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A cleric who directs the choral services of a church or cathedral.

[Latin praecentor, from praecentus, past participle of praecinere, to sing before : prae-, pre- + canere, to sing; see kan- in Indo-European roots.]

pre′cen·to′ri·al (prē′sĕn-tôr′ē-əl) adj.


1. (Ecclesiastical Terms) a cleric who directs the choral services in a cathedral
2. (Ecclesiastical Terms) a person who leads a congregation or choir in the sung parts of church services
[C17: from Late Latin praecentor leader of the music, from prae before + canere to sing]
precentorial adj
preˈcentorˌship n


(prɪˈsɛn tər)

a person who leads a church choir or congregation in singing.
[1605–15; < Late Latin praecentor leader in music, derivative of Latin praecen-, variant s. of praecinere to lead in singing]


a person who leads a church choir or congregation in singing.
See also: Church
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.precentor - the musical director of a choirprecentor - the musical director of a choir  
musician - artist who composes or conducts music as a profession


[prɪˈsentəʳ] Nchantre m


nVorsänger(in) m(f), → Präzentor(in) m(f) (spec)
References in classic literature ?
For instance: I should have put in the foreground your being so much respected as Lay Precentor, or Lay Clerk, or whatever you call it, of this Cathedral; your enjoying the reputation of having done such wonders with the choir; your choosing your society, and holding such an independent position in this queer old place; your gift of teaching (why, even Pussy, who don't like being taught, says there never was such a Master as you are!), and your connexion.'
The cries of the sheep upon the neighbouring hills, the streamlets upon either hand, one loudly singing among pebbles, the other dripping furtively from pond to pond, the stir of the wind in mountainous old flowering chestnuts, and once in seven days the voice of the bell and the old tunes of the precentor, were the only sounds that disturbed the silence around the rural church.
Oceane Boudeau shows that a manuscript created to meet the professional needs of a specific individual, the precentor at Cathedrale de Sens, portrays liturgical life to a surprising level of detail, from the "workings of the metropolitan chapter of Sens and the functions of each of its members" (p.
The service was conducted by the Right Reverend Dr Christopher Cocksworth, the Bishop of Coventry, and Coventry Cathedral Precentor and Sub-Dean the Reverend Canon David Stone.
Vinodh was in charge of the Thomian Choir for the last 15 years and had been just appointed the Precentor of the College Chapel.
Canon Precentor Andrew Stead reflected on the hard work and effort of everyone.
The Canon Precentor Andrew Stead said: "To have eight Victoria Crosses in one place at one time is a very special thing.
Jeremy Dussek, Canon Precentor atChester Cathedral, who led the prayers, reminded people the Chester Diocese included great swathes of Greater Manchester.
All stand as the choir and clergy move in procession to the Quire, including: The Sacristan, The Choir of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, the Director of Music James Vivian; Minor Canon The Reverend Franklin Lee; Chaplain to The Queen The Reverend Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin; Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos; Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church in the USA The Most Reverend Michael Curry; The Archbishop of Canterbury The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby; Canon Steward and Canon Precentor The Reverend Canon Dr Mark Powell and The Reverend Canon Martin Poll; Vice-Dean The Reverend Canon Dr Hueston Finlay.
According to Ismar Elbogen, the recitation of the Amidah began with the precentor (sheliakh tzibbur) intoning the entire prayer, and the congregation reciting "amen" after each benediction.
"The Diocesan Parsonage Board has therefore decided to seek alternative accommodation for the Dean and the Canon Precentor and their families elsewhere in Bangor."
The role of the director was thereby elevated above that of an ordinary precentor (regent): he needed to become a highly educated musical performer with multifaceted training.