World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0002890040
Reproduction Date:

Title: Accentus  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Canon of the Mass, Roman Rite, Accentus (disambiguation), Latin religious phrases, Structure of the Mass
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Dominican Missal, c. 1240, giving a portion of the Accentus (Historical Museum of Lausanne).

Accentus (or Accentus Ecclesiasticus; Ecclesiastical accent) is a style of church music that emphasizes spoken word. It is often contrasted with concentus, an alternative style that emphasizes harmony. The terms accentus and concentus were probably introduced by Andreas Ornithoparchus in his Musicae Activae Micrologus, Leipzig, 1517.[1][2] "Concentus might be chief ruler over all things that are sung...and Accentus over all things that are read," according to Ornithoparchus.[3]

In the medieval church, all that portion of the liturgical song which was performed by the entire musical instrument.

There were originally seven types of Accentus Ecclesiasticus, depending on how the voice should be inflected at the punctuation marks ending phrases or sentences. In accentus immutabilis, the voice remains at the same tone; in accentus medus it falls by a third at a colon; in accentus gravis it falls by a fifth at a period; in accentus actus it falls by a third and returns to the original tone at a comma; in accentus moderatus it rises by a second and returns to the original tone at a comma; in accentus interrogata it falls by a second and returns to the original tone at a question mark; and in accentus finalis, it rises by a second and then falls stepwise to a fourth below the original tone at the end.[4]


  1. ^ Apel, Willi, ed. Harvard Dictionary of Music, 2nd ed. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1972.
  2. ^ Musical forms Ernst Pauer - 1878 ECCLESIASTICAL ACCENT.* "In Plain-song, the term 'accent' or accentus ecclesiasticus was used to designate that system of movement of the voice, by learning the principles of which (modus legendi choraliter) a chanter could read ...
  3. ^ William Smith, Samuel Cheetham, Encyclopaedic Dictionary Of Christian Antiquities, "Accentus ecclesiasticus", p. 11. Concept Publishing Company, 2005
  4. ^ W. L. Hubbard (1908). "accentus ecclesiastici". Musical Dictionary. Irving Squire. p. 9.  (Digital edition by Google Books; also republished 2006 by Adamant Media as ISBN 0-543-90764-3.)


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.