Dominus fortitudo plebis suae, et protector salutarium Christi sui est: salvum fac populum tuum, Domine, et benedic haereditati tuae, et rege eos usque in saeculum.
“The Lord is the strength of his people, and he is the protector of the salvation of his Christ (his anointed). Save your people, Lord, and bless your heritage, and govern them until the (end of) age(s).” (Ps 28(27):8–9)
Click here to listen to an audio of the chant.
Sung by Liborius Lumma, Innsbruck (Austria).
I only want to give a short analysis of one melodic phenomenon in Gregorian Chant: The first syllable of plebis in the first line is expressed by a slow repercussion: A single tone (a virga in this case, meaning “rod” and looking like one) is elongated (to be seen as a thick bar at the upper end) and then doubled. The same happens at the second syllable of usque in the fourth line. But the meaning is different: In the first case the doubled elongated virga expresses the importance of the word itself (Whose strength is the Lord? His people’s!). In the second case the reduplication expresses rising tension, the crucial message is about to come immediately afterwards (Until when? Forever!).
This is how accurate Gregorian Chant interprets words, phrases, and sentences; and that is what scholars of Gregorian Chant love so much about it.