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Chant is the rhythmic speaking or singing of words or sounds, often primarily on one or two pitches called reciting tones. Chants may range from a simple melody involving a limited set of notes to highly complex musical structures, often including a great deal of repetition of musical subphrases, such as Great Responsories and Offertories of Gregorian chant. Chant may be considered speech, music, or a heightened or stylized form of speech. In the later Middle Ages some religious chant evolved into song (forming one of the roots of later Western music).[How to reference and link to summary or text]
Chant as a spiritual practiceEdit
Chanting the Name of God is a spiritual practice that is commonly practiced. Chants form part of many religious rituals, and diverse spiritual traditions consider chant a route to spiritual development. Some examples include chant in African and Native American tribal cultures, Gregorian chant, Vedic chant, Jewish liturgical music (chazzanut), Qur'an reading, Baha'i chants, various Buddhist chants, various mantras, and the chanting of psalms and prayers especially in Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran and Anglican churches (see Anglican Chant). Tibetan Buddhist chant involves throat singing, where multiple pitches are produced by each performer. The concept of chanting mantras is of particular significance in many Hindu traditions and other closely related Dharmic Religions. For example, the Hare Krishna movement is based especially on the chanting of Sanskrit Names of God. Japanese Shigin (詩吟), or 'chanted poetry', mirrors Zen principles and is sung from the gut — the locus of power in Zen Buddhism.
Other uses of chantEdit
Chants are used in a variety of settings from ritual to recreation. Supporters or players in sports contests may use them (see football chant). Warriors in ancient times would chant a battle cry. They are also used on protests, and are widely adapted with only a few words changed between topic.
- Gregorian Chant (newadvent.org)
- BBC Story on UN (bbc.co.uk)
- Guidance on Chanting Hare Krishna (krishna.com)
- A site about Vedic chants (vedamu.org)
- Chanting as spiritual practice by Spiritual Science Research Foundation
- Chants from Indian, Christian, Sufi, and Buddhist Traditions in Streaming Audio
- Traditional Buddhist Chants (Texts and Audio) as in the Buddhist Encyclopedia
Christian chant liturgies
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