Relationship of Byzantine Chant to Traditional Music of Other Orthodox Countries

GabrielCremeens

Music Director at St. George, Albuquerque, NM
#1
Ευλογείτε,

Thought this might be an interesting discussion... can anyone here comment on the relationship of Byzantine chant to the traditional chant of other Orthodox countries, such as Georgia or Russia? For instance, the relationship of Byzantine chant to Znamenny chant (traditionally, strictly monophonic, most claim), or Byzantine chant to Georgian chant (3-part harmony, interestingly enough), or Byzantine chant to Valaam chant (not sure about the relationship here).

Obviously, the three have been developing pretty independently of each other for quite a while now... but from what I've read, both Znamenny and Georgian chant were cultural "spin-offs" of Byzantine chant, in a sense. Apparently the Russian Old Believers still use a form of neume notation to notate Znamenny chants, and old Georgian chant had its own neumatic notation system as well (I can link to some images of neumatic notation in these two traditions, for those who are interested).

As far as the the musical theory of each branch goes... I know nothing about Valaam chant, so I won't go there. However, Znamenny chant has some interesting stuff, a short article here: http://www.synaxis.info/psalom/research/simmons/mutations.html
Also, it seems, traditionally, to be strictly chanted in unison, despite Fr. German (Ryabtsev)'s recordings that make use of ison.

And Georgian chant theory seems to be based on a different "scale" system than most other music; a brief survey of some chant transcriptions in Western notation reveals that the bass and treble clefs sometimes have different key signatures (for instance, key of F (1 flat) in the treble; key of B-flat (2 flats) in the bass); the reason for this being that Georgian chant is based upon a "quintave" system... that is, the scale repeats every five notes ("quintave") instead of eight (octave). Brief quotes on Georgian chant: http://www.synaxis.info/psalom/regional/4_Georgian/4_www.html

I'll try to edit this post later with some links to Znamenny and Georgian music, both in their respective neumatic systems, and some recordings of both.
 

saltypsalti

Παλαιό Μέλος
#2
Ευλογείτε,

Thought this might be an interesting discussion... can anyone here comment on the relationship of Byzantine chant to the traditional chant of other Orthodox countries, such as Georgia or Russia? For instance, the relationship of Byzantine chant to Znamenny chant (traditionally, strictly monophonic, most claim), or Byzantine chant to Georgian chant (3-part harmony, interestingly enough), or Byzantine chant to Valaam chant (not sure about the relationship here).

Obviously, the three have been developing pretty independently of each other for quite a while now... but from what I've read, both Znamenny and Georgian chant were cultural "spin-offs" of Byzantine chant, in a sense. Apparently the Russian Old Believers still use a form of neume notation to notate Znamenny chants, and old Georgian chant had its own neumatic notation system as well (I can link to some images of neumatic notation in these two traditions, for those who are interested).

As far as the the musical theory of each branch goes... I know nothing about Valaam chant, so I won't go there. However, Znamenny chant has some interesting stuff, a short article here: http://www.synaxis.info/psalom/research/simmons/mutations.html
Also, it seems, traditionally, to be strictly chanted in unison, despite Fr. German (Ryabtsev)'s recordings that make use of ison.

And Georgian chant theory seems to be based on a different "scale" system than most other music; a brief survey of some chant transcriptions in Western notation reveals that the bass and treble clefs sometimes have different key signatures (for instance, key of F (1 flat) in the treble; key of B-flat (2 flats) in the bass); the reason for this being that Georgian chant is based upon a "quintave" system... that is, the scale repeats every five notes ("quintave") instead of eight (octave). Brief quotes on Georgian chant: http://www.synaxis.info/psalom/regional/4_Georgian/4_www.html

I'll try to edit this post later with some links to Znamenny and Georgian music, both in their respective neumatic systems, and some recordings of both.
I suspect Znammeny has roots in medieval Byzantine chant which was substantially different than the received tradition. You would be best to consult an Old Believer/Ritualist about specifics since the tradition has been largely preserved amongst those groups-Nikita Simmons has a good website up that has some interesting information --if you Google Znammeny chant and Nikita Simmons you might be able to target the site.

Basically, my understanding is that the Znammeny glas (tones) are substantially different from the Byzantine ichos (modes) in that instead of being based on several different modal scales, they are based on a single scale and have 8 different melody formula groupings.

John, sinner and psaltis