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Re: [orthodox-rocor] Re: Tone Tutor

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  • Meg Lark
    On Sat, Feb 16, 2013 at 1:45 AM, savante914@yahoo.com ... Sticking my neck out here, but... That s actually why I prefer Russian music to Greek music. Greek
    Message 1 of 10 , Feb 16, 2013
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      On Sat, Feb 16, 2013 at 1:45 AM, savante914@... <savante914@...> wrote:
       

      There is no difference..just getting the words to fit the music.


      Sticking my neck out here, but...  That's actually why I prefer Russian music to Greek music.  Greek music well done can be beautiful, but it's really written only for Greek words.  Trying to alter it to fit English words is a huge no-no for Greeks, so they end up with constructions that sound just plain bizarre in English.  Whereas, Russian music has a wonderfully elastic quality that can accommodate English or Church Slavonic with no problem.

      Meg Lark 
    • bismarc
      Well Meg your allowed your personal like. I started out in Russian style English services. I love the music. Then I v been in the GOA since 2002. I recall
      Message 2 of 10 , Feb 16, 2013
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        Well Meg your allowed your personal like. I started out in Russian style English services. I love the music. Then I'v been in the GOA since 2002. I recall Blessed Augustine who loved Latinover Greek & knew both. So I guess we've had lingo "wars" for a while.*
        *My Spiritual Father told me the Russians in saying that the services are more western so converts are usually liking them better as well Russians say that the speed they use is to stop the demons from getting in. Greeks say that they use a slower approach as it allows the words to sink in the spirit.*
        *I've learned my Spiritual Father is right. He said go on in, sit or stand in the back. We if we learned it by say the Russian services & are in a Greek Church don't try to change it & vice versa. I like the Greek somewhat better now. I don't like the pews. I admired old Serbian men & women when I was at a Serbian monastery for Pascha 1 year. The old Serb men & women would stand although they had these nice chairs on the side for those who needed them. I have seen my own spiritual father who has seizures needing to go slower as it helps him focus. This has caused some used to Russian speed services to be told to SLOW DOWN NOW. Again my Spiritual Father said yes we have lovely services but its getting there that matters. To pray to God. Cause Meg I can't sing to save my life. After 15 years I have gotten slightly better so I still like to be in the back. God knows I am there & I know God is there. But hey I like the Russian style too.
        In Christ
        Xenos Mann
        *********
        --- In orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com, Meg Lark <woolfolk3@...> wrote:
        >
        > On Sat, Feb 16, 2013 at 1:45 AM, savante914@...
        > <savante914@...>wrote:
        >
        > > **
        > >
        > >
        > > ** There is no difference..just getting the words to fit the music.
        > >
        >
        > Sticking my neck out here, but... That's actually why I prefer Russian
        > music to Greek music. Greek music well done can be beautiful, but it's
        > really written only for Greek words. Trying to alter it to fit English
        > words is a huge no-no for Greeks, so they end up with constructions that
        > sound just plain bizarre in English. Whereas, Russian music has a
        > wonderfully elastic quality that can accommodate English or Church Slavonic
        > with no problem.
        >
        > Meg Lark
        >
      • Seraphim Larsen
        Here is an excellent article on adapting well-known melodies to new translations, with many examples in English and other languages:
        Message 3 of 10 , Feb 17, 2013
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          Here is an excellent article on adapting well-known melodies to new translations, with many examples in English and other languages:


          Here is the final summary:

          In summary, the versions of this hymn written in countries where Byzantine chant has existed for centuries (Bulgaria, Greece, Rumania, Serbia, and Syria) have two characteristics in common: the melody has been molded to match the text, and the text has not been tampered with in order to fit a particular melody. On the other hand, most arrangements of this hymn from America—where Byzantine chant has only recently appeared—preserve characteristics of the original melody at the expense of the text. In particular, three compromises have been observed in such adaptations: 1) The text itself has been tampered with in order to mimic the syllabic pattern of the original hymn, 2) unaccented syllables are unduly emphasized by the melody, and/or 3) the formulaic rules of Byzantine music composition have been stretched or disregarded. One can surmise that these compromises are not found in the hymns in countries where Byzantine chant has existed for centuries because composers with a thorough grasp of Byzantine chant abound in such places. In America, however, where Byzantine chant is new and expertise in it is rare, most attempts to arrange hymns have some or all of the aforementioned shortcomings. ...

          The question then arises, which arrangement is best? The answer to this subjective question will depend on what one believes to be the ideal degree of alteration for Byzantine melodies when adapting them to texts in a foreign language, and further, if one believes that the text may be changed to mimic the syllabic pattern of the original melody. Since the melodies in this book belong to the syllabic “sticheraric” and “heirmologic” genres, which are text-based and text-emphatic (as opposed to the melismatic “papadic” genre), we believe that the goal should be to alter or obscure the text as little as possible. Thus, our preference (in this book, at least) [14] has been to follow the example set by the adaptations made in countries with a strong tradition of Byzantine chant. In other words, we have made whatever changes necessary to the original melody to make it match the corresponding text in complete accordance with the orthographical and formulaic rules of Byzantine music composition, without altering the text. This singular achievement in English was made possible only by constantly referring to our compilation of these formulaic rules. We have posted them in a new webpage with the hope that other composers and arrangers of Byzantine music in any language will also benefit as much as we have by using them. Based on these formulae, we have also created an online seminar for composers of Byzantine music in English.


           
          Seraphim Larsen - Florence AZ - Phone (520) 251-2689



          On Sat, Feb 16, 2013 at 2:47 PM, Meg Lark <woolfolk3@...> wrote:
           

          On Sat, Feb 16, 2013 at 1:45 AM, savante914@... <savante914@...> wrote:
           

          There is no difference..just getting the words to fit the music.


          Sticking my neck out here, but...  That's actually why I prefer Russian music to Greek music.  Greek music well done can be beautiful, but it's really written only for Greek words.  Trying to alter it to fit English words is a huge no-no for Greeks, so they end up with constructions that sound just plain bizarre in English.  Whereas, Russian music has a wonderfully elastic quality that can accommodate English or Church Slavonic with no problem.

          Meg Lark 


        • Meg Lark
          Thanks for this, Seraphim - I ve always said that it *can* be done, but *isn t* being done (with the sole exception of Holy Transfiguration Monastery, which
          Message 4 of 10 , Feb 18, 2013
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            Thanks for this, Seraphim - I've always said that it *can* be done, but *isn't* being done (with the sole exception of Holy Transfiguration Monastery, which uses liturgical English - not welcome by the GOA).

            Something I learned at the Summer School of Liturgical Music (ROCOR) is that you always alter the melody to fit the text, never the other way around.  Because of the tight structure of Byzantine music, you do have to use care with your translation, but given the vast vocabulary of English, I don't see why that's such a problem for people.

            And one of the worst abuses is when they try to alter liturgical English to "You-Who" English, and leave in structures that properly belong only to liturgical English, so that you end up with things like, "You did die on the Cross," instead of "Thou didst."  Or my favorite, "Of Your Mystical Supper on this day, O Son of God, do receive me as I seek to partake," sung in all too many parishes, when a simple analysis of the words and slight restructuring of the sentence gives a much more beautiful and accurate translation:  "Receive me today, a partaker of Your Mystical Supper, O Son of God..."

            My original point was that Russian music is much more accommodating when it comes to translations; you don't have to go through gymnastics to get both a beautiful sound and an accurate and poetic translation.  But with Byzantine music, the gymnastics are well worth the result.

            OK, OK, I'LL get off my soapbox now.  Thanks for putting up with me.  And thanks for the link to the article.

            In Christ,
            Meg Lark

            On Sun, Feb 17, 2013 at 5:32 PM, Seraphim Larsen <seraphim37@...> wrote:
             

            Here is an excellent article on adapting well-known melodies to new translations, with many examples in English and other languages:



            Here is the final summary:

            In summary, the versions of this hymn written in countries where Byzantine chant has existed for centuries (Bulgaria, Greece, Rumania, Serbia, and Syria) have two characteristics in common: the melody has been molded to match the text, and the text has not been tampered with in order to fit a particular melody. On the other hand, most arrangements of this hymn from America—where Byzantine chant has only recently appeared—preserve characteristics of the original melody at the expense of the text. In particular, three compromises have been observed in such adaptations: 1) The text itself has been tampered with in order to mimic the syllabic pattern of the original hymn, 2) unaccented syllables are unduly emphasized by the melody, and/or 3) the formulaic rules of Byzantine music composition have been stretched or disregarded. One can surmise that these compromises are not found in the hymns in countries where Byzantine chant has existed for centuries because composers with a thorough grasp of Byzantine chant abound in such places. In America, however, where Byzantine chant is new and expertise in it is rare, most attempts to arrange hymns have some or all of the aforementioned shortcomings. ...

            The question then arises, which arrangement is best? The answer to this subjective question will depend on what one believes to be the ideal degree of alteration for Byzantine melodies when adapting them to texts in a foreign language, and further, if one believes that the text may be changed to mimic the syllabic pattern of the original melody. Since the melodies in this book belong to the syllabic “sticheraric” and “heirmologic” genres, which are text-based and text-emphatic (as opposed to the melismatic “papadic” genre), we believe that the goal should be to alter or obscure the text as little as possible. Thus, our preference (in this book, at least) [14] has been to follow the example set by the adaptations made in countries with a strong tradition of Byzantine chant. In other words, we have made whatever changes necessary to the original melody to make it match the corresponding text in complete accordance with the orthographical and formulaic rules of Byzantine music composition, without altering the text. This singular achievement in English was made possible only by constantly referring to our compilation of these formulaic rules. We have posted them in a new webpage with the hope that other composers and arrangers of Byzantine music in any language will also benefit as much as we have by using them. Based on these formulae, we have also created an online seminar for composers of Byzantine music in English.


             
            Seraphim Larsen - Florence AZ - Phone (520) 251-2689

          • Dale Dickerson
            Thank you! Nice to have an explaination for why I feel so uncomfortable during English language liturgies of the Greek Churches. I prefer to visit a Greek
            Message 5 of 10 , Feb 18, 2013
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              Thank you! Nice to have an explaination for why I feel so uncomfortable during English language liturgies of the Greek Churches. I prefer to visit a Greek Church using Greek and not English. Before I could not really explain why. I just knew the English Chant made me very uncomfortable.

              Dale Dickerson 

              From: Seraphim Larsen <seraphim37@...>
              To: orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Sunday, February 17, 2013 5:32 PM
              Subject: Re: [orthodox-rocor] Re: Tone Tutor


              In summary, the versions of this hymn written in countries where Byzantine chant has existed for centuries (Bulgaria, Greece, Rumania, Serbia, and Syria) have two characteristics in common: the melody has been molded to match the text, and the text has not been tampered with in order to fit a particular melody. On the other hand, most arrangements of this hymn from America—where Byzantine chant has only recently appeared—preserve characteristics of the original melody at the expense of the text. In particular, three compromises have been observed in such adaptations: 1) The text itself has been tampered with in order to mimic the syllabic pattern of the original hymn, 2) unaccented syllables are unduly emphasized by the melody, and/or 3) the formulaic rules of Byzantine music composition have been stretched or disregarded. One can surmise that these compromises are not found in the hymns in countries where Byzantine chant has existed for centuries because composers with a thorough grasp of Byzantine chant abound in such places. In America, however, where Byzantine chant is new and expertise in it is rare, most attempts to arrange hymns have some or all of the aforementioned shortcomings. ...

            • gerasimos.rm
              All to say that as long as the services are sung with compunction and prayerful hearts, and IN A LANGUAGE UNDERSTANDABLE TO THE PARISH.-That means no slavonic,
              Message 6 of 10 , Feb 18, 2013
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                All to say that as long as the services are sung with compunction and prayerful hearts, and IN A LANGUAGE UNDERSTANDABLE TO THE PARISH.-That means no slavonic, no ancient greek etc. If we continue to  philitize our services we will continue to drive our children away....far away. It is difficult enough to be engaged in the services in a language of understanding, nearly impossible otherwise.

                From: bismarc <ikonsareholy@...>
                To: orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2013 10:13:12 PM
                Subject: [orthodox-rocor] Re: Tone Tutor

                 
                Well Meg your allowed your personal like. I started out in Russian style English services. I love the music. Then I'v been in the GOA since 2002. I recall Blessed Augustine who loved Latinover Greek & knew both. So I guess we've had lingo "wars" for a while.*
                *My Spiritual Father told me the Russians in saying that the services are more western so converts are usually liking them better as well Russians say that the speed they use is to stop the demons from getting in. Greeks say that they use a slower approach as it allows the words to sink in the spirit.*
                *I've learned my Spiritual Father is right. He said go on in, sit or stand in the back. We if we learned it by say the Russian services & are in a Greek Church don't try to change it & vice versa. I like the Greek somewhat better now. I don't like the pews. I admired old Serbian men & women when I was at a Serbian monastery for Pascha 1 year. The old Serb men & women would stand although they had these nice chairs on the side for those who needed them. I have seen my own spiritual father who has seizures needing to go slower as it helps him focus. This has caused some used to Russian speed services to be told to SLOW DOWN NOW. Again my Spiritual Father said yes we have lovely services but its getting there that matters. To pray to God. Cause Meg I can't sing to save my life. After 15 years I have gotten slightly better so I still like to be in the back. God knows I am there & I know God is there. But hey I like the Russian style too.
                In Christ
                Xenos Mann
                *********
                --- In orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com, Meg Lark wrote:
                >
                > On Sat, Feb 16, 2013 at 1:45 AM, savante914@...
                > wrote:
                >
                > > **
                > >
                > >
                > > ** There is no difference..just getting the words to fit the music.
                > >
                >
                > Sticking my neck out here, but... That's actually why I prefer Russian
                > music to Greek music. Greek music well done can be beautiful, but it's
                > really written only for Greek words. Trying to alter it to fit English
                > words is a huge no-no for Greeks, so they end up with constructions that
                > sound just plain bizarre in English. Whereas, Russian music has a
                > wonderfully elastic quality that can accommodate English or Church Slavonic
                > with no problem.
                >
                > Meg Lark
                >



              • Mark Karahalis
                The second example is better. CRY out to you - The must be a stress on the CRY ----- so much is missed from translations. Wether it is from the words OR
                Message 7 of 10 , Feb 18, 2013
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                  The second example is better. " CRY out to you" - The must be a stress on the "CRY"----- so much is missed from translations. Wether it is from the words OR the music. Please! I beseech you. In all Orthodox music. Take minute to understand what is happening in the music and to understand the CONSEQUENCES of transcriptions and translations. It really is a big deal - People get bit more often from mosquitoes than elephants!
                  Mark Karahalis

                  On Feb 18, 2013 12:51 AM, "Seraphim Larsen" <seraphim37@...> wrote:
                   

                  Here is an excellent article on adapting well-known melodies to new translations, with many examples in English and other languages:



                  Here is the final summary:

                  In summary, the versions of this hymn written in countries where Byzantine chant has existed for centuries (Bulgaria, Greece, Rumania, Serbia, and Syria) have two characteristics in common: the melody has been molded to match the text, and the text has not been tampered with in order to fit a particular melody. On the other hand, most arrangements of this hymn from America—where Byzantine chant has only recently appeared—preserve characteristics of the original melody at the expense of the text. In particular, three compromises have been observed in such adaptations: 1) The text itself has been tampered with in order to mimic the syllabic pattern of the original hymn, 2) unaccented syllables are unduly emphasized by the melody, and/or 3) the formulaic rules of Byzantine music composition have been stretched or disregarded. One can surmise that these compromises are not found in the hymns in countries where Byzantine chant has existed for centuries because composers with a thorough grasp of Byzantine chant abound in such places. In America, however, where Byzantine chant is new and expertise in it is rare, most attempts to arrange hymns have some or all of the aforementioned shortcomings. ...

                  The question then arises, which arrangement is best? The answer to this subjective question will depend on what one believes to be the ideal degree of alteration for Byzantine melodies when adapting them to texts in a foreign language, and further, if one believes that the text may be changed to mimic the syllabic pattern of the original melody. Since the melodies in this book belong to the syllabic “sticheraric” and “heirmologic” genres, which are text-based and text-emphatic (as opposed to the melismatic “papadic” genre), we believe that the goal should be to alter or obscure the text as little as possible. Thus, our preference (in this book, at least) [14] has been to follow the example set by the adaptations made in countries with a strong tradition of Byzantine chant. In other words, we have made whatever changes necessary to the original melody to make it match the corresponding text in complete accordance with the orthographical and formulaic rules of Byzantine music composition, without altering the text. This singular achievement in English was made possible only by constantly referring to our compilation of these formulaic rules. We have posted them in a new webpage with the hope that other composers and arrangers of Byzantine music in any language will also benefit as much as we have by using them. Based on these formulae, we have also created an online seminar for composers of Byzantine music in English.


                   
                  Seraphim Larsen - Florence AZ - Phone (520) 251-2689



                  On Sat, Feb 16, 2013 at 2:47 PM, Meg Lark <woolfolk3@...> wrote:
                   

                  On Sat, Feb 16, 2013 at 1:45 AM, savante914@... <savante914@...> wrote:
                   

                  There is no difference..just getting the words to fit the music.


                  Sticking my neck out here, but...  That's actually why I prefer Russian music to Greek music.  Greek music well done can be beautiful, but it's really written only for Greek words.  Trying to alter it to fit English words is a huge no-no for Greeks, so they end up with constructions that sound just plain bizarre in English.  Whereas, Russian music has a wonderfully elastic quality that can accommodate English or Church Slavonic with no problem.

                  Meg Lark 


                • Meg Lark
                  ... Dale - sitting here with a big silly grin on my face - YEP! You said it! In Christ, Meg ... On Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 5:58 AM, Dale Dickerson
                  Message 8 of 10 , Feb 18, 2013
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                    On Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 5:58 AM, Dale Dickerson <hobbitofny@...> wrote:
                     


                    Thank you! Nice to have an explaination for why I feel so uncomfortable during English language liturgies of the Greek Churches. I prefer to visit a Greek Church using Greek and not English. Before I could not really explain why. I just knew the English Chant made me very uncomfortable.

                    Dale Dickerson 

                    Dale - sitting here with a big silly grin on my face - YEP!  You said it!

                    In Christ,
                    Meg
                     

                    From: Seraphim Larsen <seraphim37@...>
                    To: orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Sunday, February 17, 2013 5:32 PM

                    Subject: Re: [orthodox-rocor] Re: Tone Tutor


                    In summary, the versions of this hymn written in countries where Byzantine chant has existed for centuries (Bulgaria, Greece, Rumania, Serbia, and Syria) have two characteristics in common: the melody has been molded to match the text, and the text has not been tampered with in order to fit a particular melody. On the other hand, most arrangements of this hymn from America—where Byzantine chant has only recently appeared—preserve characteristics of the original melody at the expense of the text. In particular, three compromises have been observed in such adaptations: 1) The text itself has been tampered with in order to mimic the syllabic pattern of the original hymn, 2) unaccented syllables are unduly emphasized by the melody, and/or 3) the formulaic rules of Byzantine music composition have been stretched or disregarded. One can surmise that these compromises are not found in the hymns in countries where Byzantine chant has existed for centuries because composers with a thorough grasp of Byzantine chant abound in such places. In America, however, where Byzantine chant is new and expertise in it is rare, most attempts to arrange hymns have some or all of the aforementioned shortcomings. ...
                  • Stephen/Στέφανος
                    As a Greek-American raised in the US, not in Greece, I can attest that: 1)Anyone well educated in Modern Greek, 2) Who attends the Divine Services
                    Message 9 of 10 , Feb 19, 2013
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                      As a Greek-American raised in the US, not in Greece, I can attest that: 

                      1)Anyone well "educated" in Modern Greek,
                      2) Who attends the Divine Services "regularly",
                      and 
                      3) Who reads the Scriptures on a regular basis, in the "original Greek",

                      has NO problem understanding the Services in the original Greek!  ---AND though I love the Modern Greek language VERY much, I would NOT want the Divine Services in MG. I and most Greek-speakers would find this VERY ugly….  just as I find "you-who" modern English for the Divine Services to be INDESCRIBABLY UGLY and impious!

                      Stephanos Upton  

                      Sent from my iPhone, Stephen/Στέφανος 

                      On Feb 18, 2013, at 5:14, "gerasimos.rm" <gerasimos@...> wrote:

                       

                      All to say that as long as the services are sung with compunction and prayerful hearts, and IN A LANGUAGE UNDERSTANDABLE TO THE PARISH.-That means no slavonic, no ancient greek etc. If we continue to  philitize our services we will continue to drive our children away....far away. It is difficult enough to be engaged in the services in a language of understanding, nearly impossible otherwise.

                      From: bismarc <ikonsareholy@...>
                      To: orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2013 10:13:12 PM
                      Subject: [orthodox-rocor] Re: Tone Tutor

                       
                      Well Meg your allowed your personal like. I started out in Russian style English services. I love the music. Then I'v been in the GOA since 2002. I recall Blessed Augustine who loved Latinover Greek & knew both. So I guess we've had lingo "wars" for a while.*
                      *My Spiritual Father told me the Russians in saying that the services are more western so converts are usually liking them better as well Russians say that the speed they use is to stop the demons from getting in. Greeks say that they use a slower approach as it allows the words to sink in the spirit.*
                      *I've learned my Spiritual Father is right. He said go on in, sit or stand in the back. We if we learned it by say the Russian services & are in a Greek Church don't try to change it & vice versa. I like the Greek somewhat better now. I don't like the pews. I admired old Serbian men & women when I was at a Serbian monastery for Pascha 1 year. The old Serb men & women would stand although they had these nice chairs on the side for those who needed them. I have seen my own spiritual father who has seizures needing to go slower as it helps him focus. This has caused some used to Russian speed services to be told to SLOW DOWN NOW. Again my Spiritual Father said yes we have lovely services but its getting there that matters. To pray to God. Cause Meg I can't sing to save my life. After 15 years I have gotten slightly better so I still like to be in the back. God knows I am there & I know God is there. But hey I like the Russian style too.
                      In Christ
                      Xenos Mann
                      *********
                      --- In orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com, Meg Lark wrote:
                      >
                      > On Sat, Feb 16, 2013 at 1:45 AM, savante914@...
                      > wrote:
                      >
                      > > **
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > ** There is no difference..just getting the words to fit the music.
                      > >
                      >
                      > Sticking my neck out here, but... That's actually why I prefer Russian
                      > music to Greek music. Greek music well done can be beautiful, but it's
                      > really written only for Greek words. Trying to alter it to fit English
                      > words is a huge no-no for Greeks, so they end up with constructions that
                      > sound just plain bizarre in English. Whereas, Russian music has a
                      > wonderfully elastic quality that can accommodate English or Church Slavonic
                      > with no problem.
                      >
                      > Meg Lark
                      >



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