chorale

[kuh-ral, -rahl, kaw-, koh-; kawr-uhl, kohr-]
noun
1.
a hymn, especially one with strong harmonization: a Bach chorale.
2.
a group of singers specializing in singing church music; choir.

Origin:
1835–45; < German Choral, short for Choralgesang, translation of Latin cantus chorālis choral singing; see choral

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World English Dictionary
chorale or choral (kɒˈrɑːl)
 
n
1.  a slow stately hymn tune, esp of the Lutheran Church
2.  chiefly (US) a choir or chorus
 
[C19: from German Choralgesang, translation of Latin cantus chorālis choral song]
 
choral or choral
 
n
 
[C19: from German Choralgesang, translation of Latin cantus chorālis choral song]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

chorale
1841, "sacred choral song," from Ger. Choral "metrical hymn in Reformed church," shortened from Choralgesang "choral song," translating M.L. cantus choralis, from L. cantus (see chant) + choralis (see choral). The "-e" was added to indicate stress. Meaning "group of singers" is 1942.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

chorale

metrical hymn tune associated in common English usage with the Lutheran church in Germany. From early in the Reformation, chorales were to be sung by the congregation during the Protestant liturgy. Unison singing was the rule of the reformed churches, both in Germany and in other countries. Early polyphonic (multivoiced) versions may have been intended for a choir singing only the melody while the full version was played on the organ. In later polyphonic arrangements the melody shifted gradually to the treble line from its original position in the tenor

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences for chorale
A choir, chorale, or chorus is a musical ensemble of singers.
He composed some chorale melodies himself, such as a mighty fortress.
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