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Byzantine Music Formulas

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  • byzmusic
    Dear friends, I am delighted to announce the completion of my project to codify the formulas for Byzantine melodies in all sticheraric and heirmologic modes.
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 3, 2006
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      Dear friends,

      I am delighted to announce the completion of my project to codify
      the formulas for Byzantine melodies in all sticheraric and
      heirmologic modes. It is available online now at the following
      webpage:
      http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Formula.html
      or as a single PDF file at:
      http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Formula.pdf (975 pages,
      9.2 MB)

      These lists contain more than 10,000 formulas and should prove to be
      an invaluable aid for anyone composing Byzantine music in any
      language. I have also improved the workshop that demonstrates how to
      use the lists, and in it I have formulated several guidelines for
      composing Byzantine music.

      To test the versatility of these lists, I tried setting the
      verses "Glory...Both now..." in all eight modes in English. I was
      pleased to see that relying on these lists of formulas not only
      saved me a lot of time and mental strain, but they also enabled me
      to find the most appropriate melodic line for each phrase. And
      because of the great variety of formulas in these lists, I could
      effortlessly compose three different melodies for these verses in
      each mode: a brief sticheraric version, a slightly more elaborate
      sticheraric version, and an old (slow) sticheraric version. This
      music is posted in Western notation at:
      http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/GloryBothNow.pdf (24
      pages, 1.7 MB)

      Although the primary use of these lists of formulas is to aid
      composition, I foresee several other ways they could be used: They
      could be used as a data bank for research and study of "melopoiia"
      (the art of composition). Studying melopoiia is especially helpful
      for developing the invaluable skill of being able to invent on the
      spot a decent Byzantine melody in any mode for any text (in any
      language) when that text has not already been set to music. These
      lists could also be used to define the underlying building blocks of
      Byzantine melodies (in terms of where accented syllables may be
      placed in a melodic phrase). They could also be used as ample
      evidence to prove the rules of Byzantine music orthography that have
      already been published in several books, and also to disprove some
      erroneous rules that have been published. (They also provided the
      necessary data for me to discover "new" rules of orthography that no
      one had expressly formulated yet, even though the Three Teachers and
      their disciples abided by these unwritten rules.) Perhaps they could
      also be helpful for understanding the "theseis" of pre-Chrysanthine
      Byzantine notation.

      Moreover, Karas surely would have loved these lists, because the
      colored notes (which represent alternate versions of the same
      formula) clearly show the reasoning for reintroducing some old
      symbols. To cite a few examples, if we look in the formulas of
      sticheraric third mode, the last notes on page 210 justify the
      tsakisma, the first green notes on p. 208 justify the isaki, and the
      red omalon on p. 203 justifies the tromikon. And in the formulas of
      sticheraric plagal first, the lygisma is evident in the red notes on
      p. 450, the oxeia in the second red notes on p. 398, the piesma in
      the blue notes on p. 401, and we can see the strepton by comparing
      the two 00100 formulas on p. 424.

      I hope those of you who are arranging texts to Byzantine melodies
      will find these lists as useful as I have.

      in Christ,
      +Fr. Ephraim
    • Stan Takis
      Dear Papa Ephraim: I am assuming these are in Byzantine notation. I hate to ask you do do another thousand pages, but I believe these would be very valuable in
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 3, 2006
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        Dear Papa Ephraim:

        I am assuming these are in Byzantine notation. I hate to ask you do do
        another thousand pages, but I believe these would be very valuable in
        Western notation as well, and would go far in opening up Byzantine
        music to the world and relieving the mystery and frustration of
        Americans composing in that genre for other languages.

        Congratulations on your achievement.

        Stan


        --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, "byzmusic" <frephraim@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Dear friends,
        >
        > I am delighted to announce the completion of my project to codify
        > the formulas for Byzantine melodies in all sticheraric and
        > heirmologic modes. It is available online now at the following
        > webpage:
        > http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Formula.html
        > or as a single PDF file at:
        > http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Formula.pdf (975 pages,
        > 9.2 MB)
        >
        > These lists contain more than 10,000 formulas and should prove to be
        > an invaluable aid for anyone composing Byzantine music in any
        > language. I have also improved the workshop that demonstrates how to
        > use the lists, and in it I have formulated several guidelines for
        > composing Byzantine music.
        >
        > To test the versatility of these lists, I tried setting the
        > verses "Glory...Both now..." in all eight modes in English. I was
        > pleased to see that relying on these lists of formulas not only
        > saved me a lot of time and mental strain, but they also enabled me
        > to find the most appropriate melodic line for each phrase. And
        > because of the great variety of formulas in these lists, I could
        > effortlessly compose three different melodies for these verses in
        > each mode: a brief sticheraric version, a slightly more elaborate
        > sticheraric version, and an old (slow) sticheraric version. This
        > music is posted in Western notation at:
        > http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/GloryBothNow.pdf (24
        > pages, 1.7 MB)
        >
        > Although the primary use of these lists of formulas is to aid
        > composition, I foresee several other ways they could be used: They
        > could be used as a data bank for research and study of "melopoiia"
        > (the art of composition). Studying melopoiia is especially helpful
        > for developing the invaluable skill of being able to invent on the
        > spot a decent Byzantine melody in any mode for any text (in any
        > language) when that text has not already been set to music. These
        > lists could also be used to define the underlying building blocks of
        > Byzantine melodies (in terms of where accented syllables may be
        > placed in a melodic phrase). They could also be used as ample
        > evidence to prove the rules of Byzantine music orthography that have
        > already been published in several books, and also to disprove some
        > erroneous rules that have been published. (They also provided the
        > necessary data for me to discover "new" rules of orthography that no
        > one had expressly formulated yet, even though the Three Teachers and
        > their disciples abided by these unwritten rules.) Perhaps they could
        > also be helpful for understanding the "theseis" of pre-Chrysanthine
        > Byzantine notation.
        >
        > Moreover, Karas surely would have loved these lists, because the
        > colored notes (which represent alternate versions of the same
        > formula) clearly show the reasoning for reintroducing some old
        > symbols. To cite a few examples, if we look in the formulas of
        > sticheraric third mode, the last notes on page 210 justify the
        > tsakisma, the first green notes on p. 208 justify the isaki, and the
        > red omalon on p. 203 justifies the tromikon. And in the formulas of
        > sticheraric plagal first, the lygisma is evident in the red notes on
        > p. 450, the oxeia in the second red notes on p. 398, the piesma in
        > the blue notes on p. 401, and we can see the strepton by comparing
        > the two 00100 formulas on p. 424.
        >
        > I hope those of you who are arranging texts to Byzantine melodies
        > will find these lists as useful as I have.
        >
        > in Christ,
        > +Fr. Ephraim
        >
      • Father Ephraim
        Dear Stan, I agree that it would be wonderful to have all these formulas were also in Western notation. Unfortunately, my spare time is rather limited and so I
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 3, 2006
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          Dear Stan,
           
          I agree that it would be wonderful to have all these formulas were also in Western notation. Unfortunately, my spare time is rather limited and so I need to focus on the most useful projects first. In particular, right now I am trying to finish up my next book, which will have all the music for Vespers.
           
          Incidentally, I already asked a friend of mine if he would be interested in transcribing all these formulas into Western notation so that they would be more accessible to composers who don't know Byzantine notation. To my surprise, he was firmly opposed to the idea, with the reasoning that if someone knows so little about Byzantine music that they don't even know how to read the simple post-Byzantine neumatic notational system, they shouldn't even be trying to compose Byzantine music in the first place.
           
          I suppose he has a point, but I still think there is much to be gained by having these formulas in Western notation. If you know anyone who has the time to transcribe some or all of these formulas into Western notation either by hand or by computer, I would be delighted to include those transcriptions in my webpage, and I would give them full credit for their labors.
           
          in Christ,
          +Fr. Ephraim

           
          On 7/3/06, Stan Takis <takistan@...> wrote:

          Dear Papa Ephraim:

          I am assuming these are in Byzantine notation. I hate to ask you do do
          another thousand pages, but I believe these would be very valuable in
          Western notation as well, and would go far in opening up Byzantine
          music to the world and relieving the mystery and frustration of
          Americans composing in that genre for other languages.

          Congratulations on your achievement.

          Stan

          --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, "byzmusic" <frephraim@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Dear friends,
          >
          > I am delighted to announce the completion of my project to codify
          > the formulas for Byzantine melodies in all sticheraric and
          > heirmologic modes. It is available online now at the following
          > webpage:
          > http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Formula.html
          > or as a single PDF file at:
          > http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Formula.pdf (975 pages,
          > 9.2 MB)
          >
          > These lists contain more than 10,000 formulas and should prove to be
          > an invaluable aid for anyone composing Byzantine music in any
          > language. I have also improved the workshop that demonstrates how to
          > use the lists, and in it I have formulated several guidelines for
          > composing Byzantine music.
          >
          > To test the versatility of these lists, I tried setting the
          > verses "Glory...Both now..." in all eight modes in English. I was
          > pleased to see that relying on these lists of formulas not only
          > saved me a lot of time and mental strain, but they also enabled me
          > to find the most appropriate melodic line for each phrase. And
          > because of the great variety of formulas in these lists, I could
          > effortlessly compose three different melodies for these verses in
          > each mode: a brief sticheraric version, a slightly more elaborate
          > sticheraric version, and an old (slow) sticheraric version. This
          > music is posted in Western notation at:
          > http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/GloryBothNow.pdf (24
          > pages, 1.7 MB)
          >
          > Although the primary use of these lists of formulas is to aid
          > composition, I foresee several other ways they could be used: They
          > could be used as a data bank for research and study of "melopoiia"
          > (the art of composition). Studying melopoiia is especially helpful
          > for developing the invaluable skill of being able to invent on the
          > spot a decent Byzantine melody in any mode for any text (in any
          > language) when that text has not already been set to music. These
          > lists could also be used to define the underlying building blocks of
          > Byzantine melodies (in terms of where accented syllables may be
          > placed in a melodic phrase). They could also be used as ample
          > evidence to prove the rules of Byzantine music orthography that have
          > already been published in several books, and also to disprove some
          > erroneous rules that have been published. (They also provided the
          > necessary data for me to discover "new" rules of orthography that no
          > one had expressly formulated yet, even though the Three Teachers and
          > their disciples abided by these unwritten rules.) Perhaps they could
          > also be helpful for understanding the "theseis" of pre-Chrysanthine
          > Byzantine notation.
          >
          > Moreover, Karas surely would have loved these lists, because the
          > colored notes (which represent alternate versions of the same
          > formula) clearly show the reasoning for reintroducing some old
          > symbols. To cite a few examples, if we look in the formulas of
          > sticheraric third mode, the last notes on page 210 justify the
          > tsakisma, the first green notes on p. 208 justify the isaki, and the
          > red omalon on p. 203 justifies the tromikon. And in the formulas of
          > sticheraric plagal first, the lygisma is evident in the red notes on
          > p. 450, the oxeia in the second red notes on p. 398, the piesma in
          > the blue notes on p. 401, and we can see the strepton by comparing
          > the two 00100 formulas on p. 424.
          >
          > I hope those of you who are arranging texts to Byzantine melodies
          > will find these lists as useful as I have.
          >
          > in Christ,
          > +Fr. Ephraim
          >


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