In music, church chant involving the response by a choir to a verse sung by soloists, also called respond. Originally this would have taken the form of a response by the congregation to the leader or cantor. In the 9th century, it became an elaborate musical form demanding trained soloists and choir. The Gradual, Alleluia, and (for a time) the Offertory of the Mass were responsorial chants.
The most important responsoria in the Offices were the responsoria prolixa, sung at Matins. Like those of the Mass, they became a vehicle for polyphonic settings, the polyphony being reserved for the soloists’ portions of the chant.
The body of the chapel, the body of a prepared guitar, resonate. Voice, floors and doors are also sounded in response to architecture, history and ambience.
With thanks to PVA MediaLab Salt Residency and Ducan Whitley
St. Catherine’s Chapel, Abbotsbury, Dorset Marc 2010.
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