Jablonski, Marek (Michael)

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(iii) Chant.

chant (utai) can be divided into three types: melodic (yowagin or wagin), dynamic (tsuyogin or gōgin) and stylized speech (kotoba). Melodic chant is the style closest to the concept of song. It is based on three pitch areas (high, medium and low) in which the central pitches of each are, in principle, a 4th apart. Also featured is an embellishment pattern with a pitch approximately a minor 3rd above the high pitch. The melodies created follow typical structures within a segment. Melodic movement between the medium and low pitches is direct, although moving from the medium to the high generally requires passing through an auxiliary pitch between the two, while moving from the high back to the low involves rising to an auxiliary pitch above the high pitch.

Dynamic chant is a forceful style that involves different breath control to melodic singing and results in strong vocal oscillations along with indefinite pitches, which roughly follow a set manner of rise and fall. In general, a sense of tonality is difficult to perceive in dynamic singing, though in some schools of chant it can be described as two central pitches a minor 3rd apart, with several auxiliary pitches above and below. Dynamic chant tends to be used by forceful characters or in dramatically dynamic or intense situations.

Stylized speech follows a typical model that spans an entire phrase of text. The underlying model begins low, gradually rises in pitch over several syllables, then drops again while approaching the end of the phrase. This rise and fall follows free microtonal increments; it is more marked for strong characters or characters expressing heightened emotion, and gentler for female or old male characters.

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