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Byzantine chant introduced in Ekaterinburg convent

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  • Fr. John R. Shaw
    Aug. 26, 2008 (Mospat.ru): Byzantine chants will soon be heard in a convent in the Urals: the nuns have been studying them under the guidance of a protopsaltes
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 26 1:22 PM
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      Aug. 26, 2008 (Mospat.ru): Byzantine chants will soon
      be heard in a convent in the Urals: the nuns have been
      studying them under the guidance of a protopsaltes
      from Greece.

      In the churches of Ekaterinburg's New-Tikhvin convent,
      there will soon be heard Byzantine melodies. The sisters
      of the nunnery are studying the Byzantine tradition under
      the guidance of the proto-psaltes Emmanuel Giannopoulos,
      professor of the Athens conservatory, as the press service
      of the Moscow Patriarchate stated.

      "According to the monastery's rule, in our churches we sing
      the chants of the ancient traditions", said the monastery's
      choir director, Mother Judith. "The ancient chants create a
      special feeling: one of piety and prayer. We study them according
      to the manuscripts, and recreate and sing them at church services.
      Up till now, we had studied, for the most part, the ancient Russian
      melodies".

      Professor E. Giannopoulos is teaching the nuns the history and
      theory of Byzantine music, and the reading of Byzantine neumatic
      notation (special signs in which the Byzantine melodies were
      committed to writing), and practical studies in singing. The course
      will continue for ten days.

      Communications service of the Department of External Church Relations
      [Tr. by JRS]
    • Seraphim Larsen
      There s a wonderful tutorial on Byzantine chant at St Anthony s website -- http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Index.html Tutorial isn t quite the right
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 26 1:49 PM
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        There's a wonderful tutorial on Byzantine chant at St Anthony's website -- http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Index.html

        Tutorial isn't quite the right word -- it's quite a resource.


        Seraphim Larsen
        Florence AZ



        On Tue, Aug 26, 2008 at 1:22 PM, Fr. John R. Shaw <vrevjrs@...> wrote:

        Aug. 26, 2008 (Mospat.ru): Byzantine chants will soon
        be heard in a convent in the Urals: the nuns have been
        studying them under the guidance of a protopsaltes
        from Greece.

        In the churches of Ekaterinburg's New-Tikhvin convent,
        there will soon be heard Byzantine melodies. The sisters
        of the nunnery are studying the Byzantine tradition under
        the guidance of the proto-psaltes Emmanuel Giannopoulos,
        professor of the Athens conservatory, as the press service
        of the Moscow Patriarchate stated.

        "According to the monastery's rule, in our churches we sing
        the chants of the ancient traditions", said the monastery's
        choir director, Mother Judith. "The ancient chants create a
        special feeling: one of piety and prayer. We study them according
        to the manuscripts, and recreate and sing them at church services.
        Up till now, we had studied, for the most part, the ancient Russian
        melodies".

        Professor E. Giannopoulos is teaching the nuns the history and
        theory of Byzantine music, and the reading of Byzantine neumatic
        notation (special signs in which the Byzantine melodies were
        committed to writing), and practical studies in singing. The course
        will continue for ten days.

        Communications service of the Department of External Church Relations
        [Tr. by JRS]


      • Fr. John R. Shaw
        ... JRS: What I find of interest is not modern Byzantine chant per se, but rather the fact that these Russian nuns are studying it: something most unusual in
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 30 6:32 AM
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          --- In orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com, "Seraphim Larsen" <seraphim37@...> wrote:
          >
          > There's a wonderful tutorial on Byzantine chant at St Anthony's website --

          JRS: What I find of interest is not modern Byzantine chant per se, but rather the fact that
          these Russian nuns are studying it: something most unusual in our time.

          In Christ
          Fr. John R. Shaw
        • DDD
          No, it s not unusual here-I was trying to find a church once near my apartment in Taganka, and just about every church around was doing Byzantine chant-in
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 30 12:24 PM
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            No, it’s not unusual here—I was trying to find a church once near my apartment in Taganka, and just about every church around was doing “Byzantine” chant—in whole or in part.  A couple even had all-male choirs.

                            I prefer the good ol’ Obikhod style, myself.  But if it has to be “ancient,” then I’ll take either old Russian or Gregorian—both have a free rhythm that follows the flow of the words.  Byzantine chant, if you’ll take notice, has an almost unrelenting 4/4 beat (though it doesn’t have a time signature or bars, the 4/4 beat is there).

                            Interesting, I am finding out that some of what was labeled in Boston as “Byzantine” chant is in reality Bulgarian—not only was it sung at the Bulgarian podvorie, but the sheet music you find also has those melodies labeled “Bulgarian chant.”

             

            --Dimitra Dwelley

             

            From: orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com [mailto:orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Fr. John R. Shaw
            Sent: Saturday, August 30, 2008 5:32 PM
            To: orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [orthodox-rocor] Re: Byzantine chant introduced in Ekaterinburg convent

             

            --- In orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com, "Seraphim Larsen" <seraphim37@...> wrote:

            >
            > There's a wonderful tutorial on Byzantine chant at St Anthony's website --

            JRS: What I find of interest is not modern Byzantine chant per se, but rather the fact that
            these Russian nuns are studying it: something most unusual in our time.

            In Christ
            Fr. John R. Shaw

          • Meg Lark
            ... [ml] Not only that, the Greeks have this thing about the words having to fit the *music,* which makes my SSLM-trained ear bend painfully. Thus, when they
            Message 5 of 6 , Aug 30 3:04 PM
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              On Sat, Aug 30, 2008 at 3:24 PM, DDD <ochichernie2@...> wrote:

              > No, it's not unusual here—I was trying to find a church once near my
              > apartment in Taganka, and just about every church around was doing
              > "Byzantine" chant—in whole or in part. A couple even had all-male choirs.
              >
              > I prefer the good ol' Obikhod style, myself. But if it has
              > to be "ancient," then I'll take either old Russian or Gregorian—both have a
              > free rhythm that follows the flow of the words. Byzantine chant, if you'll
              > take notice, has an almost unrelenting 4/4 beat (though it doesn't have a
              > time signature or bars, the 4/4 beat is there).

              [ml] Not only that, the Greeks have this thing about the words having
              to fit the *music,* which makes my SSLM-trained ear bend painfully.
              Thus, when they want to translate the words into English, not only do
              they make the words fit the music, which results in some truly awful
              English, but they also use that "You-Who" English that I frankly
              deplore.

              Pray for me; I'm trapped in a Greek parish, love the priest, love the
              people, but CAN'T STAND Byzantine chant!!!

              In Christ,
              Meg

              --
              Glory to God for all things, including, I guess I have to admit,
              Byzantine music...
            • Seraphim Larsen
              I do agree that Byzantine music can sound horrible when it s done poorly, or when force-fitted to poor translations. That s really not the way Byzantine music
              Message 6 of 6 , Aug 30 7:44 PM
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                I do agree that Byzantine music can sound horrible when it's done poorly, or when force-fitted to poor translations.  That's really not the way Byzantine music is supposed to be. When it's done according to the traditional practice, it is truly moving and beautiful, deeply spiritual without being emotional or operatic.

                A newly translated and arranged version of the Divine Liturgy in English in Byzantine music was recently recorded by Capella Romana in the UK.  There are particular rules that the melodies must follow, but they are intended to be adapted to the texts.  This recording adapts the melodies to the English text, but does it in a way completely in keeping with the Byzantine methodology. 

                There are some interesting essays that accompany the CD, and are available online here.  An excerpt follows:

                Our adaptation process for setting English text to
                Byzantine chant begins both with a good translation
                as well as with melodic models from the central
                repertories of the received tradition. The English text
                is set in the same manner as the original Greek, not
                by using the same melody, but by following the same
                process: by applying the melodic formulae of the
                model's musical mode and genre to the text's syllabic
                patterns, and by adhering to the rules and tendencies
                of the classic Byzantine musical tradition, a new
                melody is composed. In addition, in order to provide
                an appropriate counterpart to the model chant, we
                attempt to follow the general contour and rhetoric
                of its melodic and phrasal structure, thus evoking
                a 'memory' of the original. At times, the latter goal
                must be compromised if an idiomatic rendering of
                the text is to be achieved. In some cases, we must
                abandon the original melody completely, while
                remaining faithful to the mode, genre, and style in
                which it was written. The result is a new chant, possibly
                unlike the original in its melodic content, yet
                comparable in mode, style, rhetoric, and spirit.



                There's also an interesting interview with Capella Romana's musical director, Alexander Lingas, on Ancient Faith Radio -- here's a link to the podcast:  http://audio.ancientfaith.com/interviews/afp_2008-07-15.mp3


                Seraphim Larsen





                On Sat, Aug 30, 2008 at 3:04 PM, Meg Lark <woolfolk3@...> wrote:
                On Sat, Aug 30, 2008 at 3:24 PM, DDD <ochichernie2@...> wrote:

                > No, it's not unusual here—I was trying to find a church once near my
                > apartment in Taganka, and just about every church around was doing
                > "Byzantine" chant—in whole or in part.  A couple even had all-male choirs.
                >
                >                 I prefer the good ol' Obikhod style, myself.  But if it has
                > to be "ancient," then I'll take either old Russian or Gregorian—both have a
                > free rhythm that follows the flow of the words.  Byzantine chant, if you'll
                > take notice, has an almost unrelenting 4/4 beat (though it doesn't have a
                > time signature or bars, the 4/4 beat is there).

                [ml]  Not only that, the Greeks have this thing about the words having
                to fit the *music,* which makes my SSLM-trained ear bend painfully.
                Thus, when they want to translate the words into English, not only do
                they make the words fit the music, which results in some truly awful
                English, but they also use that "You-Who" English that I frankly
                deplore.

                Pray for me; I'm trapped in a Greek parish, love the priest, love the
                people, but CAN'T STAND Byzantine chant!!!

                In Christ,
                Meg

                --
                Glory to God for all things, including, I guess I have to admit,
                Byzantine music...

                ------------------------------------

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