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Re: Discussion Regarding Choirs

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  • kjlawrence@aol.com
    Dear George, ... There s no doubt that Greek Americans over the past 100 years have struggled with questions of how to be faithful to Tradition while becoming
    Message 1 of 27 , May 22, 2007
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      Dear George,

      You wrote:
      >Our immigrant forefathers, as they struggled to survive,
      >assimilate and be accepted into American society, may
      >have unknowingly and unintentionally parted from Holy
      >Tradition. They adopted organs and 4part harmony to
      >"sound" like the Catholic / Protestant Church down the
      >street, pews, Roman collars and shaved chins for priests,
      >abbreviated services, etc.

      There's no doubt that Greek Americans over the past 100 years
      have struggled with questions of how to be faithful to Tradition
      while becoming truly a part of this country. These questions of
      assimiliation are still with us of course, and actually I think they
      pose a universal Christian dilemma. "Here we do not have a lasting
      city, but we are seeking the city which is to come," as the Letter
      to the Hebrews reminds us.

      I'd like to point out that that Greek American church singing was
      influenced not only by the Catholic and Protestant but also by
      Russian Orthodox "churches down the street." Anastasiou, for
      one, wrote that "the Russians even to the present [preserve]
      indeed, even in spite of their very Europeanized harmony,
      untouched the Byzantine melody." While he certainly did have
      something to learn about Russian church singing, Anastasiou
      saw himself as following along this same path with his own
      harmonizations.

      Kevin



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    • Stan Takis
      Dear Kevin: ... Kevin, you always catch me on the precision of my language. I don t know if you teach academics as well as performance, but if you do, you are
      Message 2 of 27 , May 22, 2007
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        Dear Kevin:

        You wrote:

        > This "starting from scratch" just didn't happen.

        Kevin, you always catch me on the precision of my language. I don't
        know if you teach academics as well as performance, but if you do, you
        are the kind of professor that is educationally very effective and
        does a great service to his students.

        I'll admit that I (again) made a poor choice of words, but generally
        the Russians did scrap the music of the post-Bortniansky composers and
        had to re-construct (not start from scratch) an octoechos, right?
        That's what I'm referring to. The point is, there was a sudden change
        with Peter the Great, and when they decided they needed to return to
        an Orthodox system, the final result (the Obikhod) was even farther
        from Byzantine tradition than the days before Peter. This is the gist
        of how I have interpreted the histories I've read. Is this not correct?

        > As for the American Octoechos, I'm sure your conception of
        > this would be very different from that of the PSALM folks!

        I'm sure it would be, if it were up to me. But if it were up to me, I
        might even use a guitar, heaven forbid.

        Stan
      • kjlawrence@aol.com
        Dear Stan, ... Well, I think it s not correct. They didn t scrap the music of the Bortniansky era. (Bortniansky even appears in Anastasiou--where else could he
        Message 3 of 27 , May 22, 2007
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          Dear Stan,

          You wrote:
          >I'll admit that I (again) made a poor choice of words, but generally
          >the Russians did scrap the music of the post-Bortniansky composers and
          >had to re-construct (not start from scratch) an octoechos, right?
          >That's what I'm referring to. The point is, there was a sudden change
          >with Peter the Great, and when they decided they needed to return to
          >an Orthodox system, the final result (the Obikhod) was even farther
          >from Byzantine tradition than the days before Peter. This is the gist
          >of how I have interpreted the histories I've read. Is this not correct?

          Well, I think it's not correct. They didn't scrap the music of the Bortniansky
          era. (Bortniansky even appears in Anastasiou--where else could he have
          encountered it but through contact with Russian choirs?) They didn't
          see themselves as *needing* to "return to an Orthodox system" and
          they didn't reconstruct anything. The 19th century Court Chant was
          a simplification of traditional melodies undertaken and promulgated by
          the highly connected conductors of the imperial court chapel choir,
          and exemplified by the four part Obikhod of 1848. The unison Obikhod
          continued to be available from its first printing in the late 1700s till the
          Revolution. (I have a reprint, made by Chevetongne, of the 1909 edition.)

          I'm really not trying to "catch you" at all, but I do think you're postulating
          something that just didn't happen. The reason this is worth talking about
          here is that I worry you've made a negative judgment about Russian church
          singing on the on the basis of this postulate. We both believe that Russian
          church singing holds lessons for Greek Orthodox church musicians here in
          the US, so it's important to understand well the development of this Orthodox
          liturgical music.

          Thanks for your patience; I appreciate the opportunity to discuss these
          questions with you!

          All the best,
          Kevin



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        • Stan Takis
          Dear Kevin: I found a website that describes some of the things I ve been saying and includes some of the first-hand source material I was talking about. (I
          Message 4 of 27 , May 22, 2007
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            Dear Kevin:

            I found a website that describes some of the things I've been saying
            and includes some of the first-hand source material I was talking
            about. (I know I didn't make this stuff up.) This excerpt comes from
            an essay on this website:

            http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/music/drillock_word_and_music.htm


            The powerful injection of Western influences, culture, and traditions
            begun with Peter the Great and the move of the Russian capitol from
            Moscow to St. Petersburg resulted in a vast cultural transformation of
            the Russian mode of life and had immense consequences for the
            development of Russian church music. A stream of foreign craftsmen
            came into Russia during the first half of the eighteenth century -â€"
            French, Italian and German architects, German actors and musicians,
            Italian painters and composers -- in order to teach the Russians the
            elements and techniques of their skills.

            Of the Italian composers who were brought to serve at the Imperial
            Court, Baldassare Galuppi and Giuseppe Sarti were the two most
            prominent and both had a lasting influence on Russian church singing.
            Both trained a number of Russian church composers and both wrote a
            number of compositions based on Russian liturgical texts. Galuppi was
            the first to introduce to the Russian Orthodox Liturgy the singing of
            a special musical composition, in the form of the sacred concerto,
            during the priest’s communion. Although some of these concerti were
            composed on the texts of the prescribed Communion Hymns, many were
            simply selected freely by the composer and had no relationship
            whatsoever with the liturgical celebration.

            The works of these Italian composers were adorned with arioso solos,
            bold or daring passages of extraordinary leaps or runs, trills, and
            grace notes, in general, all of those vocal devices which gave the
            greatest possibilities for a vocal soloist to display his or her
            beautiful, voluminous, and cultivated voice. The religious idea was
            certainly animated, but the required correspondence of text to music
            was clearly lacking. "All of the sacred works of the foreign
            kapellmeisters," wrote the Archpriest Dmitry Razumovsky, "were
            acknowledged in their time and even now are recognized as truly
            artistic and classical in a musical sense. Yet not one of these works
            proved to be perfect and edifying in a church sense, because in each
            work the music predominates over the text, most often not at all
            expressing its meaning." [8]

            The first Russian composers influenced by this "Italianate" style of
            sacred music -- Artemy Vedel, Maxim Berezovsky, Stepan Degtiariev,
            Stepan Davydov, Dmitry Bortniansky, and the Archpriest Pyotr
            Turchaninov -- were all students of Italian maestri and produced
            hundreds of compositions for use in the church services. For the most
            part, they are all in the same Italianate style and are distinguished
            primarily by the relative artistic talents of the individual composer.
            Many of these works have not only survived but still can be heard on
            any given Sunday in the cathedrals and city churches throughout Russia
            today.

            Particular note must be made of Bortniansky, the most renowned
            personage in 18th century Russian music, for his prolific
            compositional activity -- 72 liturgical hymns (26 of them for double
            chorus), 45 sacred concertos (10 for double chorus), 10 Te Deums, the
            Liturgy for three voices, and eight sacred trios. He also was the
            first director of the Imperial Chapel who was given the right of
            censorship in the field of church music, a "circumstance that greatly
            affected the direction of church music in the 19th century." [9]

            Although the works of Bortniansky have been acclaimed by many
            musicologists, both Russian and non-Russian, secular as well as
            sacred, the words spoken by Metropolitan Eugene of Kiev, delivered in
            a speech presented while still a professor at the semminary in
            Voronezh in 1799, might serve as a summary of this period in the
            history of Russian church music. The Metropolitan said:

            "Besides this famous Russian choral director (Bortniansky), the works
            of many foreign kapellmeisters have in our time been adopted as
            compositions of the Greek-Russian Church, for (example, Galuppi
            (teacher of Bortniansky), Kerzelli, Dimmler, and the eminent Sarti.
            But even so, the truth must be stated that either because of their
            unawareness of the power and the expressiveness of the texts of our
            church poetry, or because of a prejudice only for the laws of their
            music, they have often disregarded the sanctity of the place and
            subject of their compositions, so that, generally speaking, it is not
            the music which is adapted to the sacred words, but instead the words
            are merely added to the music and often in a contrived manner.
            Apparently, they wanted more to impress their audience with
            concert-like euphony than to touch the hearts with pious melody, and
            often during such compositions the church resembles more an Italian
            opera than the house of worthy prayer to the Almighty." [10]

            Nationalism and the Return to the Old Russian Chant

            In the latter part of the nineteenth century, a search for new ways of
            liberating Russian liturgical singing from foreign influences emerged.
            The Moscow Synodal School was the center for this new movement, at the
            head of which stood such church music historians, composers, and
            directors as Stepan Smolensky, Alexander Kastalsky, and Vasily Orlov.
            The leaders of the Moscow school attempted to establish a new
            direction in church music by returning to the indigenous Russian
            church unison melodies and using those melodies as the basis for the
            composing of church music, as Palestrina and others would use
            Gregorian chant melodies as cantus firmi for their polyphonic
            compositions.

            At the same time scholarly studies and investigations on many and
            varied aspects of the old Russian Chant appeared. Such studies were
            concentrated on three areas: 1) the history of church singing, 2)
            semiogaphy, that is, the study of the various notations used in chant,
            and 3) the forms and style of canonical church singing. A chair in
            church music was created at the Moscow Conservatory. Archpriest Dmitry
            Razumovsky, author of a three-volume work on "Russian Church Singing",
            published in 1877-79, was appointed to this new position.

            Simultaneous with the development of research in the area of the old
            Russian chant, Russian studies in historical lituriology laid the
            groundwork for later theological evaluation of Orthodox worship. Prior
            to the Bolshevik Revolution, the Russian theological schools produced
            a number of first-rate scholars and studies of Byzantine liturgy, the
            archeological investigations of Alexander Dmitrievsky standing at the
            forefront. As Fr. Alexander Schmemann has acknowledged, "as a result
            of their work not only did Russian liturgical study win a recognized
            and glorious position in the realm of scholarship, but also a solid
            foundation was laid without which it would be impossible to speak of
            liturgical theology in any real sense of the term." [11]

            In a very short period, from the 1880’s to 1917 and the Bolshevik
            Revolution, a vast repertoire of Russian church compositions was
            created, numbering into the thousands. Well-known composers such as
            Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Grechaninov, Chesnokov,
            Ippolitov-Ivanov, and Rachmaninov, as well as a host of other lesser
            known musicians wrote church music using the old Russian chants as
            thematic material. Still others wrote free compositions. But it was
            Alexander Kastalsky who was generally recognized as the source of
            inspiration for this movement.

            In his later years, however, Kastalsky became disenchanted with much
            that was being written for the church, even if such compositions were
            based on the old Znamenny chant melodies. In 1925, in an interview
            entitled, "My Musical Career and My Thoughts on Church Music"
            (published in The Musical Quarterly), Kastalsky said:

            Of late (church music) has tended to become complex, To disregard the
            difficulty of performance for the sake of effective sonority, to
            choose harmonic and melodic means without any discrimination, provided
            only that they be new and beautiful, and if this tendency continues to
            develop, church music will end in becoming like any other, except that
            it will have a religious text. This would be extremely unfortunate. ...

            He continued: And what about style? Our indigenous church melodies
            when set chorally lose all their individuality: how distinctive they
            are when sung in unison by the Old Believers, and how insipid they are
            in the conventional four-part arrangements of our classic (composers),
            on which we have prided ourselves for nearly a hundred years: it is
            touching, but spurious. ... In my opinion it is first of all necessary
            to get away From continual four-part writing ... The future of our
            creative work for the church can ... be merely surmised, but I feel
            what its real task should be. I am convinced that it lies in the
            idealization of authentic church melodies, the transformation of them
            into something musically elevated, mighty in its expressiveness and
            near to the Russian heart in its typically national quality. ... I
            should like to have music that could be heard nowhere except in a
            church, and which would be as distinct from secular music as church
            vestments are from the dress of the laity.
          • kjlawrence@aol.com
            Dear Stan, Thanks for posting this article, which I ve also read before. But please note: there s nothing there about an unsuccessful attempt to reconstruct
            Message 5 of 27 , May 22, 2007
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              Dear Stan,

              Thanks for posting this article, which I've also read before. But please
              note: there's nothing there about an unsuccessful attempt to
              "reconstruct" an octoechos, about needing to
              "return to an Orthodox
              system."
              The Russians never did scrap this Italianate and German music.
              Many Russians still love this music, and the 4 part Court Chant is sung
              virtually everywhere. Even Gardner wrote harmonizations of chant
              melodies. This break you are talking about with the 18th and earlier
              19th century chuch singing didn't happen. And the earlier "break"
              with the monophonic tradition was developing even before Nikon
              and Peter the Great.


              The fact that many voices may be quoted expressing dissatisfaction
              with Vedel and
              Bortniansky, only means that the work of these men
              was long acknowledged to not to live up to the ideal of liturgical music.
              Most Orthodox church musicians, whether Greek, Russian or American,
              would agree with this asessment today. What we need to consider now is
              exactly *why* the music of
              Vedel and Bortniansky is lacking. To say that
              the problem is that the music is not monophonic, and thus represents a
              break with Orthodox tradition, would not correspond to the opinions of
              Razumovsky, Metropolitan Evgeny or even Kastalsky quoted here.
              What Kastalsky said was that he "should like to have music that could be
              heard nowhere except in a church, and which would be as distinct from
              secular music as church vestments are from the dress of the laity." I
              think we would all aim for the same. The consensus of these three quoted
              here is that merely adding liturgical words to music of concert style does
              not produce proper liturgical music, that music should not impose itself
              on text, and that the church singing requires its own distinctive style.

              Kastalsky writes: "Our indigenous church melodies when set chorally
              lose all their individuality: how distinctive they are when sung in unison
              by the Old Believers, and how insipid they are in the conventional four-part
              arrangements of our classic [composers]." What he was calling for here,
              and had achieved to some extent himself, was a style of harmonization
              not following conventional rules of common practice (the kind of thing we
              all learn in theory class). He expresses appreciation for the energetic
              simplicity of the Old Believers' monophonic singing, but his own compositions
              prove that he was not advocating the abolition of anything that was not
              monophony.

              All the best!
              Kevin



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            • Stan Takis
              Dear Kevin: I guess there are many ways you can interpret this history. This discussion began when Alexandros quoted von Gardner as saying Roman Catholic
              Message 6 of 27 , May 23, 2007
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                Dear Kevin:

                I guess there are many ways you can interpret this history. This
                discussion began when Alexandros quoted von Gardner as saying Roman
                Catholic polyphony suddenly replaced monophonic chant in Russia. Von
                Gardner, a respected scholar, had this interpretation which differs
                from yours. Again, it's my word choice that you cite, i. e.
                "reconstruct." Maybe you would agree with "return" instead, the word
                in the Drillock article. Also, I never used the word unsuccessful. I
                just said it was further distanced from the old monophonic chants.

                On his website Daniel Johnson sums it up: "...after Peter the Great
                embarked upon the culturally and spiritually disastrous effort to
                Westernize Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church, various private
                composers, many of whom had been trained in Italy, Austria or Germany,
                began composing church music which was only remotely related to the
                tonal system. Finally, in the 18th century, a panel of religious
                composers created the Obikhod, or common, tonal system, which
                streamlined the Kievan tones (combining them with fragments of a few
                other variant traditions, such as the so-called "Greek Chant" and
                "Bulgarian Chant" traditions) and once and for all removed the concept
                of a tone as a melodic/modal framework, replacing it with the concept
                of a tone as a formulaic construct. There has been a recent movement,
                primarily in the Russian monasteries, to return to the purer forms of
                Znamenny chant." This says it better than I did, and represents my
                understanding of the particular history we are discussing.

                As you know, I'm not against harmony, but it does destroy the ethos of
                the Byzantine modes. I do not wish to see harmony replace the
                Byzantine octoechos as it did in Russia. Rather, I would use harmony
                selectively, such as in the papadic hymns.

                Stan
              • kjlawrence@aol.com
                Dear Stan, ... Please note where the quote ends and where Alexandros words begin. It is Alexandros interpretation, and yours, that Roman Catholic polyphony
                Message 7 of 27 , May 23, 2007
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                  Dear Stan,

                  You wrote:

                  >This discussion began when Alexandros quoted von Gardner as saying
                  >Roman Catholic polyphony suddenly replaced monophonic chant in Russia.
                  >Von Gardner, a respected scholar, had this interpretation which differs
                  >from yours.


                  Not at all. Here's what Alexandros wrote:

                  >According to Johann von Gardner, Roman Catholic polyphony "suddenly
                  >burst into Russian liturgical singing from the West in the middle of the
                  >seventeenth century" which put a sudden end to their 700 year long
                  >tradition of monophonic chant.

                  Please note where the quote ends and where Alexandros' words begin.
                  It is Alexandros' interpretation, and yours, that "Roman Catholic
                  polyphony suddenly replaced monophonic chant in Russia." This is
                  not what Gardner wrote. Gardner didn't even call this polyphony
                  Roman Catholic. (In fact this style of singing was popular among the
                  anti-Unia Orthodox Brotherhoods in the western area of the Russian
                  Empire.) I'd recommend that you read the Gardner for yourself, if you
                  haven't had a chance to so far.


                  As for Daniel Johnson, in the quote you reproduce he writes several
                  things that are not correct...
                  1. The first 4 part Obikhod was published in 1848. As I'm not sure why
                  DJ writes that "in the 18th century, a panel of religious composers
                  created the Obikhod, or common, tonal system..."

                  2. The Obikhod is not a "common tonal system." This word refers to
                  the ordinary material chanted in the services. As I mentioned yesterday,
                  I have a reprint of the 1909 unison Obikhod.

                  3. DJ writes: "...and once and for all removed the concept of a tone as
                  a melodic/modal framework, replacing it with the concept of a tone as
                  a formulaic construct." Are melodic formulas as found in both Znammeny
                  and Byzantine chant not formulaic constructs?

                  4. DJ writes: "Peter the Great embarked upon the culturally and spiritually
                  disastrous effort to Westernize Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church,
                  various private composers, many of whom had been trained in Italy, Austria
                  or Germany, began composing church music which was only remotely related
                  to the tonal system." But Gardner (vol. 1, pg. 59) takes exception to the assertion,
                  made by "some," that "if a certain liturgical text is set to a melody lying
                  outside the Octoechos (e.g., in demestvenny style), such singing can no
                  longer be viewed as liturgical."

                  What is a "private composer," by the way?


                  All the best!
                  Kevin




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                • Stan Takis
                  ... Kevin, I m going to guess it s one who is not a full-time employee of the court. Either that or it s a composer who just doesn t like people. When I get
                  Message 8 of 27 , May 23, 2007
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                    --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, kjlawrence@... wrote:

                    >
                    > What is a "private composer," by the way?
                    >

                    Kevin,

                    I'm going to guess it's one who is not a full-time employee of the
                    court. Either that or it's a composer who just doesn't like people.

                    When I get the Slavyanka CD from George, I'm going to post the liner
                    notes and let you have at those as well.

                    Very interesting.

                    Stan
                  • Alexandros Andreou
                    ... Dear Kevin, If you have read Gardner carefully, you would know he would have agreed with my entire statement, not just the words I quoted from him
                    Message 9 of 27 , May 23, 2007
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                      On Wed, 23 May 2007 21:47:12 EDT, kjlawrence@... said:
                      > Not at all. Here's what Alexandros wrote:
                      >
                      > >According to Johann von Gardner, Roman Catholic polyphony "suddenly
                      > >burst into Russian liturgical singing from the West in the middle of the
                      > >seventeenth century" which put a sudden end to their 700 year long
                      > >tradition of monophonic chant.
                      >
                      > Please note where the quote ends and where Alexandros' words begin.
                      > It is Alexandros' interpretation, and yours, that "Roman Catholic
                      > polyphony suddenly replaced monophonic chant in Russia." This is
                      > not what Gardner wrote. Gardner didn't even call this polyphony
                      > Roman Catholic. (In fact this style of singing was popular among the
                      > anti-Unia Orthodox Brotherhoods in the western area of the Russian
                      > Empire.) I'd recommend that you read the Gardner for yourself, if you
                      > haven't had a chance to so far.

                      Dear Kevin,

                      If you have read Gardner carefully, you would know he would have agreed
                      with my entire statement, not just the words I quoted from him directly.
                      I wrote:
                      "According to Johann von Gardner, Roman Catholic polyphony 'suddenly
                      burst into Russian liturgical singing from the West in the middle of the
                      seventeenth century' which put a sudden end to their 700 year long
                      tradition of monophonic chant."
                      The phrases that are apparently mine and not Gardner's are:
                      1) "Roman Catholic polyphony" in the beginning and
                      2) "which put a sudden end to their 700 year long tradition of
                      monophonic chant." at the end

                      Regarding 1) Gardner writes on p. 144-145: "The second epoch in the
                      history of Russian liturgical singing is best characterized as the
                      'epoch of Western-style choral singing' ...since this period is indeed
                      characterized by choral polyphony based upon commonly-practiced Western
                      European principles of counterpoint, harmony, and formal structure.
                      During the second epoch, Western-style compositional technique began to
                      obscure and supplant the *word* [emphasis is Gardner's] and the
                      heretofore zealously cultivated canonical melodies. As a result, the
                      further development of the ancient Russian forms of liturgical singing,
                      as well as early Russian polyphony, came to a halt." He said the same
                      thing in a different way on page 139: "The second epoch, from the
                      mid-seventeenth century to the present day, may be called the epoch of
                      polyphonic choral singing, during which Russian liturgical singing took
                      on essentially the same stylistic features found in the mainstream of
                      Western European choral polyphony."

                      Granted, he does not explicitly label this music as "Roman Catholic" but
                      as "Western European". But the Jesuit (Roman Catholic) musical influence
                      in Poland and then Lviv has been well documented by others. Nicholas
                      Eugene Denysenko wrote on p. 17 of his Master of Divinity thesis at St.
                      Vladimir's Seminary in 2000: "The leaders of the brotherhoods were
                      fearful that the masses would be attracted to the impressive
                      part-singing of the Catholic Church, so they concentrated especially on
                      music and began to sing different styles of music, often in parts, to
                      provide the Orthodox faithful with an alternative preferable to that of
                      the Catholic challenge. [34]" Footnote 34 reads: "V. Morosan ed. Choral
                      Performance in Pre-Revolutionary Russia, (Madison, CT: Musica Russica,
                      1986), pp. 39-40. This fact is mentioned by almost every historian and
                      musicologist as perhaps the chief catalyst in the explosion of the new
                      revolution in liturgical music and singing style." (In case you're
                      interested in getting Denysekno's thesis on microfilm from the library,
                      the title of his thesis was: "The dawn of a new era in Orthodox church
                      music: a historical analysis of the formation of part-singing and Kievan
                      chant in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries".)

                      So you're right that the anti-Unia brotherhoods were the first Orthodox
                      Christians to use Roman Catholic polyphony. But the point is that they
                      did this in order to imitate and become more like the Roman Catholics!

                      Regarding 2), Gardner writes on p. 144: "...events of the
                      mid-seventeenth century brought about an *abrupt halt* [emphasis mine]
                      both to this period [of early Russian polyphony] and the entire first
                      epoch [of monophonic chant]."

                      Based on all the above, I still contend that my original statement is
                      based completely on fact and has nothing to do with my personal
                      interpretations. In fact I don't even see how one could possibly
                      interpret the above facts any differently than I have, without
                      distorting the truth.

                      BTW, did you receive the reply I wrote to you on May 14th? I had the
                      thought that you never received it because you answered all other
                      messages in this interesting discussion except that one. If you didn't,
                      you can still see it at:
                      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/greekorthodoxmusic/message/747

                      -Alexandros
                      --
                      Alexandros Andreou
                      aalexandros@...

                      --
                      http://www.fastmail.fm - Access your email from home and the web
                    • Stan Takis
                      Dear Alexandros: Thank you for providing that link to message 747. I don t know how, but I missed it the first time. You wrote two things in that message
                      Message 10 of 27 , May 24, 2007
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                        Dear Alexandros:

                        Thank you for providing that link to message 747. I don't know how,
                        but I missed it the first time. You wrote two things in that message
                        which, to me, are very important.

                        First, you wrote:

                        ...it is one thing for us to have involuntary,
                        imperceptible influences in Byzantine music (such as using intervals
                        that are almost equal-tempered or using an ison that is too mobile) and
                        an entirely different thing for us to voluntarily try to imitate the
                        Catholics by sticking organs in our churches.

                        ***This is an extremely important matter if we are to reconcile
                        American Greek Orthodox Church musicians, be they in lay choirs or
                        highly trained chanters. Chanters need to admit that there will occur
                        subtle changes in scales, variations in how isons are used, ornaments
                        that will be messed up or done incorrectly or dropped altogether, and
                        even that some parallel harmonies will occur naturally in group
                        singing and that they do not necessarily cause very much damage to
                        some modes. That is not to say that the pure form should not be
                        continued or striven for, but only that some aberrations need to be
                        tolerated because a complete education in psaltiki is not always
                        available or possible in many situations. On the other hand, the lay
                        choirs who feel it is their right to continue their 80-year existence
                        need to accept the fact that many things about their music are foreign
                        to the Orthodox Church, and that there is a canonical system of music
                        that needs to be studied and grasped, if not mastered, by everyone who
                        chants.

                        The other important thing you wrote was:

                        Of course, if it goes without saying that when talented chanters
                        (or iconographers or church architects) are not to be found, a parish
                        will make do with whomever they can find. But it's not as if Byzantine
                        chant has to be done perfectly or it can't be done at all. People seem
                        to use this as an excuse to introduce organs and polyphonic music.

                        ***This is why accessible music for these people needs to be freely
                        available. This is the whole basis and reason for my involvement in
                        Church music and for newbyz.com and this message board. This is what
                        Nancy has always tried to do in her personal contacts with people in
                        the domain of choirs. I just wanted to take it worldwide because I saw
                        the benefit it caused for the local people here. I don't claim that
                        the music is true Byzantine. For that, you have to learn from a master
                        for several years. But here is where using staff notation and
                        simplified Byzantine melodies (a la Sakellarides) is useful: for the
                        untrained singers who serve where there are no traditional resources.
                        The aim of the website is to provide music that is closer to tradition
                        and doesn't rely solely on Western music that, while it is now
                        indigenous to America, also comes from Catholic and Protestant
                        traditions, rather than Orthodox.

                        I also do not wish to see the simplified music replace the received
                        tradition. I favor increased training of chanters all over the country
                        and the efforts of people like Fathers Ephraim and Seraphim, John
                        Boyer, Apostolos Combitsis, and others. But the lay choirs are not
                        going away and I might even say that, despite the emphasis on foreign
                        music, they have been a real asset to the Church over the years as
                        their membership are among the most loyal and giving congregants of
                        the Church. They need to buy into the idea of becoming more
                        traditional, so that the Orthodox Church will retain its unique
                        ecclesiastical atmosphere, which is so helpful to acquiring piety and,
                        ultimately, salvation.

                        Stan
                      • Alexandros Andreou
                        Dear Stan, ... I consider harmonizing melodies a voluntary change to Byzantine music that can and should be prevented, while the other issues (intervals and
                        Message 11 of 27 , May 24, 2007
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                          Dear Stan,

                          I agree with everything you said except the following:

                          > Chanters need to admit that there will occur
                          > subtle changes in scales, variations in how isons are used, ornaments
                          > that will be messed up or done incorrectly or dropped altogether, and
                          > even that some parallel harmonies will occur naturally in group
                          > singing and that they do not necessarily cause very much damage to
                          > some modes.

                          I consider harmonizing melodies a voluntary change to Byzantine music
                          that can and should be prevented, while the other issues (intervals and
                          ornaments) are involuntary changes that can't really be avoided by
                          non-experts. Harmonizing should be prevented not merely because it is a
                          voluntary departure from tradition, but because it *does* "necessarily
                          cause very much damage to the modes". I can't think of a single instance
                          where harmonizing a Byzantine melody doesn't radically change its modal
                          structure.

                          -Alexandros
                          --
                          Alexandros Andreou
                          aalexandros@...

                          --
                          http://www.fastmail.fm - Accessible with your email software
                          or over the web
                        • Stan Takis
                          Dear Alexandros: I have heard involuntary harmonization many times. It usually occurs when the melodic line is out of the vocal range for one of the singers
                          Message 12 of 27 , May 24, 2007
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                            Dear Alexandros:

                            I have heard involuntary harmonization many times. It usually occurs
                            when the melodic line is out of the vocal range for one of the singers
                            and they subsequently sing a third or a perfect interval below or
                            above the melody, following the movement of the line. I have also
                            heard involuntary triads when someone is singing on a different ison
                            than everybody else. Some people harmonize by habit. I have heard this
                            also. I usually do not stop them when they do it; although an
                            annoyance, it's a minor one when it's only one person.

                            Certainly, well-trained singers would not make these errors, but in
                            the small churches with untrained people chanting, they can happen. To
                            me they would not constitute a pre-meditated or radical departure from
                            tradition.

                            Also, I guess it would depend on your definition of the word
                            "radically" to say that any harmonization radically changes a mode. It
                            would also depend on the musical culture of the listener. Sometimes
                            the addition of a parallel third is unobtrusive in third tone or at
                            times in plagal fourth tone because some of the modes in those tones
                            imitate F Major and C Major, and sometimes the third note of a triad
                            is either sensed through the overtones or by memory, so the actual
                            presence of the third note might not make a huge difference. I'd also
                            say the same about first tone and any mode that sounds "minor." It
                            would make a marked difference, yes, but, in my opinion, not a radical
                            one.

                            Stan
                          • Apostolos Combitsis
                            Giorgo, I ve been away from my computer so I just got a chance to read some of the postings I ve been missing. You brought up Archbishop Demetrios and
                            Message 13 of 27 , Jun 2, 2007
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                              Giorgo,

                              I've been away from my computer so I just got a chance to read some of
                              the postings I've been missing.

                              You brought up Archbishop Demetrios and Archbishop Spyridon, and I
                              wanted to comment. Of course, I will not comment the way I really
                              WANT to comment (afta einai otan ta poume apo konta...), but let's
                              just say this: Archbishop Demetrios has done absolutely NOTHING to
                              seriously promote and support Byzantine Music in this country, save
                              for a few positive comments he has made here and there. He wouldn't
                              DARE touch the Choir Federation because they are too big and organized
                              and have line items in the Archdiocesan budget. He is content with
                              living with the status quo and continuing to support westernized music
                              as it has been exercised in this country for the past however many
                              years. This is why he is considered "a wise and holy man": because
                              he doesn't stir the waters and he doesn't create issues which would be
                              deemed politically incorrect. I love the man dearly, but his "no
                              drastic changes" attitude is, unfortunately, resulting in complete
                              chaos and anarcy at the Archdiocese and a lack of direction in the
                              Orthodox faith in this country. (I know for a fact Byzantine Music is
                              an ELECTIVE at Holy Cross, and I believe I heard the same about the
                              Greek language. Now THAT'S a shame!) OF COURSE he knows what our
                              received musical tradition is, but he doesn't support it outright
                              because that would "insult" all of the four-part westernized choir
                              supporters in this country.

                              As for Archbishop Spyridon, I firmly believe that his resignation was
                              a CRUSHING BLOW to this country. We are NOT ready to have
                              Metropolises; we are NOT ready to be autonomous. Who are we kidding?
                              We are NOT Greece. We have no business declaring autonomy or
                              autocephaly because we can't handle it. Spyridon may have tried to do
                              too much too soon, but that's ONLY because he saw so many wrongs that
                              needed to be corrected that everything was important to him.
                              Unfortunately, certain people didn't like that. The priority items on
                              his agenda, however, was the GREEK LANGUAGE. The famous "Rassias
                              Report", which outlined how the Greek language was in danger of being
                              phased out because of our apathy and non-support of it, was a
                              scholarly study which was virtually ignored. The end result?
                              Spyridon goes out, the report gets shoved in a closet somewhere, and
                              now we're translating Byzantine hymns into English, while we claim
                              that our current Archbishop supports our traditions. Spyridon was a
                              staunch supporter of Byzantine Music and PREFERRED it over western
                              music.

                              Apostolos


                              --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, "George Dalagelis"
                              <dalagelis@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Dear Tracey,
                              >
                              > I believe the real issue here is not Choir Vs Psalti, but
                              westernized 4part harmonized music, accompanied by an organ, as it is
                              sung by most choirs of GOA, vs. the received traditional
                              ecclesiastical music sung by a psalti (cantor), or a group (choir) of
                              cantors. The westernized 4part harmonized music is the product of the
                              innovations of Ioannis Sakellaridis and his imitators (Anastasiou,
                              Roubanis etc), and it has been around for the past 80 years. The
                              received traditional ecclesiastical music of the (at least the
                              Grecophone) Orthodox Church is the product of the 2000 year old
                              dynamic and living tradition.
                              > I was not at this particular commencement at HC, but I attended one
                              in the past. There was a choir at that time as well; a choir of
                              seminarians/college students who chanted our traditional
                              ecclesiastical hymns for all Sacred Services, under the direction of
                              professor Protopsaltis Fotis Ketsetzis. If this is what you heard,
                              then you witnessed not only one cantor as you say, but a choir of
                              cantors, anyone of whom is trained in the sacred art of Byzantine
                              chant, and could serve the Sacred Services on his/her own if need be.
                              > As more and more people in our Churches are becoming aware that the
                              music for our Divine Liturgy is not the same music that one hears in
                              the traditional Orthodox lands of Greece, Cyprus, Ecumenical
                              Patriarchate the Middle East etc, more are questioning what they hear
                              during the Divine Liturgy in America. I am not going to go into
                              details here as to the how and why we have reached this point (Stan
                              Takis has written some very informative articles on the subject
                              http://www.newbyz.org/). I will only say that we need to be open to
                              the guidance of the Holy Spirit as it guides us in all truth. Our
                              immigrant forefathers, as they struggled to survive, assimilate and be
                              accepted into American society, may have unknowingly and
                              unintentionally parted from Holy Tradition. They adopted organs and
                              4part harmony to "sound" like the Catholic / Protestant Church down
                              the street, pews, Roman collars and shaved chins for priests,
                              abbreviated services, etc. As we have matured as a church, second and
                              third generation Orthodox are re-discovering their spiritual roots
                              (via the internet, trips to Greece and the Holy Land), and we are
                              taking a second look at this abnormality that exists with our church
                              music. I hear this from young people (including my own children who
                              have visited Greece many times) that when they visit Greece and church
                              themselves, the church surroundings are familiar, but the church music
                              is certainly different. There is no question in many people's minds
                              that we have broken with the received tradition here. What I and many
                              others across our country are saying is that we need to listen to the
                              Holy Spirit as we move forward as a Church who is no longer made up of
                              immigrants who are forced by society to assimilate, but a church who
                              is made up of second and third generation faithful, as well as a
                              respectable number of converts, either through interfaith marriages,
                              or through seekers for the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
                              > The Holy Spirit has given us many monasteries across America where
                              the art of our genuine ecclesiastical music is thriving. They have
                              also done monumental work in translating the Holy Services in English,
                              and setting them to Byzantine chant (St. Anthony's, St. Gregory
                              Palamas, Holy Transfiguration). We no longer have the excuse that we
                              do not know. It is up to us to rediscover our own musical tradition,
                              embrace it, learn it, love it, appreciate it, and then, again with the
                              guidance of the Holy Spirit, make our own contribution to it.
                              >
                              > As far as His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, he is a wise and holy
                              man. He knows what our received musical tradition is, and he also
                              knows what he inherited in America. He will not advocate drastic
                              changes, nor should he (remember Archbishop Spyridon?). Change will
                              come slowly from the ground up, from the parish level as more and more
                              people are open to the whisper of the Holy Spirit!
                              >
                              > A blessed Pentecost to all
                              >
                              > George D
                              >
                              > ----- Original Message -----
                              > From: justduck26
                              > To: greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com
                              > Sent: May 21, 2007 08:19 AM
                              > Subject: [greekorthodoxmusic] Discussion Regarding Choirs
                              >
                              >
                              > Hello Everyone,
                              >
                              > There has been a plathera of discussions regarding choirs in our
                              > churches.
                              >
                              > I attended the commencement ceremonies at Hellenic College and Holy
                              > Cross School of Theology this weekend.
                              >
                              > Archbishop Demetrios was there as well as Metrolopitains Methodios
                              > (BOS), Gerasimos (SF)and my personal favorite Nicholas (DET).
                              >
                              > There was a choir and not one cantor. This choir was wonderful and
                              > Archbishop Demetrios commented on their beautiful voices as well.
                              >
                              > Maybe the spritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in the United
                              > States would prefer to have choirs??? Maybe it will be the American
                              > way.
                              >
                              > I was not able to speak with the Archbishop, of course, but after
                              > Satruday's commencement, I'm sure than is the way we will be leaning.
                              >
                              > Tracey
                              > +Maria Despina
                              >
                            • Stan Takis
                              Dear Apostolos: How do you feel about the history of the Slavonic churches? Do you feel it was a mistake to translate the hymns into Slavonic in the 10th
                              Message 14 of 27 , Jun 3, 2007
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                                Dear Apostolos:

                                How do you feel about the history of the Slavonic churches? Do you
                                feel it was a mistake to translate the hymns into Slavonic in the 10th
                                Century? Would Orthodoxy be as strong in Russia today had they just
                                used Greek? I find it hard not to support translating hymns into
                                English when I have been told so many times by adults how it has
                                enriched their spiritual lives and how they never really understood
                                this hymn or that hymn until they had sung one of Nancy's
                                translations. This year, I've been teaching the Sunday school children
                                the hymns of the Divine Liturgy (in both languages), and having them
                                in English has really allowed me to teach them the origin and meaning
                                of the texts, and also allowed me to teach them a lot of Greek words
                                as well.

                                Stan
                              • Apostolos Combitsis
                                Stan, I don t know how to answer your question without potentially painting myself into a corner. Not that I can t argue my points, but because there are
                                Message 15 of 27 , Jun 7, 2007
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                                  Stan,

                                  I don't know how to answer your question without potentially painting
                                  myself into a corner. Not that I can't argue my points, but because
                                  there are valid arguments for BOTH sides. English is a low-germanic
                                  language and, in my humble opinion, is not conducive to chant; that
                                  is, the system of music that WE're calling "chant", namely Byzantine
                                  Ecclesiastical Music. WHY do I think this? Because there are far too
                                  many quirks in the mechanics of the language which don't allow
                                  Byzantine Music to be rendered properly. Too many consonants is the
                                  big issue. Syllabic structure is another one. The translations
                                  themselves are HUGE issues. I mean, we've hashed and re-hashed all of
                                  this before, and there's no need for me to go into another sermon
                                  supporting the Greek. We all know the problems and yet we choose to
                                  ignore the problems in the hopes that they'll go away. If we're going
                                  to continue to pass ourselves off as a "Greek Orthodox Church", then
                                  we keep the Greek. Period. If not, then let's just take the Greek
                                  totally out, call ourselves the "American Orthodox Church" ('cause we
                                  don't really speak English in this country anyway... we speak
                                  American) and be done with it. If everyone has resolved to the fact
                                  that English is on its way out, and our children don't speak the
                                  language, and we have to spoon-feed everyone and give them this
                                  happy-go-lucky-feel-good feeling and the Archdiocese is pushing
                                  English and blahbety-blah-blah-blah, then let them just do it and stop
                                  tormenting me so I can decide how I want to proceed. This really is
                                  getting ridiculous.

                                  Look: I know Nancy does a fine job in her translations, as does Fr.
                                  Seraphim and Papa Ephraim out in Arizona. And I say, use them as
                                  teaching tools, by all means. Pedagogically, they're wonderful. But
                                  to REPLACE the language of the Gospel in our services with this
                                  bastardized language we have and try to pass it off as "tradition",
                                  this is where I have a problem. Why is everyone having such a problem
                                  with learning Greek? Even the Catholics realized their error when
                                  they took the Latin out of THEIR services. I'm telling you: pick any
                                  common Joe off the street (Greek or not) and have him attend the
                                  Divine Liturgy SIX times with a good book in his hand which has
                                  pictures or drawings of the priest in various moments of the Liturgy.
                                  I GUARANTEE you by the sixth week, he will know exactly where he is
                                  in the Liturgy. And, if this bum can even read rather than just
                                  looking at the pictures, he'll probably even be able to tell you what
                                  the words MEAN and will even have learned some Greek words.

                                  Your points about Slavonic and Russian are valid; however, I think we
                                  can take it a step further. Yes, they had to "start somewhere", but
                                  the fact of the matter is, these are countries which have, ethnically,
                                  been able to identify with Orthodoxy and "adapt" to their language and
                                  culture. Their language is more "conducive" to chant, anyway, much
                                  more than English. But America is not an ethnic country with a unique
                                  language and an original way of life. We are a mish-mash of ALL
                                  cultures. Our language is a hodge-podge of mostly Greek and Latin,
                                  with some other languages thrown in, ultimately twisted into this form
                                  of low-German which is fine for the spoken word, but not so fine for
                                  chant. Do you see what I'm driving at? We've only been around a
                                  couple of hundred years or so. And everything we have is all
                                  borrowed. The fifth-grade argument that no one in this country is
                                  truly American except for the American Indian is really true. We all
                                  have European backgrounds, yet we "pretend" to be "authentic"
                                  Americans.

                                  I may be digressing a little bit, but let me conclude with this: to
                                  take the Greek out of Orthodoxy is to put Orthodoxy in danger.
                                  Orthodoxy grew and cultivated in a Hellenized environment, using Greek
                                  thought and philosophy. The hymns written in the Greek language were
                                  married to the musical system of the Byzantines. To pry those apart
                                  is akin to ripping the lining out of an expensive dress. We all
                                  understand that even the melodic phrases themselves "colorize" the
                                  meanings of the text; in other words, there are REASONS why we ascend
                                  and reasons why we descend, reasons why phrases are held longer, etc.
                                  etc. Instead of trying to PRESERVE what has been passed down to us,
                                  we are trying to toss it out the window, calling it "archaic" and
                                  pretending that we will understand things better if we hear it all in
                                  English. I vehemently disagree.

                                  Paul


                                  --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, "Stan Takis" <takistan@...>
                                  wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Dear Apostolos:
                                  >
                                  > How do you feel about the history of the Slavonic churches? Do you
                                  > feel it was a mistake to translate the hymns into Slavonic in the 10th
                                  > Century? Would Orthodoxy be as strong in Russia today had they just
                                  > used Greek? I find it hard not to support translating hymns into
                                  > English when I have been told so many times by adults how it has
                                  > enriched their spiritual lives and how they never really understood
                                  > this hymn or that hymn until they had sung one of Nancy's
                                  > translations. This year, I've been teaching the Sunday school children
                                  > the hymns of the Divine Liturgy (in both languages), and having them
                                  > in English has really allowed me to teach them the origin and meaning
                                  > of the texts, and also allowed me to teach them a lot of Greek words
                                  > as well.
                                  >
                                  > Stan
                                  >
                                • Stan Takis
                                  Dear Paul: At the risk of sounding capricious, I must say I absolutely agree with everything you wrote, except that I favor the use of English as well. God
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Jun 8, 2007
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                                    Dear Paul:

                                    At the risk of sounding capricious, I must say I absolutely agree with
                                    everything you wrote, except that I favor the use of English as well.
                                    God forbid we ever replace Greek entirely. The tree cannot grow
                                    without its roots. But an ancillary use of English is appropriate
                                    because, though you are right that if a person were to follow a
                                    translation in a book, he would know what was happening in the service
                                    and understand it, this still constitutes using English. If English is
                                    appropriate to be put in a book alongside the Greek, then why isn't it
                                    all right to use it aloud, alongside the Greek? If it's just a matter
                                    of using English, period, it sounds to me that there is no question
                                    here. Everyone agrees that at some point the vernacular language must
                                    be employed in some manner.

                                    However, I also find myself agreeing with your points on Byzantine
                                    chant and how it is married to the Greek language. This is the one
                                    place where I, as an observer, seem to disagree with those who try to
                                    incorporate every subtle nuance of Byzantine music with the English
                                    language. I know others have said they seldom had a problem with such
                                    adaptation, but I think this musical system, created for another
                                    language, robs English of some of its unique qualities. That's why I
                                    favor simplified chant (a la Sakellarides) for English, because it
                                    allows the expressive abilities of the English language to shine
                                    better. It's a better marriage than pure Byzantine chant. I know I
                                    have been asked time an again for "proof" of this statement and
                                    examples (which I have tried to give) that show this, but really, the
                                    examples are general and the proof is ephemeral. It's something I
                                    sense. It may be subtle, but I know it is there and I know it makes a
                                    difference. If people want to shrug it off as the musings of someone
                                    who doesn't know what he's talking about, so be it, but it won't
                                    change my opinion.

                                    So this begs the question as to why I favor an Octoechos based on the
                                    Byzantine system for English, albeit simplified. The answer is that
                                    there are advantages to this system that work wonderfully well with
                                    ecclesiastical texts, regardless of which language. I don't want to
                                    throw it out and replace it with English folk music. I just want to
                                    tweak it and adjust it for optimal use with the English language, so
                                    that, when it is incorporated in the the services with Greek, there is
                                    no dropoff in quality--so that when, like in the book, it stands
                                    side-by-side with the Greek chant, the English-speaking worshiper is
                                    engaged in the moment of prayer.

                                    Of course none of this will mean anything if the English translations
                                    we use are bad, and the biggest evil so far of putting English to
                                    Byzantine music has been the compromises in the language to preserve
                                    melodies meant for Greek. If we rob the language of its poetry and
                                    ingenious wordplay, then we have lost a far greater part of our Church
                                    than not preserving some musical phrases and styles. So when we put
                                    English texts to music we need far more than skilled composers and
                                    musicians, we need those who combine musical knowledge with scriptural
                                    and literary knowledge--who are also well-versed English poets and
                                    Orthodox Christian theologians. We need this English chant to be just
                                    as excellent as the Byzantine chant.

                                    Stan
                                  • Apostolos Combitsis
                                    Stan, Your points are very well taken. Employing the use of English ( the vernacular , as you appropriately call it as it pertains to us) is good, proper and
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Jun 8, 2007
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                                      Stan,

                                      Your points are very well taken. Employing the use of English ("the
                                      vernacular", as you appropriately call it as it pertains to us) is
                                      good, proper and very necessary, BUT (and of course, this is my
                                      opinion) I believe its use should be limited ONLY to pedagogical use.
                                      You readily agree with me about our roots, you agree with me about
                                      the preservation of our traditional hymnology (melodies AND prose
                                      together) and you agree with me about bad translations. Therefore, MY
                                      solutions would be this: keep the Greek language and all of the
                                      traditional elements intact, and use the English to TEACH and EXPLAIN
                                      it all. There is absolutely NO QUESTION that the "language of the
                                      people" should be used in preaching the Gospel (and, by extension, the
                                      Orthodox faith as a whole). But, preaching the Gospel is one thing;
                                      preservation of Liturgical tradition is another. This is why it
                                      makes more sense to me to EDUCATE the masses and have them come to an
                                      understanding of the faith, rather than spoon-feeding them and have
                                      them continue to understand nothing.

                                      Let me give you a small and simple example: take the phrase "Kyrie
                                      eleison". I won't go into a long theological discussion on this, but
                                      suffice it to say, "Lord have mercy" is NOT an accurate translation.
                                      Any Orthodox theologian worth his (or her) salt, if asked this
                                      question, will give you a half hour's sermonette on the true and deep
                                      meaning of "Kyrie eleison" and why "Lord have mercy" is a very
                                      watered-down and technically inaccurate substitute. I maintain that
                                      "the masses" will be in a far better position to hear our theologian's
                                      half-hour explanation of "Kyrie eleison", understand it fully and FEEL
                                      it when they hear it being chanted in Church, and finally dispense
                                      with the English "translation" entirely because, at this point, it is
                                      no longer needed. Do you see where I'm going with this? If we can't
                                      even translate "Kyrie eleison", imagine how inaccurate all of our
                                      OTHER hymns are!

                                      How about the word "Pantokrator"? There's no way you're going to
                                      convince me that "Almighty" is an acceptable translation. It isn't
                                      even close! You start using "Almighty" for "Pantokrator", you have
                                      wiped out the essential meaning of the word. THIS is what I'm yelling
                                      and screaming about, Stan. And I don't think that we should be
                                      content with mediocrity. This is our Faith we're talking about. This
                                      is a matter which concerns our souls. My father always says, "The
                                      matter of our salvation is not a game." ("Den einai paixnidi i
                                      sotiria mas.") And he's right. We need all the help we can get.

                                      You said that "We need this English chant to be just as excellent as
                                      the Byzantine chant." In all honesty, I don't ever see that
                                      happening. English chant will always be light-years behind the
                                      original and will never become equal to it. That's because it CAN'T
                                      become equal to it, for reasons I've stated before and above. And I'm
                                      not downplaying our theologians or musicologists or composers because
                                      I'm not saying that THEY can't translate it; I'm saying that IT CAN'T
                                      BE translated. Oh, it can be explained without any problem, but to
                                      translate it into a phrase having a similar or equal syllabic
                                      structure as the original, well.... I've pointed out why this attempt
                                      is an exercise in futility which actually short-changes the original.
                                      And guess what? Even the CATHOLICS say "Kyrie eleison". Why should
                                      WE, who INVENTED the phrase, drop it for an inferior substitute??
                                      I've used "Kyrie eleison" to illustrate my point, but I'm sure you
                                      realize that my argument applies to ALL of our hymnology.

                                      I think you have a really good understanding of what's what, and I
                                      applaud you for continuing to search, to REsearch, to discuss and to
                                      seek the truth. You're not argumentative, yet you seek that which is
                                      proper while, at the same time, trying to offer something to those who
                                      are handicapped in their understand. If everyone did what you did,
                                      we'd all be in good shape. But I submit to you, translations and
                                      easy-way-outs FURTHER handicap the handicapped.

                                      Paul


                                      --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, "Stan Takis" <takistan@...>
                                      wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Dear Paul:
                                      >
                                      > At the risk of sounding capricious, I must say I absolutely agree with
                                      > everything you wrote, except that I favor the use of English as well.
                                      > God forbid we ever replace Greek entirely. The tree cannot grow
                                      > without its roots. But an ancillary use of English is appropriate
                                      > because, though you are right that if a person were to follow a
                                      > translation in a book, he would know what was happening in the service
                                      > and understand it, this still constitutes using English. If English is
                                      > appropriate to be put in a book alongside the Greek, then why isn't it
                                      > all right to use it aloud, alongside the Greek? If it's just a matter
                                      > of using English, period, it sounds to me that there is no question
                                      > here. Everyone agrees that at some point the vernacular language must
                                      > be employed in some manner.
                                      >
                                      > However, I also find myself agreeing with your points on Byzantine
                                      > chant and how it is married to the Greek language. This is the one
                                      > place where I, as an observer, seem to disagree with those who try to
                                      > incorporate every subtle nuance of Byzantine music with the English
                                      > language. I know others have said they seldom had a problem with such
                                      > adaptation, but I think this musical system, created for another
                                      > language, robs English of some of its unique qualities. That's why I
                                      > favor simplified chant (a la Sakellarides) for English, because it
                                      > allows the expressive abilities of the English language to shine
                                      > better. It's a better marriage than pure Byzantine chant. I know I
                                      > have been asked time an again for "proof" of this statement and
                                      > examples (which I have tried to give) that show this, but really, the
                                      > examples are general and the proof is ephemeral. It's something I
                                      > sense. It may be subtle, but I know it is there and I know it makes a
                                      > difference. If people want to shrug it off as the musings of someone
                                      > who doesn't know what he's talking about, so be it, but it won't
                                      > change my opinion.
                                      >
                                      > So this begs the question as to why I favor an Octoechos based on the
                                      > Byzantine system for English, albeit simplified. The answer is that
                                      > there are advantages to this system that work wonderfully well with
                                      > ecclesiastical texts, regardless of which language. I don't want to
                                      > throw it out and replace it with English folk music. I just want to
                                      > tweak it and adjust it for optimal use with the English language, so
                                      > that, when it is incorporated in the the services with Greek, there is
                                      > no dropoff in quality--so that when, like in the book, it stands
                                      > side-by-side with the Greek chant, the English-speaking worshiper is
                                      > engaged in the moment of prayer.
                                      >
                                      > Of course none of this will mean anything if the English translations
                                      > we use are bad, and the biggest evil so far of putting English to
                                      > Byzantine music has been the compromises in the language to preserve
                                      > melodies meant for Greek. If we rob the language of its poetry and
                                      > ingenious wordplay, then we have lost a far greater part of our Church
                                      > than not preserving some musical phrases and styles. So when we put
                                      > English texts to music we need far more than skilled composers and
                                      > musicians, we need those who combine musical knowledge with scriptural
                                      > and literary knowledge--who are also well-versed English poets and
                                      > Orthodox Christian theologians. We need this English chant to be just
                                      > as excellent as the Byzantine chant.
                                      >
                                      > Stan
                                      >
                                    • Alexandros Andreou
                                      Apostolos, When words or sentences are translated poorly, you do well to yell and scream . Your solution of having a theologian give a half hour sermonette on
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Jun 8, 2007
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                                        Apostolos,

                                        When words or sentences are translated poorly, you do well to "yell and
                                        scream". Your solution of having a theologian give a half hour
                                        sermonette on such words or sentences is ideal. But if you multiply half
                                        an hour by the thousands of words and phrases in liturgical Greek, you
                                        will soon realize that your ideal solution is very impractical. If you
                                        give typical parishioners an ultimatum of all or nothing (i.e. either
                                        learn Greek or understand nothing in church), a significant portion of
                                        them will end up with nothing. If they are not full of zeal, they will
                                        get tired really fast of understanding nothing, and a bunch of them
                                        might stop going to church at all, or they might end up at the nearest
                                        Protestant organization. If their salvation is not a game, we should not
                                        risk gambling it by insisting on such impractical ultimatums no matter
                                        how ideal they are.

                                        Do you know how frustrating it is to be in church and not understand a
                                        word of it? Have you yourself ever experienced this? I once went to
                                        church in a parish where everything was in Slavonic, and I suffered
                                        terribly. Sure, the atmosphere was prayerful, the people were nice, the
                                        icons were OK, the music was--well, I won't get into that!--and I could
                                        still try to pray on my own. But I was not participating in the service,
                                        and I was missing out on the benefit that the holy authors of the
                                        troparia intended us to have.

                                        -Alexandros


                                        On Sat, 09 Jun 2007 04:18:40 -0000, "Apostolos Combitsis"
                                        <apostolos@...> said:
                                        > Stan,
                                        >
                                        > Your points are very well taken. Employing the use of English ("the
                                        > vernacular", as you appropriately call it as it pertains to us) is
                                        > good, proper and very necessary, BUT (and of course, this is my
                                        > opinion) I believe its use should be limited ONLY to pedagogical use.
                                        > You readily agree with me about our roots, you agree with me about
                                        > the preservation of our traditional hymnology (melodies AND prose
                                        > together) and you agree with me about bad translations. Therefore, MY
                                        > solutions would be this: keep the Greek language and all of the
                                        > traditional elements intact, and use the English to TEACH and EXPLAIN
                                        > it all. There is absolutely NO QUESTION that the "language of the
                                        > people" should be used in preaching the Gospel (and, by extension, the
                                        > Orthodox faith as a whole). But, preaching the Gospel is one thing;
                                        > preservation of Liturgical tradition is another. This is why it
                                        > makes more sense to me to EDUCATE the masses and have them come to an
                                        > understanding of the faith, rather than spoon-feeding them and have
                                        > them continue to understand nothing.
                                        >
                                        > Let me give you a small and simple example: take the phrase "Kyrie
                                        > eleison". I won't go into a long theological discussion on this, but
                                        > suffice it to say, "Lord have mercy" is NOT an accurate translation.
                                        > Any Orthodox theologian worth his (or her) salt, if asked this
                                        > question, will give you a half hour's sermonette on the true and deep
                                        > meaning of "Kyrie eleison" and why "Lord have mercy" is a very
                                        > watered-down and technically inaccurate substitute. I maintain that
                                        > "the masses" will be in a far better position to hear our theologian's
                                        > half-hour explanation of "Kyrie eleison", understand it fully and FEEL
                                        > it when they hear it being chanted in Church, and finally dispense
                                        > with the English "translation" entirely because, at this point, it is
                                        > no longer needed. Do you see where I'm going with this? If we can't
                                        > even translate "Kyrie eleison", imagine how inaccurate all of our
                                        > OTHER hymns are!
                                        >
                                        > How about the word "Pantokrator"? There's no way you're going to
                                        > convince me that "Almighty" is an acceptable translation. It isn't
                                        > even close! You start using "Almighty" for "Pantokrator", you have
                                        > wiped out the essential meaning of the word. THIS is what I'm yelling
                                        > and screaming about, Stan. And I don't think that we should be
                                        > content with mediocrity. This is our Faith we're talking about. This
                                        > is a matter which concerns our souls. My father always says, "The
                                        > matter of our salvation is not a game." ("Den einai paixnidi i
                                        > sotiria mas.") And he's right. We need all the help we can get.
                                        >
                                        > You said that "We need this English chant to be just as excellent as
                                        > the Byzantine chant." In all honesty, I don't ever see that
                                        > happening. English chant will always be light-years behind the
                                        > original and will never become equal to it. That's because it CAN'T
                                        > become equal to it, for reasons I've stated before and above. And I'm
                                        > not downplaying our theologians or musicologists or composers because
                                        > I'm not saying that THEY can't translate it; I'm saying that IT CAN'T
                                        > BE translated. Oh, it can be explained without any problem, but to
                                        > translate it into a phrase having a similar or equal syllabic
                                        > structure as the original, well.... I've pointed out why this attempt
                                        > is an exercise in futility which actually short-changes the original.
                                        > And guess what? Even the CATHOLICS say "Kyrie eleison". Why should
                                        > WE, who INVENTED the phrase, drop it for an inferior substitute??
                                        > I've used "Kyrie eleison" to illustrate my point, but I'm sure you
                                        > realize that my argument applies to ALL of our hymnology.
                                        >
                                        > I think you have a really good understanding of what's what, and I
                                        > applaud you for continuing to search, to REsearch, to discuss and to
                                        > seek the truth. You're not argumentative, yet you seek that which is
                                        > proper while, at the same time, trying to offer something to those who
                                        > are handicapped in their understand. If everyone did what you did,
                                        > we'd all be in good shape. But I submit to you, translations and
                                        > easy-way-outs FURTHER handicap the handicapped.
                                        >
                                        > Paul
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, "Stan Takis" <takistan@...>
                                        > wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > > Dear Paul:
                                        > >
                                        > > At the risk of sounding capricious, I must say I absolutely agree with
                                        > > everything you wrote, except that I favor the use of English as well.
                                        > > God forbid we ever replace Greek entirely. The tree cannot grow
                                        > > without its roots. But an ancillary use of English is appropriate
                                        > > because, though you are right that if a person were to follow a
                                        > > translation in a book, he would know what was happening in the service
                                        > > and understand it, this still constitutes using English. If English is
                                        > > appropriate to be put in a book alongside the Greek, then why isn't it
                                        > > all right to use it aloud, alongside the Greek? If it's just a matter
                                        > > of using English, period, it sounds to me that there is no question
                                        > > here. Everyone agrees that at some point the vernacular language must
                                        > > be employed in some manner.
                                        > >
                                        > > However, I also find myself agreeing with your points on Byzantine
                                        > > chant and how it is married to the Greek language. This is the one
                                        > > place where I, as an observer, seem to disagree with those who try to
                                        > > incorporate every subtle nuance of Byzantine music with the English
                                        > > language. I know others have said they seldom had a problem with such
                                        > > adaptation, but I think this musical system, created for another
                                        > > language, robs English of some of its unique qualities. That's why I
                                        > > favor simplified chant (a la Sakellarides) for English, because it
                                        > > allows the expressive abilities of the English language to shine
                                        > > better. It's a better marriage than pure Byzantine chant. I know I
                                        > > have been asked time an again for "proof" of this statement and
                                        > > examples (which I have tried to give) that show this, but really, the
                                        > > examples are general and the proof is ephemeral. It's something I
                                        > > sense. It may be subtle, but I know it is there and I know it makes a
                                        > > difference. If people want to shrug it off as the musings of someone
                                        > > who doesn't know what he's talking about, so be it, but it won't
                                        > > change my opinion.
                                        > >
                                        > > So this begs the question as to why I favor an Octoechos based on the
                                        > > Byzantine system for English, albeit simplified. The answer is that
                                        > > there are advantages to this system that work wonderfully well with
                                        > > ecclesiastical texts, regardless of which language. I don't want to
                                        > > throw it out and replace it with English folk music. I just want to
                                        > > tweak it and adjust it for optimal use with the English language, so
                                        > > that, when it is incorporated in the the services with Greek, there is
                                        > > no dropoff in quality--so that when, like in the book, it stands
                                        > > side-by-side with the Greek chant, the English-speaking worshiper is
                                        > > engaged in the moment of prayer.
                                        > >
                                        > > Of course none of this will mean anything if the English translations
                                        > > we use are bad, and the biggest evil so far of putting English to
                                        > > Byzantine music has been the compromises in the language to preserve
                                        > > melodies meant for Greek. If we rob the language of its poetry and
                                        > > ingenious wordplay, then we have lost a far greater part of our Church
                                        > > than not preserving some musical phrases and styles. So when we put
                                        > > English texts to music we need far more than skilled composers and
                                        > > musicians, we need those who combine musical knowledge with scriptural
                                        > > and literary knowledge--who are also well-versed English poets and
                                        > > Orthodox Christian theologians. We need this English chant to be just
                                        > > as excellent as the Byzantine chant.
                                        > >
                                        > > Stan
                                        > >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        --
                                        Alexandros Andreou
                                        aalexandros@...

                                        --
                                        http://www.fastmail.fm - A no graphics, no pop-ups email service
                                      • Stan Takis
                                        Dear Paul: I have an answer for you, but before I give it, could you please, (without giving a 30-minute sermonette :-), shed a little more light on the true
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Jun 9, 2007
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                                          Dear Paul:

                                          I have an answer for you, but before I give it, could you please,
                                          (without giving a 30-minute sermonette :-), shed a little more light
                                          on the true meaning of Kyrie eleison and Pandokrator, so I can get a
                                          better feel for the thrust of your argument. Not being a Greek speaker
                                          or a seasoned Orthodox theologian, I am probably in need of such
                                          instruction, since this is the first time anyone has brought up the
                                          possibility that I may not really know what these terms mean. You are
                                          implying that mercy and eleos do not mean exactly the same thing, and
                                          that this extended meaning of the Greek word would be common knowledge
                                          for any Greek-speaking person.

                                          Thanks.

                                          Stan
                                        • Stan Takis
                                          Dear Apostolos: I found this article from Fr. Coniaris: http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article7124.asp It explains what you are talking about. Now
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Jun 11, 2007
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                                            Dear Apostolos:

                                            I found this article from Fr. Coniaris:

                                            http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article7124.asp

                                            It explains what you are talking about. Now I would like to comment on
                                            a few points.

                                            > ...MY solutions would be this: keep the Greek language and all of the
                                            > traditional elements intact, and use the English to TEACH and EXPLAIN
                                            > it all. There is absolutely NO QUESTION that the "language of the
                                            > people" should be used in preaching the Gospel (and, by extension, the
                                            > Orthodox faith as a whole). But, preaching the Gospel is one thing;
                                            > preservation of Liturgical tradition is another.

                                            You know I agree with you that preserving the liturgical tradition is
                                            important, but we can do that in addition to having English liturgies.
                                            I, for one, don't care for the mixing of languages in the same
                                            service. It's kind of like listening to someone on a bad cell phone
                                            connection. You only get intermittent information in the language you
                                            speak. I prefer doing entire liturgies in one language or the other
                                            rotating on some sort of regular schedule. I think this would preserve
                                            the Greek/Byzantine liturgical tradition very well--having and
                                            supporting frequent, entirely Greek/Byzantine traditional liturgies,
                                            even if it were only once a month or moderately less.

                                            > Do you see where I'm going with this? If we can't
                                            > even translate "Kyrie eleison", imagine how inaccurate all of our
                                            > OTHER hymns are!...THIS is what I'm yelling
                                            > and screaming about, Stan. And I don't think that we should be
                                            > content with mediocrity. This is our Faith we're talking about. This
                                            > is a matter which concerns our souls. My father always says, "The
                                            > matter of our salvation is not a game." ("Den einai paixnidi i
                                            > sotiria mas.") And he's right. We need all the help we can get.

                                            I agree with your father, (and this takes me to my personal pet peeve
                                            about English translations--that they are not done carefully enough,
                                            that they are too literal and don't take into consideration English
                                            grammar, syntax, poetry, and style). It seems to me that the education
                                            you speak about would have to occur in all languages, including Greek.
                                            I wouldn't think one could assume that every Greek-speaker would know
                                            all of the theology behind phrases like Kyrie eleison and Pandokrator,
                                            much less all of the other hymns. If the English translations of these
                                            phrases are inadequate, I do not think that means they CANNOT be
                                            translated better. English-speaking people were created by God with
                                            the same mental and physical tools as Greek-speaking people, and they
                                            have a language which is the lingua franca of the present day and has
                                            a lexicon of more words, by far, than any other language. The greatest
                                            poet in the history of the world wrote his works in English.

                                            In his article, Fr. Anthony states:

                                            "The word mercy in English is the translation of the Greek word eleos.
                                            This word has the same ultimate root as the old Greek word for oil, or
                                            more precisely, olive oil; a substance which was used extensively as a
                                            soothing agent for bruises and minor wounds. The oil was poured onto
                                            the wound and gently massaged in, thus soothing, comforting and making
                                            whole the injured part. The Hebrew word which is also translated as
                                            eleos and mercy is hesed, and means steadfast love. The Greek words
                                            for 'Lord, have mercy,' are 'Kyrie, eleison' ­ that is to say, 'Lord,
                                            soothe me, comfort me, take away my pain, show me your steadfast
                                            love.' Thus mercy does not refer so much to justice or acquittal ­ a
                                            very Western interpretation ­ but to the infinite loving-kindness of
                                            God, and his compassion for his suffering children! It is in this
                                            sense that we pray 'Lord, have mercy,' with great frequency throughout
                                            the Divine Liturgy."

                                            I'm not sure that Greek-speakers would not have to be taught this
                                            about eleos almost as much as English-speakers. As for the word
                                            "mercy," despite Coniaris' description of the "very Western
                                            interpretation," any well-educated English-speaking person knows there
                                            are many shades of meaning to the term "mercy" even if it is not
                                            derived from "olive oil." Look in any dictionary and some synonyms for
                                            mercy include "tenderness" and "compassion." In fact, you WON'T find
                                            "justice" or "acquittal." You will find "forbearance," "benevolence,"
                                            and "lenity," however, for example.

                                            I think it's a little ethnocentric of us Greeks to believe that the
                                            Greek language is the only one that can express the fine points of
                                            Orthodox Christian theology. But even if this were true, it would not
                                            blunt the necessity of using the vernacular in the actual worship
                                            service. Prayer is spontaneous, and even if you have studied and been
                                            giving instruction on the Greek liturgy, it is not the same thing to
                                            just hear it and be able to pray spontaneously. Even if you argue that
                                            study and instruction allow one to understand the Greek liturgy after
                                            repeated exposure to it, you never know when a new convert or
                                            potential convert to Orthodoxy is in your midst during a service.

                                            > You said that "We need this English chant to be just as excellent as
                                            > the Byzantine chant." In all honesty, I don't ever see that
                                            > happening. English chant will always be light-years behind the
                                            > original and will never become equal to it. That's because it CAN'T
                                            > become equal to it, for reasons I've stated before and above.

                                            Well, I was not implying total equality to Byzantine chant. I meant
                                            that English Orthodox chant should be just as excellent on its own
                                            terms and standards, and we can define this excellence by observing
                                            how the Greek hymnographers treated THEIR language. Did they put large
                                            accents on trivial words? Did they make chanting awkward by putting
                                            unexpected musical emphasis on unaccented syllables? Did they suddenly
                                            stick odd melismas in heirmolgical hymns? Did they repeat fragments of
                                            phrases over and over to cover extra notes, thus obscuring the
                                            language? Did they use unpredictable formulas foreign to a particular
                                            mode? Did they use technical, clinical, and un-poetic verse? Did they
                                            use bad grammar? This is what I mean when I say the English chant
                                            should be just as excellent.

                                            As far as whether or not it can or cannot be translated, well, I think
                                            it can be, insofar as it doesn't have to be misleading or destructive
                                            to the theology. If, by some way, it excludes a fine meaning or lacks
                                            power to fully enlighten the worshiper, I would say that the
                                            translators and composers need to work harder and that much of this
                                            can be covered by the clergy's homilies.

                                            I think the main difference between you and me in this matter is that
                                            you say it cannot be done, and I say, despite all the bad stuff out
                                            there, it can be done and must be done, if only to mitigate the bad
                                            stuff. Good material, if well-distributed and endorsed by people who
                                            are respected, will overcome bad material eventually. But we are not
                                            working hard enough at this. Priests are still ordering the Green Book
                                            for their parishes because they are unaware that there are better
                                            things available. I don't think your solution, Paul, is going to stop
                                            this at any time, so it seems to me that we should be encouraging
                                            efforts to improve the English liturgical material.

                                            And this is a reason that I do not endorse a "permanent official
                                            English translation" of our liturgical texts to be handed down by fiat
                                            from the hierarchy. I would prefer that they do appoint a few good
                                            theologians, linguists, poets, and writers who are natives in both
                                            languages on an official committee to review as many as the existing
                                            texts as possible and present a "preferred translation," which can be
                                            examined and improved periodically over a period of many years so that
                                            it's excellence will naturally become apparent, and it will become an
                                            undisputed preference eventually on its own terms and not those of
                                            some individual who feels that he/she knows better than everyone else.

                                            Stan

                                            www.newbyz.org
                                          • Alexandros Andreou
                                            On Mon, 11 Jun 2007 15:03:54 -0000, Stan Takis ... Why did you include in this list of questions the comment about repeating fragments
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Jun 11, 2007
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                                              On Mon, 11 Jun 2007 15:03:54 -0000, "Stan Takis" <takistan@...>
                                              said:

                                              > I meant
                                              > that English Orthodox chant should be just as excellent on its own
                                              > terms and standards, and we can define this excellence by observing
                                              > how the Greek hymnographers treated THEIR language. Did they put large
                                              > accents on trivial words? Did they make chanting awkward by putting
                                              > unexpected musical emphasis on unaccented syllables? Did they suddenly
                                              > stick odd melismas in heirmolgical hymns? Did they repeat fragments of
                                              > phrases over and over to cover extra notes, thus obscuring the
                                              > language? Did they use unpredictable formulas foreign to a particular
                                              > mode? Did they use technical, clinical, and un-poetic verse? Did they
                                              > use bad grammar? This is what I mean when I say the English chant
                                              > should be just as excellent.

                                              Why did you include in this list of questions the comment about
                                              repeating fragments of phrases over and over? Aren't you aware that the
                                              Greek hynographers did exactly that?
                                              --
                                              Alexandros Andreou
                                              aalexandros@...

                                              --
                                              http://www.fastmail.fm - Does exactly what it says on the tin
                                            • Stan Takis
                                              Alexandros: I know it s done in papadic hymns, but where do they do that in heirmological and sticheraric hymns when it s not part of the text itself? Anyway,
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Jun 11, 2007
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                                                Alexandros:

                                                I know it's done in papadic hymns, but where do they do that in
                                                heirmological and sticheraric hymns when it's not part of the text
                                                itself?

                                                Anyway, I'm not referring to that. I'm talking about English
                                                translations that do it when it's not in the Greek text of the hymn
                                                that's being translated.

                                                Stan

                                                --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, "Alexandros Andreou"
                                                <aalexandros@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > On Mon, 11 Jun 2007 15:03:54 -0000, "Stan Takis" <takistan@...>
                                                > said:
                                                >
                                                > > I meant
                                                > > that English Orthodox chant should be just as excellent on its own
                                                > > terms and standards, and we can define this excellence by observing
                                                > > how the Greek hymnographers treated THEIR language. Did they put large
                                                > > accents on trivial words? Did they make chanting awkward by putting
                                                > > unexpected musical emphasis on unaccented syllables? Did they suddenly
                                                > > stick odd melismas in heirmolgical hymns? Did they repeat fragments of
                                                > > phrases over and over to cover extra notes, thus obscuring the
                                                > > language? Did they use unpredictable formulas foreign to a particular
                                                > > mode? Did they use technical, clinical, and un-poetic verse? Did they
                                                > > use bad grammar? This is what I mean when I say the English chant
                                                > > should be just as excellent.
                                                >
                                                > Why did you include in this list of questions the comment about
                                                > repeating fragments of phrases over and over? Aren't you aware that the
                                                > Greek hynographers did exactly that?
                                                > --
                                                > Alexandros Andreou
                                                > aalexandros@...
                                                >
                                                > --
                                                > http://www.fastmail.fm - Does exactly what it says on the tin
                                                >
                                              • Alexandros Andreou
                                                On Mon, 11 Jun 2007 19:03:41 -0000, Stan Takis ... OK. But FYI, words and parts of words are also duplicated in the old sticheraric
                                                Message 23 of 27 , Jun 11, 2007
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                                                  On Mon, 11 Jun 2007 19:03:41 -0000, "Stan Takis" <takistan@...>
                                                  said:
                                                  > Alexandros:
                                                  >
                                                  > I know it's done in papadic hymns, but where do they do that in
                                                  > heirmological and sticheraric hymns when it's not part of the text
                                                  > itself?
                                                  >
                                                  > Anyway, I'm not referring to that. I'm talking about English
                                                  > translations that do it when it's not in the Greek text of the hymn
                                                  > that's being translated.
                                                  >
                                                  > Stan

                                                  OK. But FYI, words and parts of words are also duplicated in the "old"
                                                  sticheraric hymns as well as in papadic hymns.
                                                  --
                                                  Alexandros Andreou
                                                  aalexandros@...

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