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Responsive Singing
(520 words)

[German Version]

is liturgical chant that alternates between different persons or ensembles. A large portion of the liturgical vocal repertory is responsive, as is only appropriate, given that by nature worship is primarily dialogical. Singing (or speaking) lengthy texts in unison is alien to the liturgy. Since earliest times, we find a variety of roles in all liturgical celebrations: presider, soloists (Cantor), schola (Singing school), congregation. Occasionally instruments, especially the organ, are included in the dialogu…

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Bretschneider, Wolfgang, “Responsive Singing”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 23 October 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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