Sacred Books of the Buddhists
The Book of the Discipline,
Volume V Cullavagga
Khandhaka V. On Minor Matters
Translated by I.B. Horner, M.A.,
Associate of Newham College, Cambridge
People . . . spread it about, saying:
"Even as we sing, so do these recluses, sons of the Sakyans sing dhamma with a long-drawn plain-song  sound."
Those who were modest monks looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying:
"How can this group of six monks sing dhamma with a long-drawn plain-song sound?
"Then these monks told this matter to the Lord.
"Is it true, as is said . . . ?"
"It is true, Lord." . . .
Having given reasoned talk, he addressed the monks, saying:
"Monks, there are these five disadvantages to one singing dhamma with a long-drawn plain-song sound:
he is pleased with himself in regard to that sound, and others are pleased in regard to that sound,
and housepeople look down upon,
and while he is himself striving after accuracy in the sound there is an interruption in his concentration,
and people coming after fall into the way of (wrong) views.
These, monks, are the five disadvantages to one singing dhamma with a long-drawn plain-song sound.
Monks, dhamma should not be sung with a long-drawn plain-song sound.
Whoever should (so) sing it, there is an offence of wrong-doing."
Now at that time monks were doubtful about intoning.
They told this matter to the Lord.
"Monks, I allow intoning."
Intonation. 2. The action of intoning, or reciting in a singing voice; esp. the musical recitation of psalms, prayers, etc., in a liturgy, usu. in monotone.
Sarabhañña. Sara = sound, voice, intonation, accent; + Vañña = color.
 sarabhañña. Cf. Vin. i. 196, Jā. ii. 109, DhA. i. 154. Explained by Bu. as sarena bhaṇanaṃ, speaking (or repeating) by means of intonation.