VOCAL TECHNIC OF THE EARLY CHANTERS
SINCE, when we view them from the distance of the present, the various threads of the early story of singing seem inextricably tangled, a strictly chronological account of the progress of the art is formidably difficult, if not impossible. Furthermore we are not in possession of sufficient information to enable us to trace conclusively the details of progress through the centuries between A.D. 300 and 1600, when the modern opera originated. It seems, then, more practicable to take a rapid view of the condition of vocal technic in the early centuries and afterward to introduce details when they are accessible and applicable to the general story.
Of the state of singing in the formative period of the ecclesiastic chant most students of the history of music have a conception which is largely affected by error. Their conception presents to their minds a chant entirely plain, sung with a broad, sustained legato and with a