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Counterfeit Byzantine Chant

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  • Alexandros Andreou
    Dear Kevin, I was browsing through some music at www.orthodoxpsalm.org and came across an adaption of yours that I just uploaded to the files section of this
    Message 1 of 19 , Jan 9, 2006
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      Dear Kevin,

      I was browsing through some music at www.orthodoxpsalm.org and came
      across an adaption of yours that I just uploaded to the files section of
      this group.

      It troubles me to see such music labeled as Byzantine chant when it has
      none of the attributes characteristic of Byzantine chant. In particular,
      what distinguishes Byzantine chant from other liturgical music is that
      it is 1) homophonic, 2) modular, and 3) formulaic. This arrangement
      fails to qualify for any of these. To demonstate:

      1) It is obviously not a homophonic composition since it has three and
      sometimes four parts. Granted, the whole issue of whether polyphony or
      homophony is better depends primarily on personal taste, and therefore
      there's no point in arguing about it. But the point is that Byzantine
      chant is homophonic, consisting of melody and ison. "Four-part Byzantine
      chant" is a contradiction of terms, just as much as "a skinny fatso" is.

      2) Byzantine chant is also modular, consisting of four modes and their
      plagals. There is no such thing as Tone 8. Have you ever heard of echos
      ogdoos in Greek? But I'll let this one go, since this flaw is only in
      the upper right hand corner of the piece, and has nothing to do with the
      music. Besides, you're not the only one calling plagal fourth "Tone 8".
      However another more serious problem that makes this piece not modular
      is that it does not follow the rules of diatonic modes (or any mode, for
      that matter). The rules of diatonic modes say that the ZO (the C in a D
      major scale) is always natural except when the melody is ascending up
      past C, in which case it is sharp. But in this piece we see several
      instances where the C is sharp where it should have been natural, if it
      were to follow the rules of the diatonic mode.

      3) Byzantine chant is formulaic. In other words, certain melodic lines
      are only permissable with certain syllabic patterns. For example, the
      soprano's melody for "bring forth a son" in line 3 is never associated
      with four syllables, but always with three. The melody for "marvel" in
      line 2 is never associated with two syllables, but with three. And the
      melodic ending for "-fy you" is never associated with two syllables but
      always with one. This is a mistake I see all too frequently in
      adaptations of Greek melodies to English texts when the composer is not
      familiar enough with the Byzantine formulas to make an English text
      follow the formulaic rules, but clings to the original Greek melody at
      all costs.

      Based on all the above, I conclude that this arrangement, despite its
      pleasant melody, has no right to be called "Byzantine chant". If I am
      wrong about any of this, please correct me. But if I am right, perhaps
      you should consider calling such pieces "Modified Byzantine Chant" or
      "Modernized Byzantine Chant" or something else to that effect.

      -Alexandros
      P.S. "Allotrion" in Greek has two lambdas.


      On 10 Jan 2006 00:50:04 -0000, greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com said:
      >
      > Hello,
      >
      > This email message is a notification to let you know that
      > a file has been uploaded to the Files area of the greekorthodoxmusic
      > group.
      >
      > File : /KJL_0003[1].pdf
      > Uploaded by : aalexandros888 <aalexandros@...>
      > Description : Megalynarion of the Nativity of the Theotokos in English
      > by Kevin Lawrence
      >
      > You can access this file at the URL:
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/greekorthodoxmusic/files/KJL_0003%5B1%5D.pdf
      >
      > To learn more about file sharing for your group, please visit:
      > http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/groups/files
      >
      > Regards,
      >
      > aalexandros888 <aalexandros@...>
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      --
      Alexandros Andreou
      aalexandros@...

      --
      http://www.fastmail.fm - The way an email service should be
    • Stan Takis
      Dear Alexandros: This is a pet peeve of mine as well, so much so that I stopped referring to the music on our website as Byzantine chant, just because it was
      Message 2 of 19 , Jan 9, 2006
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        Dear Alexandros:

        This is a pet peeve of mine as well, so much so that I stopped
        referring to the music on our website as Byzantine chant, just
        because it was simplified and didn't have the ornaments. [Now that I
        know it's "metrophonia," maybe I can call it Byzantine chant
        again.] ;)

        But several composer/arrangers do this, so it's not unusal.

        Anyway, in fairness to Kevin, he DID put "Harmonization by..."
        underneath. What Kevin wrote here was obviously an English SAB
        arrangement based upon a Byzantine melody. As such, he doesn't
        necessarily have to follow the rules of the formulas, but the rules
        of English choral writing.

        Perhaps if people would put "Melody from Byzantine Chant" or "Source:
        Byzantine Chant," it would be clearer.

        (Incidentally, Kevin, my only beef is that the accent on "magnify"
        should be on the first syllable, not the last.)

        Stan
      • kjlawrence@aol.com
        Dear Alexandros, I m sorry that you don t live near; I m sure that I could learn a great deal from you about Byzantine chant. If you object to the music in
        Message 3 of 19 , Jan 9, 2006
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          Dear Alexandros,

          I'm sorry that you don't live near; I'm sure that I could learn a great deal from you about Byzantine chant. If you object to the music in question, I suppose you will do well to avoid singing it.

          You might consider that besides making the occasional mistake due to ignorance, I have knowingly made some compromises when making these arrangements. I mention these in an introduction to *The Divine Liturgy: A Hymnal*:
          "As congregations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese adjust to using English as a liturgical language, a necessary sense of continuity can be provided by keeping musical settings of English texts closely related to the neo-Byzantine melodies best known to Greek Orthodox Americans. Some adjustments to received melodies must certainly be made if music and text are to fit together in a natural and convincing way, with the music serving the message of the English text. In this volume, most changes to received melodies have been made in accordance with the musical grammar of neo-Byzantine chant; lowest priority has been given to conventions regarding number of notes per syllable. Though the resulting compositions are admittedly derivative, I believe that this approach better serves the objective of popular participation than would a newly composed repertoire of melodies."

          I hope that you and others will come up with more satisfactory solutions.

          Kevin Lawrence


          In a message dated 1/9/06 9:21:36 PM, greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com writes:

          Dear Kevin,

          I was browsing through some music at www.orthodoxpsalm.org and came
          across an adaption of yours that I just uploaded to the files section of
          this group.

          It troubles me to see such music labeled as Byzantine chant when it has
          none of the attributes characteristic of Byzantine chant. In particular,
          what distinguishes Byzantine chant from other liturgical music is that
          it is 1) homophonic, 2) modular, and 3) formulaic. This arrangement
          fails to qualify for any of these. To demonstate:

          1) It is obviously not a homophonic composition since it has three and
          sometimes four parts. Granted, the whole issue of whether polyphony or
          homophony is better depends primarily on personal taste, and therefore
          there's no point in arguing about it. But the point is that Byzantine
          chant is homophonic, consisting of melody and ison. "Four-part Byzantine
          chant" is a contradiction of terms, just as much as "a skinny fatso" is.

          2) Byzantine chant is also modular, consisting of four modes and their
          plagals. There is no such thing as Tone 8. Have you ever heard of echos
          ogdoos in Greek? But I'll let this one go, since this flaw is only in
          the upper right hand corner of the piece, and has nothing to do with the
          music. Besides, you're not the only one calling plagal fourth "Tone 8".
          However another more serious problem that makes this piece not modular
          is that it does not follow the rules of diatonic modes (or any mode, for
          that matter). The rules of diatonic modes say that the ZO (the C in a D
          major scale) is always natural except when the melody is ascending up
          past C, in which case it is sharp. But in this piece we see several
          instances where the C is sharp where it should have been natural, if it
          were to follow the rules of the diatonic mode.

          3) Byzantine chant is formulaic. In other words, certain melodic lines
          are only permissable with certain syllabic patterns. For example, the
          soprano's melody for "bring forth a son" in line 3 is never associated
          with four syllables, but always with three. The melody for "marvel" in
          line 2 is never associated with two syllables, but with three. And the
          melodic ending for "-fy you" is never associated with two syllables but
          always with one. This is a mistake I see all too frequently in
          adaptations of Greek melodies to English texts when the composer is not
          familiar enough with the Byzantine formulas to make an English text
          follow the formulaic rules, but clings to the original Greek melody at
          all costs.

          Based on all the above, I conclude that this arrangement, despite its
          pleasant melody, has no right to be called "Byzantine chant". If I am
          wrong about any of this, please correct me. But if I am right, perhaps
          you should consider calling such pieces "Modified Byzantine Chant" or
          "Modernized Byzantine Chant" or something else to that effect.

          -Alexandros
          P.S. "Allotrion" in Greek has two lambdas.
        • Alexandros Andreou
          Dear Kevin, Thank you for the explanation. But the degree to which I object to the music in question and whether or not I sing it are issues of trivial
          Message 4 of 19 , Jan 10, 2006
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            Dear Kevin,

            Thank you for the explanation. But the degree to which I object to the
            music in question and whether or not I sing it are issues of trivial
            importance. What is of greater importance is that we do not blur the
            distinction between traditional Byzantine chant and modernized
            imitations of it. That is why I only ask that you consider changing the
            way you label such music. I wouldn't expect you to rewrite all your
            music anyway.

            However, one thing you wrote puzzled me. You wrote: "most changes to
            received melodies have been made in accordance with the musical grammar
            of neo-Byzantine chant; lowest priority has been given to conventions
            regarding number of notes per syllable." In my understanding the notes
            per syllable is an integral part of the musical grammar of neo-Byzantine
            chant. There seems to be a common misconception that by merely matching
            the accentuated syllables with the emphasized parts of the melody, the
            grammar of post-Byzantine chant is satisfied. But I would say that this
            grammar consists of three things: modular rules, formulaic rules, and
            orthographical rules. By modular rules, I mean what notes a given mode
            uses for medial and final cadences. In this aspect, your music is
            completely Byzantine, as Fr. Ephraim pointed out. Formulaic rules
            dictate what musical phrases are used with what syllabic patterns.
            Sometimes your music follows these rules, and sometimes not, as I
            mentioned in my previous post. And the orthographical rules have to do
            with when to use a petaste instead of a psefiston, etc. These details
            hold only subtle implications for transcriptions in staff notation.

            I fully agree with your statement that "Some adjustments to received
            melodies must certainly be made if music and text are to fit together in
            a natural and convincing way, with the music serving the message of the
            English text." But where I disagree with you is that I believe that the
            adjustments can be made in complete accordance with the formulaic rules,
            with results that are superior to other adjustments that break these
            rules. The reason why they would be superior is because they would sound
            natural to anyone who is accustomed to hearing traditional Byzantine
            chant. I also believe they would be superior because the Byzantines,
            after centuries of experience, perfected the art of matching words to
            music. Even though Greek syllabic patterns are slightly different than
            English ones, we can still take advantage of their experience and beauty
            simply by studying and learning from their formulaic rules.

            I don't intend to raise their formulaic rules to the level of dogma,
            which they surely are not. In other words, I would not necessarily
            dismiss any melody that breaks such rules as somehow "melodically
            heretical". But if the Byzantines have already found good solutions to
            the same problems we encounter when setting a text to music, why try to
            re-invent the wheel?

            To give an example of what I mean, the melody you used for the seven
            syllables: "virgin can bring forth a son" is the exact same melody used
            in the original Greek version of this hymn for the six syllables: "e
            paidopoiia". The problem is not only the different number of syllables,
            but primarily that "paidopoiia" is accentuated on the penult, while the
            English text is accentuated on the ultima. Since almost no one is
            familiar with the original melody for this hymn, there is no point in
            trying to preserve it down to the last detail. In my opinion, applying
            the formulaic rules of Byzantine chant would have resulted in a melody
            that fits the text much better than what you used. So instead of:

            G F E# D E# F D
            vir gin can bring forth a son

            it could be made truly Byzantine by following the formulaic rules if the
            melody were to be written as follows:

            A A F G F E# D
            vir gin can bring forth a son

            As for my use of the word "counterfeit", Fr. Ephraim and Dana, I
            apologize to you and especially to Kevin for being harsh. I checked the
            dictionary to see exactly what it means, and it says: "made in imitation
            of something else with intent to deceive". I didn't mean that Kevin is
            trying to deceive people intentionally--even though many people have
            already been deceived by such labels. (Wasn't it you, Stan, who said
            that for decades you thought Byzantine music was the music of
            Anastassiou, Bogdanis, etc., because it claimed to be Byzantine?) A more
            precise word would have been "fake", which the dictionary says: "implies
            an imitation of or substitution for the genuine but does not necessarily
            imply dishonesty".

            -Alexandros

            On Mon, 9 Jan 2006 22:22:18 EST, kjlawrence@... said:
            > Dear Alexandros,
            >
            > I'm sorry that you don't live near; I'm sure that I could learn a great
            > deal
            > from you about Byzantine chant. If you object to the music in question, I
            > suppose you will do well to avoid singing it.
            >
            > You might consider that besides making the occasional mistake due to
            > ignorance, I have knowingly made some compromises when making these
            > arrangements. I
            > mention these in an introduction to *The Divine Liturgy: A Hymnal*:
            > "As congregations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese adjust to using
            > English
            > as a liturgical language, a necessary sense of continuity can be provided
            > by
            > keeping musical settings of English texts closely related to the
            > neo-Byzantine
            > melodies best known to Greek Orthodox Americans. Some adjustments to
            > received
            > melodies must certainly be made if music and text are to fit together in
            > a
            > natural and convincing way, with the music serving the message of the
            > English
            > text. In this volume, most changes to received melodies have been made in
            > accordance with the musical grammar of neo-Byzantine chant; lowest
            > priority has been
            > given to conventions regarding number of notes per syllable. Though the
            > resulting compositions are admittedly derivative, I believe that this
            > approach better
            > serves the objective of popular participation than would a newly composed
            > repertoire of melodies."
            >
            > I hope that you and others will come up with more satisfactory solutions.
            >
            > Kevin Lawrence
            >
            >
            > In a message dated 1/9/06 9:21:36 PM, greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com
            > writes:
            >
            > > Dear Kevin,
            > >
            > > I was browsing through some music at www.orthodoxpsalm.org and came
            > > across an adaption of yours that I just uploaded to the files section of
            > > this group.
            > >
            > > It troubles me to see such music labeled as Byzantine chant when it has
            > > none of the attributes characteristic of Byzantine chant. In particular,
            > > what distinguishes Byzantine chant from other liturgical music is that
            > > it is 1) homophonic, 2) modular, and 3) formulaic. This arrangement
            > > fails to qualify for any of these. To demonstate:
            > >
            > > 1) It is obviously not a homophonic composition since it has three and
            > > sometimes four parts. Granted, the whole issue of whether polyphony or
            > > homophony is better depends primarily on personal taste, and therefore
            > > there's no point in arguing about it. But the point is that Byzantine
            > > chant is homophonic, consisting of melody and ison. "Four-part Byzantine
            > > chant" is a contradiction of terms, just as much as "a skinny fatso" is.
            > >
            > > 2) Byzantine chant is also modular, consisting of four modes and their
            > > plagals. There is no such thing as Tone 8. Have you ever heard of echos
            > > ogdoos in Greek? But I'll let this one go, since this flaw is only in
            > > the upper right hand corner of the piece, and has nothing to do with the
            > > music. Besides, you're not the only one calling plagal fourth "Tone 8".
            > > However another more serious problem that makes this piece not modular
            > > is that it does not follow the rules of diatonic modes (or any mode, for
            > > that matter). The rules of diatonic modes say that the ZO (the C in a D
            > > major scale) is always natural except when the melody is ascending up
            > > past C, in which case it is sharp. But in this piece we see several
            > > instances where the C is sharp where it should have been natural, if it
            > > were to follow the rules of the diatonic mode.
            > >
            > > 3) Byzantine chant is formulaic. In other words, certain melodic lines
            > > are only permissable with certain syllabic patterns. For example, the
            > > soprano's melody for "bring forth a son" in line 3 is never associated
            > > with four syllables, but always with three. The melody for "marvel" in
            > > line 2 is never associated with two syllables, but with three. And the
            > > melodic ending for "-fy you" is never associated with two syllables but
            > > always with one. This is a mistake I see all too frequently in
            > > adaptations of Greek melodies to English texts when the composer is not
            > > familiar enough with the Byzantine formulas to make an English text
            > > follow the formulaic rules, but clings to the original Greek melody at
            > > all costs.
            > >
            > > Based on all the above, I conclude that this arrangement, despite its
            > > pleasant melody, has no right to be called "Byzantine chant". If I am
            > > wrong about any of this, please correct me. But if I am right, perhaps
            > > you should consider calling such pieces "Modified Byzantine Chant" or
            > > "Modernized Byzantine Chant" or something else to that effect.
            > >
            > > -Alexandros
            > > P.S. "Allotrion" in Greek has two lambdas.
            --
            Alexandros Andreou
            aalexandros@...

            --
            http://www.fastmail.fm - A fast, anti-spam email service.
          • dianakg2003
            Kevin, As someone who has been in a choir which uses your D.L. book, it is terrific: 1. A basically competent choir can sing it fairly well and be inspiring to
            Message 5 of 19 , Jan 13, 2006
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              Kevin,
              As someone who has been in a choir which uses your D.L. book, it is
              terrific:
              1. A basically competent choir can sing it fairly well and be
              inspiring to worship. Whether you are SATB, you can sing the music,
              and it is very good.
              2. The choir can move between Greek and English or do all of one
              or the other. The English text is adapted very well to the music…it
              still sounds like church, but you can understand what you are singing
              and praying. (some people think to understand it is not Orthodox…)
              3. If there are one or two really good voices in the choir, they
              can really do an unbelievable job with the music. One GOA I know has
              an outstanding tenor who is also a psalti. He goes up to the choir
              and does a solo intro to the Cherubic, then accompanied by the
              choir. The whole experience is spiritually awesome.
              4. To most of the parishioners, the music IS CHURCH. Some even
              sing from the pews. It connects the choir and the congregation with
              the D.L. and makes it a truly communal experience. However there are
              some people who confuse congregational singing with Protestantism and
              believe that to sit in the pews and not sing is Orthodox…That's
              because they grew up listening to psaltis singing something they
              didn't understand and couldn't sing, and they believe that is
              Orthodoxy…

              As for the discussions on the genuine "Byzantine" qualities, to me
              this is interesting, but is an academic discussion... for most
              parishes. Our choir on special days used (or attempted) Byzantine
              hymns…. in the end we had to improvise alot- changing a few notes,
              the rhythm, and sometimes a word or two. People just couldn't sing
              it. So, in the trenches that's what has to happen, or it doesn't get
              sung at all….

              Byzantine music was used in the early church because it was the music
              of the day, and of the empire, and it was performed by clergy who did
              it 24-7. And we'll never know if/how they improvised when they sang
              it… Byzantine style existed long before the church liturgy was
              organized - and the church music was selected from it and adapted
              from it as it was the predominant musical form. Now we have lay
              people, not doing it 24-7, and there are more musical styles in
              existence…and more cultures living together. The unified `empire' is
              basically now the spread of American culture and English, classical
              and pop music throughout the world… Even in Greece the kids are
              required to learn English… and speak it perfectly, not even an accent-
              I was amazed-their English better than my Greek. The Chinese are
              learning English the gov'.t is giving free lessons- many in China are
              atheist- would be interesting if English was automatically associated
              with Orthodoxy…Think of how the faith would spread… In my opinion,
              your music facilitates the D.L. and enables the growth of the faith.

              I had an interesting discussion with a young adult on `Byzantine
              perfection' and the comment was " just use a digital recording and
              don't worry about it"… in other words, the young people of today see
              that if Byzantine perfection is the goal, that's the only way you'll
              be sure you get it. In fact in order to even describe what
              Byzantine is, everyone always refers to recordings as examples.
              Wonder what would happen if we couldn't use them and if we couldn't
              use the organ to even try to figure out what it's supposed to sound
              like…? The learning of Byzantine today depends on 1) an experienced
              teacher who can physically be with the students 2) recordings and 3)
              a musical instrument. #1 hard to find, so you're left with #2 &3…In
              the end, Byzantine learning today is facilitated because of modern
              technology and instrumentation. A true 'purist' rejects that too.


              In XC, D.

              --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, kjlawrence@a... wrote:
              >
              > Dear Alexandros,
              >
              > I'm sorry that you don't live near; I'm sure that I could learn a
              great deal
              > from you about Byzantine chant. If you object to the music in
              question, I
              > suppose you will do well to avoid singing it.
              >
              > You might consider that besides making the occasional mistake due
              to
              > ignorance, I have knowingly made some compromises when making these
              arrangements. I
              > mention these in an introduction to *The Divine Liturgy: A Hymnal*:
              > "As congregations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese adjust to using
              English
              > as a liturgical language, a necessary sense of continuity can be
              provided by
              > keeping musical settings of English texts closely related to the
              neo-Byzantine
              > melodies best known to Greek Orthodox Americans. Some adjustments
              to received
              > melodies must certainly be made if music and text are to fit
              together in a
              > natural and convincing way, with the music serving the message of
              the English
              > text. In this volume, most changes to received melodies have been
              made in
              > accordance with the musical grammar of neo-Byzantine chant; lowest
              priority has been
              > given to conventions regarding number of notes per syllable. Though
              the
              > resulting compositions are admittedly derivative, I believe that
              this approach better
              > serves the objective of popular participation than would a newly
              composed
              > repertoire of melodies."
              >
              > I hope that you and others will come up with more satisfactory
              solutions.
              >
              > Kevin Lawrence
              >
              >
              > In a message dated 1/9/06 9:21:36 PM,
              greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com
              > writes:
              >
              > > Dear Kevin,
              > >
              > > I was browsing through some music at www.orthodoxpsalm.org and
              came
              > > across an adaption of yours that I just uploaded to the files
              section of
              > > this group.
              > >
              > > It troubles me to see such music labeled as Byzantine chant when
              it has
              > > none of the attributes characteristic of Byzantine chant. In
              particular,
              > > what distinguishes Byzantine chant from other liturgical music is
              that
              > > it is 1) homophonic, 2) modular, and 3) formulaic. This
              arrangement
              > > fails to qualify for any of these. To demonstate:
              > >
              > > 1) It is obviously not a homophonic composition since it has
              three and
              > > sometimes four parts. Granted, the whole issue of whether
              polyphony or
              > > homophony is better depends primarily on personal taste, and
              therefore
              > > there's no point in arguing about it. But the point is that
              Byzantine
              > > chant is homophonic, consisting of melody and ison. "Four-part
              Byzantine
              > > chant" is a contradiction of terms, just as much as "a skinny
              fatso" is.
              > >
              > > 2) Byzantine chant is also modular, consisting of four modes and
              their
              > > plagals. There is no such thing as Tone 8. Have you ever heard of
              echos
              > > ogdoos in Greek? But I'll let this one go, since this flaw is
              only in
              > > the upper right hand corner of the piece, and has nothing to do
              with the
              > > music. Besides, you're not the only one calling plagal
              fourth "Tone 8".
              > > However another more serious problem that makes this piece not
              modular
              > > is that it does not follow the rules of diatonic modes (or any
              mode, for
              > > that matter). The rules of diatonic modes say that the ZO (the C
              in a D
              > > major scale) is always natural except when the melody is
              ascending up
              > > past C, in which case it is sharp. But in this piece we see
              several
              > > instances where the C is sharp where it should have been natural,
              if it
              > > were to follow the rules of the diatonic mode.
              > >
              > > 3) Byzantine chant is formulaic. In other words, certain melodic
              lines
              > > are only permissable with certain syllabic patterns. For example,
              the
              > > soprano's melody for "bring forth a son" in line 3 is never
              associated
              > > with four syllables, but always with three. The melody
              for "marvel" in
              > > line 2 is never associated with two syllables, but with three.
              And the
              > > melodic ending for "-fy you" is never associated with two
              syllables but
              > > always with one. This is a mistake I see all too frequently in
              > > adaptations of Greek melodies to English texts when the composer
              is not
              > > familiar enough with the Byzantine formulas to make an English
              text
              > > follow the formulaic rules, but clings to the original Greek
              melody at
              > > all costs.
              > >
              > > Based on all the above, I conclude that this arrangement, despite
              its
              > > pleasant melody, has no right to be called "Byzantine chant". If
              I am
              > > wrong about any of this, please correct me. But if I am right,
              perhaps
              > > you should consider calling such pieces "Modified Byzantine
              Chant" or
              > > "Modernized Byzantine Chant" or something else to that effect.
              > >
              > > -Alexandros
              > > P.S. "Allotrion" in Greek has two lambdas.
              >
            • aalexandros888
              Dear Diana, I am disappointed to hear how little you care for the preservation of the traditions of our Church. In my post I pointed out that despite the
              Message 6 of 19 , Jan 13, 2006
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                Dear Diana,

                I am disappointed to hear how little you care for the preservation of
                the traditions of our Church. In my post I pointed out that despite
                the pleasant melody of Kevin's music, it has almost nothing to do
                with Byzantine chant, since it is neither homophonic, nor modular,
                nor formulaic. If people like his music and want to use it, this is a
                free country and that is their prerogative. But I fail to grasp how
                with a clear conscience he dares to call it "Byzantine chant".
                Putting a one sentence disclaimer in the introduction (that many
                people will never see) explaining that the music is "admittedly
                derivative" should not ease his conscience in the least.

                If people want to modernize the Church, I can't stop them. But I can
                at least ask them to be honest about what they are doing, so that
                when people come to a point in their life when they want something
                truly traditional and authentic, they will know where to find it.

                St. Arsenios of Cappadocia had a similar complaint about the
                Evangelical Protestants who attempted to proselytize his small flock
                in Asia Minor 100 years ago. He said, "The Turks present themselves
                as Turks, and so people take measures against them. But the
                Protestants present themselves as Christian friends and hold the
                Bible, and thus the simple people are fooled, so they are much more
                dangerous than the Turks."

                Along the same lines, I would say that contemporary rock stars
                present no danger to Byzantine music. But people like Kevin who claim
                that their music is "Byzantine chant" are a real threat because they
                blur the difference between what is authentic and what is counterfeit
                (or "fake" to be more precise).

                Yes, authentic Byzantine chant is harder to learn than watered-down
                imitations. Likewise, authentic Byzantine iconography is harder to
                learn than drawing cartoons. But if we don't put up with cartoon
                icons in our church, why should we put up with music that is more
                Protestant than Orthodox? Could it be because we ourselves have
                imperceptibly become more Protestant than Orthodox?

                You said that your choir attempted on special feast days something
                truly Byzantine but it didn't work out. What do you expect? I bet if
                your choir did authentic Byzantine chant throughout the year, and
                then tried some polyphonic music once or twice, they would miserably
                fail just as much.

                If Byzantine chant were out-of-date or inapplicable in America, as
                you seem to view it, how do explain the fact that in Australia (which
                has a Western culture not too much different than ours) it is
                flourishing?

                Your concept of music history is also grossly incorrect. You
                said: "Byzantine style existed long before the church liturgy was
                organized - and the church music was selected from it and adapted
                from it as it was the predominant musical form." Where did you ever
                get that idea from? The liturgy was organized centuries before the
                octoechos was ever invented. Besides, what I think you mean by
                the "Byzantine style" is primarily the style of St. John Koukouzelis
                in the 14th century. Although the music used by the early church was
                most likely similar to the music of the day, the Church and her
                inspired melodists took that original form in a totally new and
                spiritual direction, and perfected over centuries. Only a fool or a
                Protestant would discard so easily the rich heritage that our
                forefathers worked so hard to develop.

                I even disagree with your prerequisites of learning Byzantine chant.
                I would say only two things are necessary today: 1) the desire to
                learn it, and 2) access to the internet. The internet is now full of
                instructive material and recordings (take a look at www.analogion.net
                for example) and even a Yahoo! discussion group, so that anyone with
                the desire to learn can do so. Of course, having an experienced
                teacher next to you helps, but I know plenty of people who have made
                tremendous progress without one.

                Forgive me if I have offended you, but it upsets me to see the truth
                distorted.

                -Alexandros


                --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, "dianakg2003"
                <kizzymail51@h...> wrote:
                >
                > Kevin,
                > As someone who has been in a choir which uses your D.L. book, it is
                > terrific:
                > 1. A basically competent choir can sing it fairly well and be
                > inspiring to worship. Whether you are SATB, you can sing the music,
                > and it is very good.
                > 2. The choir can move between Greek and English or do all of one
                > or the other. The English text is adapted very well to the music…
                it
                > still sounds like church, but you can understand what you are
                singing
                > and praying. (some people think to understand it is not Orthodox…)
                > 3. If there are one or two really good voices in the choir, they
                > can really do an unbelievable job with the music. One GOA I know
                has
                > an outstanding tenor who is also a psalti. He goes up to the choir
                > and does a solo intro to the Cherubic, then accompanied by the
                > choir. The whole experience is spiritually awesome.
                > 4. To most of the parishioners, the music IS CHURCH. Some even
                > sing from the pews. It connects the choir and the congregation with
                > the D.L. and makes it a truly communal experience. However there
                are
                > some people who confuse congregational singing with Protestantism
                and
                > believe that to sit in the pews and not sing is Orthodox…That's
                > because they grew up listening to psaltis singing something they
                > didn't understand and couldn't sing, and they believe that is
                > Orthodoxy…
                >
                > As for the discussions on the genuine "Byzantine" qualities, to me
                > this is interesting, but is an academic discussion... for most
                > parishes. Our choir on special days used (or attempted) Byzantine
                > hymns…. in the end we had to improvise alot- changing a few notes,
                > the rhythm, and sometimes a word or two. People just couldn't sing
                > it. So, in the trenches that's what has to happen, or it doesn't
                get
                > sung at all….
                >
                > Byzantine music was used in the early church because it was the
                music
                > of the day, and of the empire, and it was performed by clergy who
                did
                > it 24-7. And we'll never know if/how they improvised when they
                sang
                > it… Byzantine style existed long before the church liturgy was
                > organized - and the church music was selected from it and adapted
                > from it as it was the predominant musical form. Now we have lay
                > people, not doing it 24-7, and there are more musical styles in
                > existence…and more cultures living together. The unified `empire'
                is
                > basically now the spread of American culture and English, classical
                > and pop music throughout the world… Even in Greece the kids are
                > required to learn English… and speak it perfectly, not even an
                accent-
                > I was amazed-their English better than my Greek. The Chinese are
                > learning English the gov'.t is giving free lessons- many in China
                are
                > atheist- would be interesting if English was automatically
                associated
                > with Orthodoxy…Think of how the faith would spread… In my opinion,
                > your music facilitates the D.L. and enables the growth of the
                faith.
                >
                > I had an interesting discussion with a young adult on `Byzantine
                > perfection' and the comment was " just use a digital recording
                and
                > don't worry about it"… in other words, the young people of today
                see
                > that if Byzantine perfection is the goal, that's the only way
                you'll
                > be sure you get it. In fact in order to even describe what
                > Byzantine is, everyone always refers to recordings as examples.
                > Wonder what would happen if we couldn't use them and if we couldn't
                > use the organ to even try to figure out what it's supposed to sound
                > like…? The learning of Byzantine today depends on 1) an
                experienced
                > teacher who can physically be with the students 2) recordings and
                3)
                > a musical instrument. #1 hard to find, so you're left with #2 &3…
                In
                > the end, Byzantine learning today is facilitated because of modern
                > technology and instrumentation. A true 'purist' rejects that too.
                >
                >
                > In XC, D.
                >
                > --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, kjlawrence@a... wrote:
                > >
                > > Dear Alexandros,
                > >
                > > I'm sorry that you don't live near; I'm sure that I could learn a
                > great deal
                > > from you about Byzantine chant. If you object to the music in
                > question, I
                > > suppose you will do well to avoid singing it.
                > >
                > > You might consider that besides making the occasional mistake due
                > to
                > > ignorance, I have knowingly made some compromises when making
                these
                > arrangements. I
                > > mention these in an introduction to *The Divine Liturgy: A
                Hymnal*:
                > > "As congregations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese adjust to
                using
                > English
                > > as a liturgical language, a necessary sense of continuity can be
                > provided by
                > > keeping musical settings of English texts closely related to the
                > neo-Byzantine
                > > melodies best known to Greek Orthodox Americans. Some adjustments
                > to received
                > > melodies must certainly be made if music and text are to fit
                > together in a
                > > natural and convincing way, with the music serving the message of
                > the English
                > > text. In this volume, most changes to received melodies have been
                > made in
                > > accordance with the musical grammar of neo-Byzantine chant;
                lowest
                > priority has been
                > > given to conventions regarding number of notes per syllable.
                Though
                > the
                > > resulting compositions are admittedly derivative, I believe that
                > this approach better
                > > serves the objective of popular participation than would a newly
                > composed
                > > repertoire of melodies."
                > >
                > > I hope that you and others will come up with more satisfactory
                > solutions.
                > >
                > > Kevin Lawrence
                > >
                > >
                > > In a message dated 1/9/06 9:21:36 PM,
                > greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com
                > > writes:
                > >
                > > > Dear Kevin,
                > > >
                > > > I was browsing through some music at www.orthodoxpsalm.org and
                > came
                > > > across an adaption of yours that I just uploaded to the files
                > section of
                > > > this group.
                > > >
                > > > It troubles me to see such music labeled as Byzantine chant
                when
                > it has
                > > > none of the attributes characteristic of Byzantine chant. In
                > particular,
                > > > what distinguishes Byzantine chant from other liturgical music
                is
                > that
                > > > it is 1) homophonic, 2) modular, and 3) formulaic. This
                > arrangement
                > > > fails to qualify for any of these. To demonstate:
                > > >
                > > > 1) It is obviously not a homophonic composition since it has
                > three and
                > > > sometimes four parts. Granted, the whole issue of whether
                > polyphony or
                > > > homophony is better depends primarily on personal taste, and
                > therefore
                > > > there's no point in arguing about it. But the point is that
                > Byzantine
                > > > chant is homophonic, consisting of melody and ison. "Four-part
                > Byzantine
                > > > chant" is a contradiction of terms, just as much as "a skinny
                > fatso" is.
                > > >
                > > > 2) Byzantine chant is also modular, consisting of four modes
                and
                > their
                > > > plagals. There is no such thing as Tone 8. Have you ever heard
                of
                > echos
                > > > ogdoos in Greek? But I'll let this one go, since this flaw is
                > only in
                > > > the upper right hand corner of the piece, and has nothing to do
                > with the
                > > > music. Besides, you're not the only one calling plagal
                > fourth "Tone 8".
                > > > However another more serious problem that makes this piece not
                > modular
                > > > is that it does not follow the rules of diatonic modes (or any
                > mode, for
                > > > that matter). The rules of diatonic modes say that the ZO (the
                C
                > in a D
                > > > major scale) is always natural except when the melody is
                > ascending up
                > > > past C, in which case it is sharp. But in this piece we see
                > several
                > > > instances where the C is sharp where it should have been
                natural,
                > if it
                > > > were to follow the rules of the diatonic mode.
                > > >
                > > > 3) Byzantine chant is formulaic. In other words, certain
                melodic
                > lines
                > > > are only permissable with certain syllabic patterns. For
                example,
                > the
                > > > soprano's melody for "bring forth a son" in line 3 is never
                > associated
                > > > with four syllables, but always with three. The melody
                > for "marvel" in
                > > > line 2 is never associated with two syllables, but with three.
                > And the
                > > > melodic ending for "-fy you" is never associated with two
                > syllables but
                > > > always with one. This is a mistake I see all too frequently in
                > > > adaptations of Greek melodies to English texts when the
                composer
                > is not
                > > > familiar enough with the Byzantine formulas to make an English
                > text
                > > > follow the formulaic rules, but clings to the original Greek
                > melody at
                > > > all costs.
                > > >
                > > > Based on all the above, I conclude that this arrangement,
                despite
                > its
                > > > pleasant melody, has no right to be called "Byzantine chant".
                If
                > I am
                > > > wrong about any of this, please correct me. But if I am right,
                > perhaps
                > > > you should consider calling such pieces "Modified Byzantine
                > Chant" or
                > > > "Modernized Byzantine Chant" or something else to that effect.
                > > >
                > > > -Alexandros
                > > > P.S. "Allotrion" in Greek has two lambdas.
                > >
                >
              • Stan Takis
                Dear Alexandros: I d like you to elaborate on your watered-down imitations definition. Even Byzantine experts seem to disagree on what is truly authentic
                Message 7 of 19 , Jan 13, 2006
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                  Dear Alexandros:

                  I'd like you to elaborate on your "watered-down imitations"
                  definition. Even Byzantine experts seem to disagree on what is
                  truly "authentic Byzantine chant," whether it's Chrysanthine or pre-
                  Chrysanthine, Karas, Sakellarides, or whatever. If you took Fr.
                  Ephraim's example of melos and metrophonia, would the metrophonia be
                  considered watered-down, or merely simplified? Or would watered-down
                  refer only to Western harmony, which some feel wraps a layer of
                  honeyed gauze over the melodies? (Aren't my metaphors great?)

                  I favor simplified chant because it allows choirs like Diana's to
                  participate in formulas, modes, isons, heirmos, stichera, papadic,
                  and other Byzantine practices. Most of the choirs in our churches, as
                  Diana rightly points out, are not capable of the ornamented, micro-
                  tuned chant. I know mine isn't. So we use Kevin's music, or Gallos,
                  or Anastassiou or something like it. Or, the other alternative is we
                  just quit singing and let the psaltes do everything. But, hey, wait a
                  minute. A lot of churches don't have trained psaltes or none at all,
                  so now what do we do?

                  I could take scores from the St. Anthony website and try to teach
                  them to my choir, but we would make slow progress. It would take
                  years for us to try and sing everything a trained psalti sings, and
                  in the process a lot of people would probably quit out of
                  frustration, because it's too hard for them. My choir learned the
                  entire plagal fourth liturgy on my website
                  (http://geocities.com/takistan/liturgy8s.pdf) in a matter of a few
                  weeks. Some sight-read it perfectly. Most of my choir members can
                  read Western music and it was comforting to them to see time
                  signatures and key signatures and bar lines and repeat signs. Most
                  attempts at notating Byzantine music on a Western staff eschew these
                  things. I don't see it as "watered-down." I see it as accessible.

                  Stan
                • Alexandros Andreou
                  Dear Stan, I think even the Byzantine music experts would agree that, although the received tradition of Byzantine chant has (as one would expect) different
                  Message 8 of 19 , Jan 13, 2006
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                    Dear Stan,

                    I think even the Byzantine music experts would agree that, although the
                    received tradition of Byzantine chant has (as one would expect)
                    different forms in Constantinople, in Athens, in Mt. Athos, in
                    Jerusalem, etc., they are still all valid continuations of the
                    traditional chant of the Greek Orthodox Church. They would certainly
                    have their preferences, but that's a minor issue, and they know it is. I
                    think the same experts would also agree that music that is polyphonic,
                    that breaks the formulaic rules, and breaks the rules of modes does not
                    qualify as being a valid continuation of the traditional chant of the
                    Greek Orthodox Church. There are also forms of "Byzantine" music out
                    there that are located in various points in the spectrum between
                    Thrasyvoulos Stanitsas and Kevin Lawrence. The question is, how much can
                    you distort the original before you need to give it another name? This
                    is where people will surely disagree, so arguing about it will not be
                    fruitful. But if the definition of Byzantine chant is music with
                    characteristics X, Y, and Z, and if John Doe's music lacks both X, Y,
                    and Z, we can objectively conclude that Mr. Doe has no right to call his
                    music Byzantine. If John Doe refuses to admit this, he is either
                    stubborn or stupid.

                    I have no problem with amateur choirs using simplified chant (like
                    Nancy's). We need to be practical. At least her music is homophonic,
                    formulaic, and modular. Even though it lacks the implied embellishments
                    that Byzantine chanters add, that is one of the ingredients that can be
                    left out if necessary. By "necessary" I mean when the choir members
                    can't handle all those 16th notes.

                    -Alexandros

                    On Fri, 13 Jan 2006 20:50:53 -0000, "Stan Takis" <takistan@...>
                    said:
                    >
                    > Dear Alexandros:
                    > I'd like you to elaborate on your "watered-down imitations"
                    > definition. Even Byzantine experts seem to disagree on what is
                    > truly "authentic Byzantine chant," whether it's Chrysanthine or
                    > pre-
                    > Chrysanthine, Karas, Sakellarides, or whatever. If you took Fr.
                    > Ephraim's example of melos and metrophonia, would the
                    > metrophonia be
                    > considered watered-down, or merely simplified? Or would
                    > watered-down
                    > refer only to Western harmony, which some feel wraps a layer of
                    > honeyed gauze over the melodies? (Aren't my metaphors great?)
                    > I favor simplified chant because it allows choirs like Diana's
                    > to
                    > participate in formulas, modes, isons, heirmos, stichera,
                    > papadic,
                    > and other Byzantine practices. Most of the choirs in our
                    > churches, as
                    > Diana rightly points out, are not capable of the ornamented,
                    > micro-
                    > tuned chant. I know mine isn't. So we use Kevin's music, or
                    > Gallos,
                    > or Anastassiou or something like it. Or, the other alternative
                    > is we
                    > just quit singing and let the psaltes do everything. But, hey,
                    > wait a
                    > minute. A lot of churches don't have trained psaltes or none at
                    > all,
                    > so now what do we do?
                    > I could take scores from the St. Anthony website and try to
                    > teach
                    > them to my choir, but we would make slow progress. It would take
                    > years for us to try and sing everything a trained psalti sings,
                    > and
                    > in the process a lot of people would probably quit out of
                    > frustration, because it's too hard for them. My choir learned
                    > the
                    > entire plagal fourth liturgy on my website
                    > ([1]http://geocities.com/takistan/liturgy8s.pdf) in a matter of
                    > a few
                    > weeks. Some sight-read it perfectly. Most of my choir members
                    > can
                    > read Western music and it was comforting to them to see time
                    > signatures and key signatures and bar lines and repeat signs.
                    > Most
                    > attempts at notating Byzantine music on a Western staff eschew
                    > these
                    > things. I don't see it as "watered-down." I see it as
                    > accessible.
                    > Stan
                    > ___________________________________________________________
                    >
                    > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
                    >
                    > * Visit your group "[2]greekorthodoxmusic" on the web.
                    >
                    > * To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                    > [3]greekorthodoxmusic-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                    >
                    > * Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the [4]Yahoo! Terms
                    > of Service.
                    > ___________________________________________________________
                    >
                    > References
                    >
                    > 1. http://geocities.com/takistan/liturgy8s.pdf)
                    > 2. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/greekorthodoxmusic
                    > 3.
                    > mailto:greekorthodoxmusic-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe
                    > 4. http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    --
                    Alexandros Andreou
                    aalexandros@...

                    --
                    http://www.fastmail.fm - And now for something completely different…
                  • kjlawrence@aol.com
                    ... Dear Alexandros, Since I did not write these melodies I have to give them an attribution. You will recall that an anonymous writer corrected Fr. Ephraim
                    Message 9 of 19 , Jan 13, 2006
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                      >...In my post I pointed out that despite
                      >the pleasant melody of Kevin's music, it has almost nothing to do
                      >with Byzantine chant, since it is neither homophonic, nor modular,
                      >nor formulaic. If people like his music and want to use it, this is a
                      >free country and that is their prerogative. But I fail to grasp how
                      >with a clear conscience he dares to call it "Byzantine chant".

                      Dear Alexandros,

                      Since I did not write these melodies I have to give them an attribution. You will recall that an anonymous writer corrected Fr. Ephraim for crediting me with the fact that the melodic structure of the megalynarion you posted honored the grammar of Byzantine chant. It would certainly be wrong of me to pretend that I have written such a melody.

                      I have written a very few pieces of liturgical music: Doxastika for the vesperal liturgies of the eve of Christmas and Theophony, a Trisagion, an Our Father and a Cherubic Hymn. To these I simply sign my name.

                      Kevin
                    • dianakg2003
                      Dear Alexandros, It is not that I don t care for the preservation of traditions, but I care more for the preservation of the church as a whole - a church I
                      Message 10 of 19 , Jan 13, 2006
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                        Dear Alexandros, It is not that I don't care for the preservation of
                        traditions, but I care more for the preservation of the church as a
                        whole - a church I see in a serious situation. It's just a question
                        of priorities and limited resources.
                        Traditions are handed down between generations, but evolve in the
                        process. Even the D.L, originally performed as a 'supper' evening
                        service, became a morning service. My point is this: There aren't
                        that many teachers and clergy to go around serving the liturgy, and
                        baptizing new parishioners, trying to minimize attrition, etc. With
                        something like 50% of Americans not baptized, that should be the
                        priority- and it is not a focus- not even on the Big Radar screen.
                        We need to be careful when we absolutely insist on a musical form
                        very few can do.... I think it's great that there are those who are
                        trying to write /translate/ and publish "Byzantine" hymns for use
                        today. For those that have the time to learn it, and the skill,
                        great. What I object to are people who criticize the D.L., when
                        other music is used and calling it Protestant- that's an erroneos
                        label as much as you say the 'byzantine' label is.

                        The polyphonic music we have used took very little rehearsing to get
                        it.. The specials I was able to get, but people in the choir
                        weren't ready for a female soloist... The priest couldn't help us.
                        So, this is reality. The thing to remember is that there is a whole
                        world of music instruction supporting learning how to read/sing
                        music. There are a handful of individuals tyring to 'preserve
                        Byzantine music'.

                        As for Australia, I've been there- and it is very different from
                        America- it does not have the cultural diversity America has, nor the
                        population - Fewer people than California in a land bigger than
                        America - and all the people are in a few hubs. From my work
                        experience I will tell you from a consumer products point of view the
                        country is always the odd one out-never the same as any of the other
                        Western countries- in anything- so why the form is enjoying a
                        resurgence there? I don't know - maybe a zealous teacher who can
                        reach the few parishes there. The task in America is much much
                        bigger and the role of America in spreading the faith is very
                        important just due to the size of the country.

                        In XC, D.



                        --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, "aalexandros888"
                        <aalexandros@f...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Dear Diana,
                        >
                        > I am disappointed to hear how little you care for the preservation
                        of
                        > the traditions of our Church. In my post I pointed out that despite
                        > the pleasant melody of Kevin's music, it has almost nothing to do
                        > with Byzantine chant, since it is neither homophonic, nor modular,
                        > nor formulaic. If people like his music and want to use it, this is
                        a
                        > free country and that is their prerogative. But I fail to grasp how
                        > with a clear conscience he dares to call it "Byzantine chant".
                        > Putting a one sentence disclaimer in the introduction (that many
                        > people will never see) explaining that the music is "admittedly
                        > derivative" should not ease his conscience in the least.
                        >
                        > If people want to modernize the Church, I can't stop them. But I
                        can
                        > at least ask them to be honest about what they are doing, so that
                        > when people come to a point in their life when they want something
                        > truly traditional and authentic, they will know where to find it.
                        >
                        > St. Arsenios of Cappadocia had a similar complaint about the
                        > Evangelical Protestants who attempted to proselytize his small
                        flock
                        > in Asia Minor 100 years ago. He said, "The Turks present themselves
                        > as Turks, and so people take measures against them. But the
                        > Protestants present themselves as Christian friends and hold the
                        > Bible, and thus the simple people are fooled, so they are much more
                        > dangerous than the Turks."
                        >
                        > Along the same lines, I would say that contemporary rock stars
                        > present no danger to Byzantine music. But people like Kevin who
                        claim
                        > that their music is "Byzantine chant" are a real threat because
                        they
                        > blur the difference between what is authentic and what is
                        counterfeit
                        > (or "fake" to be more precise).
                        >
                        > Yes, authentic Byzantine chant is harder to learn than watered-down
                        > imitations. Likewise, authentic Byzantine iconography is harder to
                        > learn than drawing cartoons. But if we don't put up with cartoon
                        > icons in our church, why should we put up with music that is more
                        > Protestant than Orthodox? Could it be because we ourselves have
                        > imperceptibly become more Protestant than Orthodox?
                        >
                        > You said that your choir attempted on special feast days something
                        > truly Byzantine but it didn't work out. What do you expect? I bet
                        if
                        > your choir did authentic Byzantine chant throughout the year, and
                        > then tried some polyphonic music once or twice, they would
                        miserably
                        > fail just as much.
                        >
                        > If Byzantine chant were out-of-date or inapplicable in America, as
                        > you seem to view it, how do explain the fact that in Australia
                        (which
                        > has a Western culture not too much different than ours) it is
                        > flourishing?
                        >
                        > Your concept of music history is also grossly incorrect. You
                        > said: "Byzantine style existed long before the church liturgy was
                        > organized - and the church music was selected from it and adapted
                        > from it as it was the predominant musical form." Where did you ever
                        > get that idea from? The liturgy was organized centuries before the
                        > octoechos was ever invented. Besides, what I think you mean by
                        > the "Byzantine style" is primarily the style of St. John
                        Koukouzelis
                        > in the 14th century. Although the music used by the early church
                        was
                        > most likely similar to the music of the day, the Church and her
                        > inspired melodists took that original form in a totally new and
                        > spiritual direction, and perfected over centuries. Only a fool or a
                        > Protestant would discard so easily the rich heritage that our
                        > forefathers worked so hard to develop.
                        >
                        > I even disagree with your prerequisites of learning Byzantine
                        chant.
                        > I would say only two things are necessary today: 1) the desire to
                        > learn it, and 2) access to the internet. The internet is now full
                        of
                        > instructive material and recordings (take a look at
                        www.analogion.net
                        > for example) and even a Yahoo! discussion group, so that anyone
                        with
                        > the desire to learn can do so. Of course, having an experienced
                        > teacher next to you helps, but I know plenty of people who have
                        made
                        > tremendous progress without one.
                        >
                        > Forgive me if I have offended you, but it upsets me to see the
                        truth
                        > distorted.
                        >
                        > -Alexandros
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, "dianakg2003"
                        > <kizzymail51@h...> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Kevin,
                        > > As someone who has been in a choir which uses your D.L. book, it
                        is
                        > > terrific:
                        > > 1. A basically competent choir can sing it fairly well and be
                        > > inspiring to worship. Whether you are SATB, you can sing the
                        music,
                        > > and it is very good.
                        > > 2. The choir can move between Greek and English or do all of one
                        > > or the other. The English text is adapted very well to the music…
                        > it
                        > > still sounds like church, but you can understand what you are
                        > singing
                        > > and praying. (some people think to understand it is not Orthodox…)
                        > > 3. If there are one or two really good voices in the choir, they
                        > > can really do an unbelievable job with the music. One GOA I know
                        > has
                        > > an outstanding tenor who is also a psalti. He goes up to the
                        choir
                        > > and does a solo intro to the Cherubic, then accompanied by the
                        > > choir. The whole experience is spiritually awesome.
                        > > 4. To most of the parishioners, the music IS CHURCH. Some even
                        > > sing from the pews. It connects the choir and the congregation
                        with
                        > > the D.L. and makes it a truly communal experience. However there
                        > are
                        > > some people who confuse congregational singing with Protestantism
                        > and
                        > > believe that to sit in the pews and not sing is Orthodox…That's
                        > > because they grew up listening to psaltis singing something they
                        > > didn't understand and couldn't sing, and they believe that is
                        > > Orthodoxy…
                        > >
                        > > As for the discussions on the genuine "Byzantine" qualities, to
                        me
                        > > this is interesting, but is an academic discussion... for most
                        > > parishes. Our choir on special days used (or attempted)
                        Byzantine
                        > > hymns…. in the end we had to improvise alot- changing a few
                        notes,
                        > > the rhythm, and sometimes a word or two. People just couldn't
                        sing
                        > > it. So, in the trenches that's what has to happen, or it doesn't
                        > get
                        > > sung at all….
                        > >
                        > > Byzantine music was used in the early church because it was the
                        > music
                        > > of the day, and of the empire, and it was performed by clergy who
                        > did
                        > > it 24-7. And we'll never know if/how they improvised when they
                        > sang
                        > > it… Byzantine style existed long before the church liturgy was
                        > > organized - and the church music was selected from it and adapted
                        > > from it as it was the predominant musical form. Now we have lay
                        > > people, not doing it 24-7, and there are more musical styles in
                        > > existence…and more cultures living together. The unified
                        `empire'
                        > is
                        > > basically now the spread of American culture and English,
                        classical
                        > > and pop music throughout the world… Even in Greece the kids are
                        > > required to learn English… and speak it perfectly, not even an
                        > accent-
                        > > I was amazed-their English better than my Greek. The Chinese
                        are
                        > > learning English the gov'.t is giving free lessons- many in China
                        > are
                        > > atheist- would be interesting if English was automatically
                        > associated
                        > > with Orthodoxy…Think of how the faith would spread… In my
                        opinion,
                        > > your music facilitates the D.L. and enables the growth of the
                        > faith.
                        > >
                        > > I had an interesting discussion with a young adult on `Byzantine
                        > > perfection' and the comment was " just use a digital recording
                        > and
                        > > don't worry about it"… in other words, the young people of today
                        > see
                        > > that if Byzantine perfection is the goal, that's the only way
                        > you'll
                        > > be sure you get it. In fact in order to even describe what
                        > > Byzantine is, everyone always refers to recordings as examples.
                        > > Wonder what would happen if we couldn't use them and if we
                        couldn't
                        > > use the organ to even try to figure out what it's supposed to
                        sound
                        > > like…? The learning of Byzantine today depends on 1) an
                        > experienced
                        > > teacher who can physically be with the students 2) recordings and
                        > 3)
                        > > a musical instrument. #1 hard to find, so you're left with #2
                        &3…
                        > In
                        > > the end, Byzantine learning today is facilitated because of
                        modern
                        > > technology and instrumentation. A true 'purist' rejects that
                        too.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > In XC, D.
                        > >
                        > > --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, kjlawrence@a... wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > > Dear Alexandros,
                        > > >
                        > > > I'm sorry that you don't live near; I'm sure that I could learn
                        a
                        > > great deal
                        > > > from you about Byzantine chant. If you object to the music in
                        > > question, I
                        > > > suppose you will do well to avoid singing it.
                        > > >
                        > > > You might consider that besides making the occasional mistake
                        due
                        > > to
                        > > > ignorance, I have knowingly made some compromises when making
                        > these
                        > > arrangements. I
                        > > > mention these in an introduction to *The Divine Liturgy: A
                        > Hymnal*:
                        > > > "As congregations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese adjust to
                        > using
                        > > English
                        > > > as a liturgical language, a necessary sense of continuity can
                        be
                        > > provided by
                        > > > keeping musical settings of English texts closely related to
                        the
                        > > neo-Byzantine
                        > > > melodies best known to Greek Orthodox Americans. Some
                        adjustments
                        > > to received
                        > > > melodies must certainly be made if music and text are to fit
                        > > together in a
                        > > > natural and convincing way, with the music serving the message
                        of
                        > > the English
                        > > > text. In this volume, most changes to received melodies have
                        been
                        > > made in
                        > > > accordance with the musical grammar of neo-Byzantine chant;
                        > lowest
                        > > priority has been
                        > > > given to conventions regarding number of notes per syllable.
                        > Though
                        > > the
                        > > > resulting compositions are admittedly derivative, I believe
                        that
                        > > this approach better
                        > > > serves the objective of popular participation than would a
                        newly
                        > > composed
                        > > > repertoire of melodies."
                        > > >
                        > > > I hope that you and others will come up with more satisfactory
                        > > solutions.
                        > > >
                        > > > Kevin Lawrence
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > In a message dated 1/9/06 9:21:36 PM,
                        > > greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com
                        > > > writes:
                        > > >
                        > > > > Dear Kevin,
                        > > > >
                        > > > > I was browsing through some music at www.orthodoxpsalm.org
                        and
                        > > came
                        > > > > across an adaption of yours that I just uploaded to the files
                        > > section of
                        > > > > this group.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > It troubles me to see such music labeled as Byzantine chant
                        > when
                        > > it has
                        > > > > none of the attributes characteristic of Byzantine chant. In
                        > > particular,
                        > > > > what distinguishes Byzantine chant from other liturgical
                        music
                        > is
                        > > that
                        > > > > it is 1) homophonic, 2) modular, and 3) formulaic. This
                        > > arrangement
                        > > > > fails to qualify for any of these. To demonstate:
                        > > > >
                        > > > > 1) It is obviously not a homophonic composition since it has
                        > > three and
                        > > > > sometimes four parts. Granted, the whole issue of whether
                        > > polyphony or
                        > > > > homophony is better depends primarily on personal taste, and
                        > > therefore
                        > > > > there's no point in arguing about it. But the point is that
                        > > Byzantine
                        > > > > chant is homophonic, consisting of melody and ison. "Four-
                        part
                        > > Byzantine
                        > > > > chant" is a contradiction of terms, just as much as "a skinny
                        > > fatso" is.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > 2) Byzantine chant is also modular, consisting of four modes
                        > and
                        > > their
                        > > > > plagals. There is no such thing as Tone 8. Have you ever
                        heard
                        > of
                        > > echos
                        > > > > ogdoos in Greek? But I'll let this one go, since this flaw is
                        > > only in
                        > > > > the upper right hand corner of the piece, and has nothing to
                        do
                        > > with the
                        > > > > music. Besides, you're not the only one calling plagal
                        > > fourth "Tone 8".
                        > > > > However another more serious problem that makes this piece
                        not
                        > > modular
                        > > > > is that it does not follow the rules of diatonic modes (or
                        any
                        > > mode, for
                        > > > > that matter). The rules of diatonic modes say that the ZO
                        (the
                        > C
                        > > in a D
                        > > > > major scale) is always natural except when the melody is
                        > > ascending up
                        > > > > past C, in which case it is sharp. But in this piece we see
                        > > several
                        > > > > instances where the C is sharp where it should have been
                        > natural,
                        > > if it
                        > > > > were to follow the rules of the diatonic mode.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > 3) Byzantine chant is formulaic. In other words, certain
                        > melodic
                        > > lines
                        > > > > are only permissable with certain syllabic patterns. For
                        > example,
                        > > the
                        > > > > soprano's melody for "bring forth a son" in line 3 is never
                        > > associated
                        > > > > with four syllables, but always with three. The melody
                        > > for "marvel" in
                        > > > > line 2 is never associated with two syllables, but with
                        three.
                        > > And the
                        > > > > melodic ending for "-fy you" is never associated with two
                        > > syllables but
                        > > > > always with one. This is a mistake I see all too frequently in
                        > > > > adaptations of Greek melodies to English texts when the
                        > composer
                        > > is not
                        > > > > familiar enough with the Byzantine formulas to make an
                        English
                        > > text
                        > > > > follow the formulaic rules, but clings to the original Greek
                        > > melody at
                        > > > > all costs.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > Based on all the above, I conclude that this arrangement,
                        > despite
                        > > its
                        > > > > pleasant melody, has no right to be called "Byzantine chant".
                        > If
                        > > I am
                        > > > > wrong about any of this, please correct me. But if I am
                        right,
                        > > perhaps
                        > > > > you should consider calling such pieces "Modified Byzantine
                        > > Chant" or
                        > > > > "Modernized Byzantine Chant" or something else to that effect.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > -Alexandros
                        > > > > P.S. "Allotrion" in Greek has two lambdas.
                        > > >
                        > >
                        >
                      • greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com
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