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PSALM TONES

Melodies used for chanting psalms in the Catholic liturgy, especially the Divine Office. First an intonation, then a single note persisting for several syllables on the pitch of the church mode being used, then an ending tone at the half verse and the final cadence. The antiphon in whole or in part opens each psalm, the full antiphon closes it followed by the Gloria Patri. The opening tone of the antiphon determines the choice of the alternative endings. There are traditionally eight psalm tones.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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