Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Music for Sunday

Expand Messages
  • Stan Takis
    Dear All: Since Christmas and the New Year don t often fall on Sunday, a few people have been asking me for the troparia of the Circumcision and St. Basil. I
    Message 1 of 8 , Dec 30, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      Dear All:

      Since Christmas and the New Year don't often fall on Sunday, a few
      people have been asking me for the troparia of the Circumcision and
      St. Basil. I know it's late, but for your information, I have uploaded
      them to the website. You can find the them there and also the
      Circumcision refrain for the second antiphon. These files are in Greek
      and English and in chant put to Western notation.

      http://geocities.com/takistan

      Stan
    • Father Ephraim
      Dear Stan, Thank you for sharing that music with us. Overall Nancy did a fine job, but if you don t mind my being fussy, I would like to point out a few minor
      Message 2 of 8 , Dec 31, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        Dear Stan,

        Thank you for sharing that music with us. Overall Nancy did a fine job,
        but if you don't mind my being fussy, I would like to point out a few
        minor problems I see with it:

        1. The medial cadence used for the word "doctrine" is something I don't
        ever recall seeing in first mode. (The same cadence is also used near
        the end for "great mercy.") I must admit that I have heard a similar
        medial cadence in the fifth ode of the katavasias for the Nativity for
        the phrase "othen theognosias," but its cadence ends with the notes
        E-A-G rather than D-A-G.

        2. The medial cadence used for "venerable father" is also something I
        don't think exists in first mode.

        3. As far as I know, the melodic phrase for "Christ God" is used with
        two syllables only in sticheraric melodies, not in heirmologic ones. In
        heirmologic melodies this phrase always has at least three syllables.

        4. The 3/4 measure for the word "royal" strikes me as being a
        rhythmically awkward attempt to imitate the original melody. I think it
        would sound smoother if you deleted the second quarter note of the
        syllable "roy"

        5. The hyphenation of the word "venerable" should be "ven-er-a-ble".

        If anyone can provde counter examples to prove me wrong on any of these
        points, please do so, because I wouldn't be too surprised if I am
        forgetting something that you have remembered.

        May you all have a blessed new year.
        in Christ,
        +Fr. Ephraim

        On Sat, 31 Dec 2005 04:18:24 -0000, "Stan Takis" <takistan@...>
        said:
        > Dear All:
        >
        > Since Christmas and the New Year don't often fall on Sunday, a few
        > people have been asking me for the troparia of the Circumcision and
        > St. Basil. I know it's late, but for your information, I have uploaded
        > them to the website. You can find the them there and also the
        > Circumcision refrain for the second antiphon. These files are in Greek
        > and English and in chant put to Western notation.
        >
        > http://geocities.com/takistan
        >
        > Stan
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        --
        Father Ephraim
        frephraim@...
      • Stan Takis
        Dear Fr. Ephraim: I think Nancy would agree with you on all your points. (I could ask her, but basically she wants to stay away from Internet discussions, so I
        Message 3 of 8 , Dec 31, 2005
        • 0 Attachment
          Dear Fr. Ephraim:

          I think Nancy would agree with you on all your points. (I could ask
          her, but basically she wants to stay away from Internet discussions,
          so I don't usually.) Someday, she intends to write down her own way
          of chanting these hymns. They would be a lot different. For now, with
          the requests she gets, she uses Sakellarides because, like it or not,
          the melodies of Sakellarides are the ones most familiar to American
          churches and they are the melodies people want.

          As for your first point, if you look at the Greek version, you can
          see that her intent was to follow the same melodic pattern in the
          English. Sakellarides uses this cadence on "o fthongos"
          and "edhoghmatisas." I got to listen to her think aloud on what to do
          with the words "great mercy." She struggled with it, going through
          several possibilities, but settled on that cadence as being
          consistent with the rest of the hymn.

          The same can be said for your second and fourth points, she was
          indeed imitating the Sakellarides melodic turns. Too bad you can't
          take up this matter with him. I would have loved to hear that
          discussion.

          As for the third point, you are quite right. Again, listening to her
          think aloud, I think she decided to take artistic license and
          interpolate a sticheraric "Christ God" for added emphasis. Maybe I'll
          actually ask her about that one. She did mention that it was an
          elongated form of the melodic phrase on "royal priesthood," which
          might explain the two notes on the first syllable of "royal." She did
          want to put two beats on the second syllable of royal, but I talked
          her out of that one. I didn't think it was awkward with one beat. I
          thought the extra beat interrupted the flow of the English words.
          Changing meters is not that hard in chant, I believe. I didn't think
          of your solution to put one note on the first syllable, and I think
          it would have worked as well.

          One thing I will say. All her adaptations are painstaking endeavors.
          She struggles over every note to get the sound right to the original
          Greek version. She knows Sakellarides broke rules and she knows she's
          breaking rules when she adapts his melodies, but she always tries to
          preserve the integrity of the chant she's translating.

          Stan
        • Stan Takis
          PS: Oh. You re right about the syllabic division of venerable. That was my doing in the computer transcription. I ll correct it. I was also thinking that, for
          Message 4 of 8 , Dec 31, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            PS:

            Oh. You're right about the syllabic division of venerable. That was
            my doing in the computer transcription. I'll correct it.

            I was also thinking that, for Byzantine purists, this is the problem
            with Sakellarides: All of his melodic diversions from tradition
            were "minor," as you point out. This may not be a problem for most
            people, but it keeps the controversy going.

            Of course, the "major" problem with him will always be his pioneering
            harmonizations, but I have always felt that this would have happened
            anyway, and that his kind of 3-part homophonic harmonization was like
            the Slavonic tones, in that it did not sufficiently distract from the
            texts to be excluded from use in an Orthodox church.

            Similarly, I believe that where contrapuntal polyphony is distracting
            from the texts of most syllabic or neumatic hymns, it's use in
            melismatic papadic hymns obscures texts as equally as
            the "kalophonic" chants that are totally accepted by Byzantine
            purists. This is why I feel that this type of polyphony could be used
            in papadic hymns with no injury to the worship of the congregation.

            Stan
          • Father Ephraim
            On Sat, 31 Dec 2005 13:33:39 -0000, Stan Takis ... Yes, I know it feels to struggle over every note to get things right, and then in the
            Message 5 of 8 , Dec 31, 2005
            • 0 Attachment
              On Sat, 31 Dec 2005 13:33:39 -0000, "Stan Takis" <takistan@...>
              said:
              > All her adaptations are painstaking endeavors.
              > She struggles over every note to get the sound right to the original
              > Greek version...

              Yes, I know it feels to struggle over every note to get things right,
              and then in the end to feel still unsatisfied with the final product.
              But both the struggle and the discontent would be greatly minimized if
              we composers had access to a library of melodic formulas for each mode.
              That is why I decided a few months ago to spend the time to codify all
              the heirmologic and sticheraric melodies of Byzantine chant. God
              willing, I will have something organized to present to you all in about
              a month.
              +Fr. Ephraim
              --
              Father Ephraim
              frephraim@...
            • Stan Takis
              Father: I did bring up your minor points to her, and she did agree with them and reiterated that she was trying to give the church that requested it an English
              Message 6 of 8 , Dec 31, 2005
              • 0 Attachment
                Father:

                I did bring up your minor points to her, and she did agree with them
                and reiterated that she was trying to give the church that requested
                it an English version of the Greek one they were using (from the
                Anastassiou hymnal). She did offer a couple of corrections directly to
                your points, which I made,
                (http://geocities.com/takistan/stbasiltrop.pdf), but she still wants
                to someday re-do it her way.

                Stan

                > Yes, I know it feels to struggle over every note to get things right,
                > and then in the end to feel still unsatisfied with the final product.
                > But both the struggle and the discontent would be greatly minimized
                if
                > we composers had access to a library of melodic formulas for each
                mode.
                > That is why I decided a few months ago to spend the time to codify
                all
                > the heirmologic and sticheraric melodies of Byzantine chant. God
                > willing, I will have something organized to present to you all in
                about
                > a month.
                > +Fr. Ephraim
                > --
                > Father Ephraim
                > frephraim@f...
                >
              • Apostolos (Paul) Combitsis
                Stan and Fr. Ephraim, Can I put in my two-cents worth? I m not an expert on English, so I m not claiming authority here. I AM, however, claiming preservation
                Message 7 of 8 , Dec 31, 2005
                • 0 Attachment
                  Stan and Fr. Ephraim,
                   
                  Can I put in my two-cents worth?  I'm not an expert on English, so I'm not claiming authority here.  I AM, however, claiming preservation of rhythmic and melodic flow based on traditional phrasings.  Although I don't care for Sakellaridis for reasons besides his harmonizations and bad phraseings on a lot of his hymns, I suppose for mixed choral purposes in the USA he will have to do.  Anyway, here are my two cents:
                   
                  $.01 - I thought that instead of "Christ God", why not use "Christ OUR God"?  I don't think that the addition of the word "our" terribly alters the meaning. 
                   
                  $.01 - I don't care for the first measure of the last line.  What I don't like about it is the melodic phrase in the 3/4 time leading up to the A in the next measure, which I feel is awkward.  Might I suggest the following:
                   
                     G     F   E     D
                  That   hi   is  great
                   1/4   1/8 1/8  1/4
                   
                  The point is to end on the D before going up to the A.  The word "that" is a quarter note, while "his" takes up two eighth notes.  The suggestion above preserves the 3/4 time while melodically preserving the traditional melodic phrase.  You could have replaced the G-F-E-D notes above with G-F-E-F, ending on the F before the A.  I think that the E is awkward.
                   
                  Okay, total of $.02.  Hope this helps.
                   
                  Apostolos
                   
                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com [mailto:greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Stan Takis
                  Sent: Saturday, December 31, 2005 8:34 AM
                  To: greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [greekorthodoxmusic] Re: Music for Sunday

                  Dear Fr. Ephraim:

                  I think Nancy would agree with you on all your points. (I could ask
                  her, but basically she wants to stay away from Internet discussions,
                  so I don't usually.) Someday, she intends to write down her own way
                  of chanting these hymns. They would be a lot different. For now, with
                  the requests she gets, she uses Sakellarides because, like it or not,
                  the melodies of Sakellarides are the ones most familiar to American
                  churches and they are the melodies people want.

                  As for your first point, if you look at the Greek version, you can
                  see that her intent was to follow the same melodic pattern in the
                  English. Sakellarides uses this cadence on "o fthongos"
                  and "edhoghmatisas." I got to listen to her think aloud on what to do
                  with the words "great mercy." She struggled with it, going through
                  several possibilities, but settled on that cadence as being
                  consistent with the rest of the hymn.

                  The same can be said for your second and fourth points, she was
                  indeed imitating the Sakellarides melodic turns. Too bad you can't
                  take up this matter with him. I would have loved to hear that
                  discussion.

                  As for the third point, you are quite right. Again, listening to her
                  think aloud, I think she decided to take artistic license and
                  interpolate a sticheraric "Christ God" for added emphasis. Maybe I'll
                  actually ask her about that one. She did mention that it was an
                  elongated form of the melodic phrase on "royal priesthood," which
                  might explain the two notes on the first syllable of "royal." She did
                  want to put two beats on the second syllable of royal, but I talked
                  her out of that one. I didn't think it was awkward with one beat. I
                  thought the extra beat interrupted the flow of the English words.
                  Changing meters is not that hard in chant, I believe. I didn't think
                  of your solution to put one note on the first syllable, and I think
                  it would have worked as well.

                  One thing I will say. All her adaptations are painstaking endeavors.
                  She struggles over every note to get the sound right to the original
                  Greek version. She knows Sakellarides broke rules and she knows she's
                  breaking rules when she adapts his melodies, but she always tries to
                  preserve the integrity of the chant she's translating.

                  Stan





                • Stan Takis
                  Dear Paul: Actually, your two cents helped a lot. I dragged her out of the kitchen and asked about your suggestions. She wouldn t use Christ OUR God because
                  Message 8 of 8 , Dec 31, 2005
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Dear Paul:

                    Actually, your two cents helped a lot. I dragged her out of the
                    kitchen and asked about your suggestions. She wouldn't use Christ OUR
                    God because the Greek doesn't have "imon" in it, but she agreed with
                    the other point, so I asked her how she would correct the Sakallarides
                    just doing it the way it sounds good to her and this is what she came
                    up with:

                    http://geocities.com/takistan/stbasiltrop.pdf

                    I said it sounded better. She replied, "Of course it does," and went
                    back to continue her cooking.

                    Stan
                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.