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Re: Western Musicians

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  • Stan Takis
    ... any ... truly ... (just as ... Sam: I agree with you on the English. The problem is that the GOA had always been a church of immigrants for whom Greek was
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 23, 2006
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      --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, Samuel Herron
      <herron.samuel@...> wrote:

      > I, as I stated earlier, have found that current
      > American music doesn't have any elements that could then be used in
      > Orthodoxy and BM really appeals to people who are searching because of
      > its penitent and prayerful nature. If done in English with proper
      > diction BM is the tool to really capture the people in America truly
      > searching for the truth, IMHO. I advocate English constantly to the
      > annoyance of my chanting teacher and priest and others because I find
      > Greek to be useless in American parishes. That, I believe, more than
      > other issue is the key to bringing Orthodoxy to America and I also
      > believe that the lack of good chanting materials in English AND
      (just as
      > importantly) lack of psalti willing to do English has contributed much
      > to the situation today. As a non Greek American born Orthodox Christian
      > who was born in the Church I believe I have a unique perspective on it.
      > I have no loyalty to the old country or to my ancestors or to the Greek
      > language. I cannot stress enough how important and edifying it feels to
      > hear properly done BM in ones own language. It truly is a unique
      > spiritual experience that truly speaks to ones soul and this is what i
      > have experienced and is why I advocate keeping the Byzantine Musical
      > system but develop English chanting to it and with it.


      I agree with you on the English. The problem is that the GOA had
      always been a church of immigrants for whom Greek was native until the
      last 30 years or so. Since then they've been exercising a juggling act
      between the two languages. Bilingual liturgies never made sense to me,
      since the liturgy is an entire work and if you only know one language,
      you're only getting disconnected bits and pieces. What we do in St.
      Clair Shores is alternate Greek and English every other week. Some of
      the other language creeps in, but only at about 5-10% and mostly in
      repetitive parts, so you do experience the entire liturgy in a single

      One nice thing about Nancy's music. If you know the Byzantine tunings
      and formulas and employ them along with the yphos, it sounds just like
      real Byzantine music. The Western notated score becomes like a jazz
      chart, and you're not singing it exactly as written. If you don't
      employ the Byzantine "sound factors," it's the chant I'm talking
      about, which I like to call "New Byzantine." Sort of like New England
      as opposed to England. It beats calling it simplified chant.

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