Attempting to renew the Gregorian chant during the 19th century

The 19th century saw the emergence of a movement whose aim was to rehabilitate the Gregorian chant. Prosper Guéranger (1805-1875), first bishop of the Solesmes Abbey, spearheaded this attempt of renewal, which was part of a general movement for the rehabilitation of the Middle Ages. Between scientific debates on the interpretation of the notation system and the quarrels on the worthiness of this resurrection attempt, which was considered conservative, this was a controversial movement. The Vatican supported however the publication in 1903 of the Musical Palaeography by the Solesmes Abbey, without it affecting the evolution of the Church: while the Solesmes Abbey continues to follow the tradition, this restoration was reduced to a handful of local manifestation. The Second Vatican Council and the societal evolutions, concerned with the openness and the accessibility of the liturgy, which was therefore not creating the proper conditions for the preservation of this tradition.

Through his Manual of Gregorian Chant from the beginning of the 20th century, Abbey Brun offers technical keys for the rediscovery of Gregorian chant. The Vauban library also keeps a copy, but we offer here the digitized version by the Sainte-Geneviève Library visible on Internet Archives.