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Re: third mode doxologies

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  • Tony Lutkus
    Dear Father Ephraim, I pray that your work and others can continue. I recently purchased the IERA IMNODIA as reference, of sorts. It did not take long to
    Message 1 of 32 , Sep 11, 2005
      Dear Father Ephraim, I pray that your work and others can continue.

      I recently purchased the IERA IMNODIA as reference, of sorts. It
      did not take long to see how how much of the GOA parish music owes to

      A few years ago I presented Fr Seraphims third tone Doxology to our
      parish choir to review. They expressed great skepticism about it's
      authenticity, being so steeped in a simplified Sakallardis-inspired
      version they use. Perhaps another day.

      And perhaps someone on this list can tell me - is IERA IMNODIA is
      currently used at Holy Cross?

      In Christ,


      --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, "Father Ephraim"
      <frephraim@f...> wrote:
      > Dear Tony,
      > Thank you for your kind words of support.
      > Your comment about other doxologies written in third mode aroused my
      > curiosity, and so I followed your advice and compared them. Nancy's
      > version is available online, and can be downloaded for free from:
      > http://www.geocities.com/takistan/doxology3.zip
      > I don't think Fr. Seraphim's version is available online, but it can
      > ordered from his monastery at:
      > http://sgpm.goarch.org/Monastery/index.php?p=31
      > I immediately noticed that the versions by Fr. Seraphim and me
      > the style of music found in the Anastasimatarion (that has the
      > doxologies composed by Manuel the Protopsaltis, d. 1819), whereas
      > Nancy's version follows the style of music and the melodic lines
      > in Sakellaridis' book "Iera Ymnodia". I believe that all three of us
      > were successful in imitating the prototype we chose to follow. But
      > one compares Sakellaridis' music with other publications of
      > music before him, one can't help but notice that he created his own
      > melodic lines that bear little resemblance to the corpus of melodic
      > formulae previously in existence. His frequent use of medial
      cadences on
      > Ga and Nee is highly unusual for third mode. And even the formulae
      > uses to reach his medial and final cadences are not to be found in
      > other piece of Byzantine music. Furthermore, his repeated use of
      > syllables on eighth notes adds a melodramatic effect to the entire
      > that does not exist in other mainstream compositions of Byzantine
      > I will pass over in silence his total disregard for the rules of
      > orthography, since I already raised that issue in this forum a few
      > months ago. As a result of all these innovations, the only thing
      > his doxology that makes it sound like third mode is the scale he
      > in Christ,
      > +Fr. Ephraim
      > On Sat, 10 Sep 2005 05:41:59 -0000, "Tony Lutkus" <cineutopia@y...>
      > said:
      > > Dear Stan, you're a passionate advocate for your wife Nancy's
      > > But you are a bit unfair to Fr Ephraim!
      > >
      > > His first response to your statement regarding polyphony was fair.

      > > You are hard pressed to refute him in a meaningful way since he
      > > good authority backing him, no matter how many modern reasonings
      > > produce. And this is not a fight between "East and West," or about
      > > excluding people from worship or prayer, or about "limiting God's
      > > Creation," or about some distasteful hellenocentrism. I hope those
      > > reading these posts will take notice that Fr Ephraim did not raise
      > > these groundless argumentative lines. They were yours. Strong
      > > reservations about polyphony in Orthodox ecclesiastical music can
      > > from a humble submission to our Orthodox tradition.
      > >
      > > You then moved quickly to rhythmic and translation matters. You
      > > about "Pure Byzantine Chant servicing" the Greek and English
      > > languages. But what is this thing Pure Byzantine Chant? Did it
      > > exist? And how does it "service" anything? Let's speak clearly.
      > > don't think Fr Ephraim is trying to create some byzantine musical
      > > utopia here on earth, (unlike some others, perhaps!). But again,
      > > line of argument is yours, not Fr Ephraim's. The fact is that we
      > > live and pray now. This precludes us from creating anything that
      > > be called Byzantine. Best we can do is honor our Orthodox musical
      > > traditions, taking advantage of the experience of other Orthodox
      > > people who have done similar work in their own lands and tongues,
      > > praying that we can learn from their example, and their errors.
      > > alive to tradition in this context does not mean simpleminded
      > > submission to some formulae in the name of idea about musical
      > >
      > > I also add that your glosses regarding syllabic accenting and
      > > line and interpration are so broad, you've reduced the topic to
      > > meaninglessness (esp in the part about starting "Most Byzantine
      > > in Greek that I transcribe...). All this just to make your
      > > argumentative points that you prefer Nancy's work! Why not just
      > > it, and leave it at that? And please remember, Fr Ephraim is not
      > > alone in his work. Your dissection of his work does not
      > > prove that his method and intent is misguided, just that his
      > > is not perfected.
      > >
      > >
      > > I've heard it said that the monastics are Orthodoxy's real
      > > evangelists. I believe the combination of monastic practice
      > > and musical talents that Fr Ephraim and Fr Seraphim bring to our
      > > country are a true blessing, little recognized. Perhaps they
      > > a kind of musical evangelism, first starting from within the
      > > There is no doubt that their work is just the beginning, and that
      > > is incomplete and imperfect. But it is there and they are doing
      > > it! And it's a tradition that is almost completely unknown in our
      > > churches. We've only seen glimmers of it in the parish musical
      > > practises we've inherited and cobbled for ourselves. I'm not
      > > they are criticised from many corners - they are, in a strange
      > > the new on the block!
      > >
      > > If you (or anyone) is interested in comparing Nancy's and Fr
      > > Doxology (III) with Fr Seraphim's version in tone III, just email
      > > off the list. In case you don't read Byzantine notation, I've done
      > > schoolboy's job of translating the basic idea of it into Western
      > > Notation which can be used to guide you to learn the Byzantine
      > > Notation. It is a useful exercise to compare.
      > >
      > > And if anyone has other English versions that are traditionally
      > > inspired, please feel free to share.
      > >
      > >
      > > In Christ,
      > >
      > > Tony
      > >
      > > --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, "Stan Takis"
      > > > wrote:
      > > > Dear Fr. Ephraim:
      > > >
      > > > Here's the problem. You write:
      > > >
      > > > > Although what you say makes sense in principle, in practice I
      > > don't see
      > > > > the increased number of accentuated syllables ever creating a
      > > > problem...I honestly can't find
      > > > > a single problem with rhythm or accentuation or melodic
      > > in any
      > > > > of these compositions, even though there are more accentuated
      > > syllables
      > > > > in the English text than there are in the corresponding Greek
      > > text.
      > > >
      > > > From my perspective, I saw numerous problems. I showed the works
      > > > Nancy and she found about three times as many as I did.
      Therefore, I
      > > > don't know if the discussion of these pieces will produce a
      > > > dialogue, because what is obviously a problem for me is no
      > > at
      > > > all for you.
      > > >
      > > > Nevertheless, I will point out just a few of "my" problems so
      > > can
      > > > maybe see what I'm talking about. I don't expect you to agree
      > > > necessarily because these are not earth-shattering problems,
      > > > examples where the music is not serving the text the best way
      > > it
      > > > can. Remember these are just a few among others.
      > > >
      > > > You place numerous two-note and three-note melodic accents on
      > > or
      > > > syllables that do not need the added emphasis. For example, the
      > > words
      > > > "done," "mercy," "eagle's," and "Moses" in the Typica.
      > > >
      > > > There are several accents on the wrong syllables, such as
      > > "executeth"
      > > > in the Typica and "glorify" in the Doxology, or on the word
      "and" in
      > > > the Anaphora.
      > > >
      > > > Also there are times when you use the interval of a third when a
      > > > passing tone would be more appropriate for an unaccented
      > > > (Nancy pointed out that the beginning phrase of the 7th and 8th
      > > verses
      > > > of the Typica contains a broken triad, something she says never
      > > occurs
      > > > in Byzantine chant.)
      > > >
      > > > Also, I feel there are some words that should not descend below
      > > > ison like "mercy" and "over."
      > > >
      > > > There's more, but I will stop here. I just wanted you to get the
      > > idea
      > > > of the kinds of problems I have. Not that these are really bad.
      > > > aren't. They just could be better, to give the English a more
      > > > English-like flow. I should have Nancy write out her Typica and
      > > > it to you so you can make similar criticisms.
      > > >
      > > > Please forgive me of these. I really don't want to be critical
      > > > judgmental.
      > > >
      > > > > Regarding the use of the word "Lord" in English, the ugly "r"
      > > sound
      > > > > should not be an issue as long as we know how to pronounce
      > > > > properly when singing. As I'm sure you know, the trick is to
      > > pretend
      > > > > that we are singing with a British accent, and then the ugly
      > > sound
      > > > > disappears because it is either omitted entirely, or it is
      > > very
      > > > > briefly and subtly.
      > > >
      > > > Sure. I've been directing choirs for 33 years. I think I didn't
      > > > my point clear. When you try to fit "Lord" into a melody made
      > > > "Kyrie" you create unnecessary problems you wouldn't have if you
      > > > it differently. Since there is a problem with R, why exacerbate
      > > >
      > > > > Perhaps in theory it would make more sense to use an
      > > form of
      > > > > music in America for chanting in English, but the problem is
      > > all
      > > > > forms of native American music convey a spirituality quite
      > > inappropriate
      > > > > for ecclesiastical music. I can't even imagine how horrible
      > > troparia
      > > > > of our church would sound in blues, country, jazz, rock, heavy
      > > metal,
      > > > > rap, etc.
      > > >
      > > > ALL forms? The ones you mentioned are not the only forms of
      > > > music. There are many spirituals and simple American folk tunes,
      > > > example, that are quite prayerful. And we're speaking about the
      > > > English language, really, so there are quite a bit of British
      > > > as well that employ the English language in music quite
      > > > and appropriately.
      > > >
      > > > As I said, and I repeat because this message doesn't seem to be
      > > > getting through, using Byzantine scales and isons gives English
      > > > Orthodox "ethos," and I think we should use them. It's the
      > > > of accented syllables that has to be different, but the SIMPLE
      > > > diatonic (heirmological) melodic and harmonic patterns do come
      > > through
      > > > in English, because of the scales and drones. But since the
      > > > treatment is different, you can't call it "Byzantine chant."
      > > more
      > > > like "English chant influenced by the Byzantine." That can be
      > > and
      > > > is all over our website.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Stan
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > --
      > Father Ephraim
      > frephraim@f...
    • dananetherton
      ... I think I understand. It can be hard to talk with one group of people while one is checking his back, on the lookout for someone else! As I mentioned
      Message 32 of 32 , Sep 12, 2005
        --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, "Stan Takis"
        <takistan@y...> wrote:
        > Dear Dana and Fr. Ephraim:
        > Dana, don't worry too much. I'm mostly just wondering right now.
        > This is really from my conversations with Georgios. <snip>

        I think I understand. It can be hard to talk with one group of
        people while one is checking his back, on the lookout for someone

        As I mentioned earlier, I think that *in the long run* Orthodox chant
        here will simply be called "American Chant", in the way that we speak
        of "Romanian Chant" or "Antiochian Chant" (which are heavily
        influenced by Byzantine Chant). In that setting, Georgios's "pure"
        terminology will probably work well.

        However, in the present day, we in the GOA must (IMHO) make
        distinctions between what our "chanting" composers make, and what
        our "harmonizing" composers make ... if only so that we can give the
        faithful a simple explanation if they happen to notice the
        different "sounds" of these two kinds of compositions.

        Also, we in the GOA must (IMHO) make distinctions between what our
        GOA composers make, and what other Orthodox composers in the US make
        (in the OCA, in the Antiochian Archdiocese, and in the many other
        jurisdictions here).

        For one thing, in the OCA and other jurisdictions that use Russian-
        style music, they are using "harmonizing" music in a different spirit
        than we use "harmonizing" music in the GOA. In the GOA, it's a
        recent break from tradition and is seen only in the U.S. In the OCA
        and elsewhere, the break occurred several centuries ago (in the late
        1600s), and the resulting music was brought *to* this country from
        the Old Country by the faithful in those jurisdictions.

        As a result (I think) of that history in those jurisdictions, when I
        follow mailing lists like OrthoPSALMS, whose members are *much* more
        likely to be from OCA-type jurisdictions, the posts from people who
        want to reverse their Church's use of "harmonizing" compositions come
        almost entirely from the GOA. I've only seen two or three people
        there who have been exploring or trying to revive the use of pre-
        harmonizing chant in that musical tradition ... and, come to think of
        it, one of them is an Old Believer whose Church never abandoned that
        form of chant.

        Which of course was one reason why you needed to start *this* list:
        because the discussions among us GOA folks were bewildering the non-
        GOA folks!

        So (IMHO) we need to be able to speak of the "traditional"
        harmonizing in the OCA etc, and the "untraditional" harmonizing in
        the GOA. Which means that we need a name for a "traditional" musical
        approach, in English, in the GOA. Georgios doesn't need such a name,
        but then he's not in the GOA any more.

        > Also, I know it doesn't seem like it, but I have praised Frs.
        > Seraphim and Ephraim's English work, among others, including
        > Jessica and David Melling. <snip>

        Glad to hear it, and thanks to our face-to-face conversation a few
        months ago I am glad to be able to say that I believe you!

        All that I'm doing *here* is to offer some feedback on your
        effectiveness in getting that across *here*: your good opinion of
        them isn't always as evident to Folks Out Here as it might feel
        like. :-) And, alas, the perception of Folks Out Here about that
        could color their readiness to respond favorably to suggestions.

        Yours in Christ,

        Dana Netherton
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