And unlike its days of improvising, when it played monophonically
, Shimon is able to play harmonies and chords.
The parts differ musically, yet in all of them the text is clearly declaimed, in places monophonically
, sometimes the melodic line defocuses like when a calligrapher presses on the brush, at others the harmony unfurls to the full.
26) Scholars have interpreted the lack of notated music as an indication that the performers sang the pieces monophonically
(that is, in a plainchant setting, which was the predominant musical style of worship), to improvised polyphony (two or more melodic lines), or that these singers knew a polyphonic version of the piece.
And Wilson's heartfelt if nebulous spiritualism suffuses every track from the opening "Our Prayer"--a contrapuntal, a cappella hymn written not for the cathedral but for the Manhattan Beach pier--to the encore "You're Welcome," which is structured monophonically
, like a Gregorian chant.