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Re: [greekorthodoxmusic] Re: Polyphony and Instruments in Church

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  • Alexandros Andreou
    Dear Stan, It is one thing for the Orthodox Church to allow subtle influences from heterodox music and another thing entirely for her to abruptly discard her
    Message 1 of 12 , Nov 30, 2006
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      Dear Stan,

      It is one thing for the Orthodox Church to allow subtle influences from
      heterodox music and another thing entirely for her to abruptly discard
      her own traditional music and to adopt heterodox music virtually
      unchanged. As I demonstrated in my list of things kept and discarded,
      most contemporary composers in the GOA throw out the window almost every
      aspect of traditional Greek Orthodox music. They keep only the bare
      necessities (and occasionally not even that!) If we were able to make a
      comparable list of things kept and discarded by the Church musicians
      under the Turkish yoke, we would probably see that out of those ten
      aspects I listed, only two of them (at most) might have changed: the
      hyphos of singing and perhaps the tonal attractions. I will pass over in
      silence the arguement by Ballindras that it was Turkish music that was
      influenced by Byzantine music rather than vice-versa. So even if we
      concede the point that these two aspects changed, that is still only two
      out of ten aspects. But in the case of those contemporary GOA composers,
      EIGHT out of ten aspects are changed. Therefore, the two instances are
      completely different phenomena, and one cannot justify the latter by
      citing the former.

      But even if they were comparable, the bottom line is that the Church as
      a whole DID accept the supposed Bulgarian and Turkish influences, while
      the Church as a whole has NOT accepted the importation of Western
      European music. And I don't think it ever will, considering that it
      directly contradicts the phronema of all those saints I mentioned. On
      the other hand, the subtle Bulgarian or Turkish influences (that some
      people claim affected Byzantine chant) were never condemned by the
      Church or by her saints.

      -Alexandros


      On Thu, 30 Nov 2006 19:51:38 -0000, "Stan Takis" <takistan@...>
      said:
      > Dear Alexandros:
      >
      > You wrote:
      >
      > >We are not in a position to say precisely how Bulgarian St. John
      > >Koukouzelis' music is or exactly how Turkish neo-Byzantine music is.
      > >But it is comforting to know that the church as a whole accepted those
      > >developments.
      >
      > If the Church could accept the non-Orthodox contributions to the
      > liturgical music of the Turks and the Bulgars, why can't it accept the
      > musical descendants of Gregorian chant? Or am I just not understanding
      > you here?
      >
      > Stan
      >
      >
      --
      Alexandros Andreou
      aalexandros@...

      --
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      wherever you are
    • Stan Takis
      Dear Alexandros: Right. The only thing is, up until 1054 the Church as a whole included Western Europe, and by then the Western European musical tradition
      Message 2 of 12 , Nov 30, 2006
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        Dear Alexandros:

        Right. The only thing is, up until 1054 the "Church as a whole"
        included Western Europe, and by then the Western European musical
        tradition was already moving in another direction from that of the
        East. The eventual flowering of Western European music was probably
        more influenced by its history up to 1054 rather than any heretical
        theological influences of the Roman Catholics and Protestants.

        Stan
      • Alexandros Andreou
        Dear Stan, Those statements of yours are very misleading. First, it would be rather simplistic to believe that everything in the West until 1053 was perfectly
        Message 3 of 12 , Nov 30, 2006
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          Dear Stan,

          Those statements of yours are very misleading.

          First, it would be rather simplistic to believe that everything in the
          West until 1053 was perfectly Orthodox, and everything after 1054 was
          Roman Catholic. The heresies of the filioque, papal supremacy, etc., had
          been brewing in the West for centuries before they culminated in the
          Great Schism in 1054.

          Second, if we research the history of ecclesiastical polyphony, we will
          see that it wasn't until the 11th and 12th centuries that it starting
          developing. Likewise, if we look into the history of the use of
          instruments in church, we will again see that, according to the Catholic
          Encylcopedia: "For almost a thousand years Gregorian chant, without any
          instrumental or harmonic addition, was the only music used in connection
          with the liturgy."

          The fact that polyphony and instruments start getting their "foot in the
          door" of church around the same time as the Great Schism is no
          coincidence, and this fact strengthens my arguement that these aspects
          of worship are foreign to genuine Orthodoxy.

          -Alexandros

          On Thu, 30 Nov 2006 22:27:17 -0000, "Stan Takis" <takistan@...>
          said:
          > Dear Alexandros:
          >
          > Right. The only thing is, up until 1054 the "Church as a whole"
          > included Western Europe, and by then the Western European musical
          > tradition was already moving in another direction from that of the
          > East. The eventual flowering of Western European music was probably
          > more influenced by its history up to 1054 rather than any heretical
          > theological influences of the Roman Catholics and Protestants.
          >
          > Stan
          >
          --
          Alexandros Andreou
          aalexandros@...

          --
          http://www.fastmail.fm - I mean, what is it about a decent email service?
        • Stan Takis
          Dear Alexandros: Well, you are right about that. The Church did not become schismatic over night. It took a couple of hundred years or more. I still think the
          Message 4 of 12 , Nov 30, 2006
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            Dear Alexandros:

            Well, you are right about that. The Church did not become schismatic
            over night. It took a couple of hundred years or more. I still think
            the music is shaped by the language more than the theology and the
            differences between Latin and Greek are the main reasons for the
            differences in the two chants and subsequent elaborations.

            It would be interesting to see what would happen, in terms of music,
            if reconciliation did occur, as Pope Benedict indicated this week, it
            is one of his primary goals.

            By the way, don't you find it odd that the mainstream media is
            ignoring the real reason for the pope's trip to Istanbul and is
            billing it as a clash of "cultures," i. e. Catholicism vs. Islam?
            There is hardly any mention of it as a mission of Christian
            reconciliation, which, in a historical sense, would be a much larger
            story.

            Stan
          • Alexandros Andreou
            If language was a primary factor in shaping the music, it wouldn t have taken them 1000 years to realize that Latin is supposedly more compatible with
            Message 5 of 12 , Nov 30, 2006
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              If language was a primary factor in shaping the music, it wouldn't have
              taken them 1000 years to realize that Latin is supposedly more
              compatible with polyphony and instruments. The fact that both Greek and
              Latin can be set to either polyphony or monophony and can be sung either
              a capella or with instruments leads me to believe that language has
              little to do with their adoption of polyphony and instruments. It seems
              to be much more expressive of their cultural tastes, which is evident
              also in the style of art the Latins prefer. The sensuous art of the
              Renaissance period matches their sensuously elaborate music.
              But don't get me started on the Patriarch's spineless betrayal of
              Orthodoxy with all his polite words to the Pope implying that the
              Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches are equal "sisters". It takes
              someone with the guts of a confessor (like St. Mark of Ephesus, St.
              Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain, or St. Nectarios of Aegina to name a
              few) to condemn Roman Catholicism as the heresy it really is. Too bad
              St. Cosmas of Aitolos isn't around, since he was the one who warned
              people: "Curse the Pope, because he will be the cause [for the end to
              come]"!
              -Alexandros

              On Fri, 01 Dec 2006 02:24:01 -0000, "Stan Takis" <takistan@...>
              said:
              > Dear Alexandros:
              >
              > Well, you are right about that. The Church did not become schismatic
              > over night. It took a couple of hundred years or more. I still think
              > the music is shaped by the language more than the theology and the
              > differences between Latin and Greek are the main reasons for the
              > differences in the two chants and subsequent elaborations.
              >
              > It would be interesting to see what would happen, in terms of music,
              > if reconciliation did occur, as Pope Benedict indicated this week, it
              > is one of his primary goals.
              >
              > By the way, don't you find it odd that the mainstream media is
              > ignoring the real reason for the pope's trip to Istanbul and is
              > billing it as a clash of "cultures," i. e. Catholicism vs. Islam?
              > There is hardly any mention of it as a mission of Christian
              > reconciliation, which, in a historical sense, would be a much larger
              > story.
              >
              > Stan
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              --
              Alexandros Andreou
              aalexandros@...

              --
              http://www.fastmail.fm - mmm... Fastmail...
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