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Re: Counterfeit Byzantine Chant

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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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                          Hello,

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                            Hello,

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