Definitions

Gregorian mode

Gregorian mode

A Gregorian mode (church mode) is one of the eight scales supposedly underlying Gregorian chant. They are grouped into four pairs, each pair comprising an authentic mode and a plagal mode.

Legend assigns their origin to Pope Gregory I, who allegedly created the four plagal modes corresponding to the already existing four authentic modes. All of them were named after him as the Gregorian modes (or tones). In fact, the church modes were developed after Gregory's time (starting in the ninth century) as a theoretical framework to describe the tonal structure of Gregorian chant, which also developed after Gregory's time.

For more information, see musical mode.

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