Dom Jean Claire served as choirmaster at the Abbey of Solesmes in France from 1971 to 1996, succeeding Dom Joseph Gajard. He studied in classics and composition, entering the abbey in 1944. During his tenure as choirmaster, he made over 25 recordings of Gregorian chant and published numerous scholarly articles on the origins of Western modality. He is known for his refinement of the Solesmes style in which the duration of individual notes is flexibly interpreted rather than given a fixed measure. The Abbey of Solesmes has been the center of the modern revival of Gregorian chant performance since the mid-nineteenth century, and the monks of the abbey have provided the official chant books of the Catholic church from the beginning of the twentieth century.