ABSTRACT

When Pius X defined plainchant as the touchstone against which all other forms of church music should be measured, he meant a chant ‘which the most recent studies have so happily restored to its integrity and purity’.1 Such studies, the work of the abbey of Solesmes, transformed the predominantly ‘measured’ form of plainchant that Pius and his English contemporaries had known in the nineteenth century, and they produced a style that, in its aesthetic ambiance, still dominates perceptions of the genre today.