/ri spon"seuh ree/, n., pl. responsories. Eccles.
an anthem sung after a lection by a soloist and choir alternately.
[1375-1425; late ME < LL responsorium, equiv. to L respond(ere) to RESPOND + -torium -TORY2, with dt > s]

* * *

also called  respond 

      plainchant melody and text originally sung responsorially—i.e., by alternating choir and soloist or soloists. Responsorial singing of the psalms was adopted into early Christian worship from Jewish liturgical practice. Most frequently the congregation sang a short refrain, such as Amen or Alleluia, between psalm verses sung by a cantor. As medieval plainchant (plainsong) developed, more elaborate refrains (R) were sung by a choir alternating with soloists singing psalm verses (V), producing a musical form R V1 R V2…R. The responsory, or refrain, was frequently abbreviated on its repetition. Its text usually related to the meaning of the feast day or the content of the psalm (Psalms). Only a few such chants survive in this long form, which is now normally curtailed.

      The main places in which responsorial chants occur are the canonical hours, or divine office, and the Alleluia and Gradual of the mass. In most cases the basic pattern is R V R, with the V section being one or a few psalm verses. In the Gradual, the final refrain, or responsory, is usually omitted, making the form R V. Within the divine office, a great responsory (i.e., with a more ornate and longer melody) is sung at Matins, at Vespers on solemn feasts, and in processions; a short responsory is sung following the readings at other services of the office. In the earliest polyphony (music written in several parts, or voices), the solo sections of responsorial chants were generally set polyphonically and alternated with the original chant of the choral sections. In modern performances of responsorial chants, the traditional responsorial performance is not always maintained.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Responsory — Re*spon so*ry (r?*sp?n s?*r?), a. Containing or making answer; answering. Johnson. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Responsory — Re*spon so*ry, n.; pl. { ries} ( r?z). [LL. responsorium.] 1. (Eccl.) (a) The answer of the people to the priest in alternate speaking, in church service. (b) A versicle sung in answer to the priest, or as a refrain. [1913 Webster] Which, if… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • responsory — [ri spän′sə rē] n. pl. responsories [ME responsorye < ML(Ec) responsorium, response (in worship)] Eccles. a responsive verse or set of verses, esp. from the Psalms, used as in the Divine Office …   English World dictionary

  • Responsory — A responsory or respond is a type of chant in western Christian liturgies. Contents 1 Definition 2 Structure and performance 3 Music 4 Notes …   Wikipedia

  • Responsory —    This category of chant was first defined by Isidore of Seville (c. 559–636): Responsories are so called because a chorus responds in consonance to a soloist (New Grove, 15: 759). Responsories were sung especially at matins, where they take on… …   Historical dictionary of sacred music

  • responsory — noun (plural ries) Etymology: Middle English, from Medieval Latin responsorium, from Latin respondēre Date: 15th century a set of versicles and responses sung or said after or during a lection …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • responsory — noun A chant or anthem recited after a reading in a church service …   Wiktionary

  • responsory — set of responses sung or said after liturgical reading Ecclesiastical Terms …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • responsory — [rɪ spɒns(ə)ri] noun (plural responsories) (in the Christian Church) an anthem said or sung by a soloist and choir after a lesson …   English new terms dictionary

  • responsory — n. (Mus.) Antiphonary …   New dictionary of synonyms

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”