In chant, a reciting tone (also called a recitation tone) can refer to either a repeated musical pitch or to the entire melodic formula for which that pitch is a structural note. In Gregorian chant, the first is also called tenor, dominant or tuba, while the second includes psalm tones (each with its own associated gregorian mode) as well as simpler formulae for other readings and for prayers. 
Reciting tones occur in several parts of the Roman Rite.[ citation needed ] These include the accentus prayers and lessons chanted by the deacons or priests such as the Collect, Epistle, Gospel, Secret, Preface, Canon, and Postcommunion, as well as such regular texts as the Pater noster, Te Deum, and the Gloria in excelsis Deo. They are also sung in versicles and responds such as the Dominus vobiscum ("The Lord be with you") of the officiant followed by the Et cum spiritu tuo ("and with your spirit") of the choir.  Some tones, presumably from the earliest layers of chant, such as the Collect, Pater noster, and Postcommunion for Easter, consist of just two notes, often a reciting tone on A or G, with inflected notes one pitch below on G or F. Other tones, from later in the medieval period, usually recited on a C or F, inflecting down to the two notes below, such as the Epistle for Easter. 
More complex patterns were used for the psalm tones, which are employed in the chanting of the Psalms and related canticles in the daily Offices. There are eight psalm tones, one for each musical mode, designed so that the antiphon that is sung between psalm verses transitions smoothly into the psalm tone. Each psalm tone has a formulaic intonation, mediant (or mediation), and termination (or ending). The intonation defines the notes for the first two or three syllables, with subsequent words sung on the reciting tone. Because of the parallel structure typical of the Psalms, psalm verses divide into two roughly equal parts; the end of the first part is indicated by the mediant, a slight bending of notes above and below the reciting tone. For longer phrases, the first part is itself divided into two parts, with the division indicated by the flexa, on which the accented syllable is sung on the reciting tone that preceded it, and the following unaccented syllable is sung a whole tone or a minor third lower (depending on the psalm tone), before returning to the reciting tone until the mediant. After the mediant, the second part of the psalm verse is sung on the reciting tone until the last few words, which are sung to a cadential formula called the termination. Several of the psalm tones have two or three possible terminations, to allow for a smoother return to the following repeat of the antiphon. 
Two sets of tones are used for the "Magnificat", the canticle of Vespers, and the "Benedictus", the canticle of Lauds: simple tones, which are very close to the standard psalm tones, and solemn tones, which are more ornate and used on the more important feasts.[ citation needed ]
The psalm verse and "Gloria Patri" (doxology) which are sung as part of the Introit (and optionally the Communion antiphon) of the Mass and of the greater responsories of the Office of Readings (Matins) and the reformed offices of Lauds and Vespers are also sung to similar sets of reciting tones that depend on the musical mode. 
In addition to the eight psalm tones associated with the eight musical modes, there is a ninth psalm tone called the tonus peregrinus, or "wandering tone", which uses a reciting tone of A for the first part of the psalm verse and a G for the second half. Although rarely used, it is not unique; early sources refer to tones called parapteres, which, like the tonus peregrinus, have different reciting tones in their first and second halves. 
Some traditions of Qur'an reading utilize reciting tones, although it should be clarified that in Islam, Qur'anic recitation is not considered a form of music. For example, the tulaba ("students of Islam" in Arabic) of Morocco recite the Qur'an and chant hymns for special occasions using one or two reciting tones. 
Among the Jews of Yemen, cantillation of the Torah follows a distinctive practice that may be of great antiquity.  Typical cantillation uses a system of signs, each of which represents a fixed musical motif.  Yemenite chant, however, uses a different set of motifs, which only affect the final words in phrases. All other words are sung to reciting tones. 
Plainsong is a body of chants used in the liturgies of the Western Church. When referring to the term plainsong, it is those sacred pieces that are composed in Latin text. Plainsong was the exclusive form of Christian church music until the ninth century, and the introduction of polyphony
Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainchant, a form of monophonic, unaccompanied sacred song in Latin of the Roman Catholic Church. Gregorian chant developed mainly in western and central Europe during the 9th and 10th centuries, with later additions and redactions. Although popular legend credits Pope Gregory I with inventing Gregorian chant, scholars believe that it arose from a later Carolingian synthesis of Roman chant and Gallican chant.
Vespers is a service of evening prayer, one of the canonical hours in Eastern Orthodox, Coptic orthodox, Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic, Lutheran, and Anglican liturgies. The word for this fixed prayer time comes from the Greek ἑσπέρα and the Latin vesper, meaning "evening".
Hebrew cantillation is the manner of chanting ritual readings from the Hebrew Bible in synagogue services. The chants are written and notated in accordance with the special signs or marks printed in the Masoretic Text of the Bible, to complement the letters and vowel points.
A neume is the basic element of Western and Eastern systems of musical notation prior to the invention of five-line staff notation.
Anglican chant, also known as English chant, is a way to sing unmetrical texts, including psalms and canticles from the Bible, by matching the natural speech-rhythm of the words to the notes of a simple harmonized melody. This distinctive type of chant is a significant element of Anglican church music.
The gradual is a chant or hymn in the Mass, the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist in the Catholic Church, and among some other Christians. It gets its name from the Latin gradus because it was once chanted on the step of the ambo or altar. In the Tridentine Mass, it is sung after the reading or chanting of the epistle and before the Alleluia, or, during penitential seasons, before the tract. In the Mass of Paul VI, the gradual is usually replaced with the responsorial psalm. Although the Gradual remains an option in the Mass of Paul VI, its use is extremely rare outside monasteries. The gradual is part of the proper of the Mass.
The Introit is part of the opening of the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist for many Christian denominations. In its most complete version, it consists of an antiphon, psalm verse and Gloria Patri, which are spoken or sung at the beginning of the celebration. It is part of the Proper of the liturgy: that is, the part that changes over the liturgical year.
Acolouthia in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches, signifies the arrangement of the Divine Services, perhaps because the parts are closely connected and follow in order. In a more restricted sense, the term "acolouth" refers to the fixed portion of the Office. The portions of the Office that are variable are called the Sequences. While the structure and history of the various forms of the Divine Office in the numerous ancient Christian rites is exceedingly rich, the following article will restrict itself to the practice as it evolved in the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire.
Postcommunion is the text said or sung on a reciting tone following the Communion of the Mass.
Ambrosian chant is the liturgical plainchant repertory of the Ambrosian rite of the Roman Catholic Church, related to but distinct from Gregorian chant. It is primarily associated with the Archdiocese of Milan, and named after St. Ambrose much as Gregorian chant is named after Gregory the Great. It is the only surviving plainchant tradition besides the Gregorian to maintain the official sanction of the Roman Catholic Church.
Mozarabic chant is the liturgical plainchant repertory of the Visigothic/Mozarabic rite of the Catholic Church, related to the Gregorian chant. It is primarily associated with Hispania under Visigothic rule and with the Catholic Visigoths/Mozarabs living under Islamic rule, and was soon replaced by the chant of the Roman rite following the Christian Reconquest. Although its original medieval form is largely lost, a few chants have survived with readable musical notation, and the chanted rite was later revived in altered form and continues to be used in a few isolated locations in Spain, primarily in Toledo.
Beneventan chant is a liturgical plainchant repertory of the Roman Catholic Church, used primarily in the orbit of the southern Italian ecclesiastical centers of Benevento and Monte Cassino distinct from Gregorian chant and related to Ambrosian chant. It was officially supplanted by the Gregorian chant of the Roman rite in the 11th century, although a few Beneventan chants of local interest remained in use.
A tonary is a liturgical book in the Western Christian Church which lists by incipit various items of Gregorian chant according to the Gregorian mode (tonus) of their melodies within the eight-mode system. Tonaries often include Office antiphons, the mode of which determines the recitation formula for the accompanying text, but a tonary may also or instead list responsories or Mass chants not associated with formulaic recitation. Although some tonaries are stand-alone works, they were frequently used as an appendix to other liturgical books such as antiphonaries, graduals, tropers, and prosers, and are often included in collections of musical treatises.
A Gregorian mode is one of the eight systems of pitch organization used in Gregorian chant.
Gelineau psalmody is a method of singing the Psalms that was developed in France by Catholic Jesuit priest Joseph Gelineau around 1953, with English translations appearing some ten years later. Its chief distinctives are:
Tonus peregrinus, the wandering tone, or the ninth tone, is a reciting tone in Gregorian chant.
Meine Seele erhebt den Herren is Martin Luther's translation of the Magnificat canticle. It is traditionally sung to a German variant of the tonus peregrinus, a rather exceptional psalm tone in Gregorian chant. The tonus peregrinus is associated with the ninth mode or Aeolian mode. For the traditional setting of Luther's German Magnificat that is the minor mode for which the last note of the melodic formula is the tonic, a fifth below its opening note.
Responsorial psalmody primarily refers to the placement and use of the Psalm within the readings at a Christian service of the Eucharist. The Psalm chosen in such a context is often called the responsorial psalm. Although often associated with the Roman Catholic church, it is used more widely, including in Anglican, Episcopalian and Lutheran traditions.