schola cantorum

Schola cantorum (papal choir)

The Schola cantorum was the trained papal choir during the Middle Ages, specializing in the performance of plainchant. Although legend associates them with the papacy of Gregory the Great, who is popularly but falsely credited with creating the Gregorian repertory, there is no historical evidence to support this claim. The Schola is attested in historical records beginning in the 8th century, possibly beginning under Pope Sergius I. They played a significant and contentious role in the transmission of Roman chant to the Carolingian court of Charlemagne, where the fusion of Roman and Gallican chant evolved into what we now know as Gregorian chant.

Several institutions have modeled themselves after the medieval Schola, including the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis of Basel and the Schola Cantorum of Paris.


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