gregorian chant; Humbert of Romans; Thomas Aquinas; progressive solemnity; liturgy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Smith, I. Dominican Chant and Dominican Identity. Religions 2014, 5, 961-971.

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