Gradual

DEFINITION

The fourth sung item of a Proper Mass, sung between the Epistle and the Alleluia (or Tract). The texts of the gradual come primarily from the Psalms, and the melodies are generally melismatic and usually responsorial. Originally, a book containing the texts of the Gradual of the Mass. It has since developed into a book containing all the music of the Mass sung by the choir.An ornate responsorial chant from the mass. It is divided into two sections, the respond and the verse. In the Middle Ages, the respond was repeated in full at the end but in modern practice the gradual is truncated after the verse. A soloist begins each section and the choir enters to conclude the section.

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