Πεντηκοστός Ψαλμός / The 50th Psalm
Μελέτη εκτελέσεων / A study of performance practice
The 50th psalm is chanted at most Sunday Matins (Orthros) services throughout the
year. Although there is modern music for it, most psaltai chant it by-heart, in
fast tempo, faster than Heirmologic. In the books it is often described that it
is chanted "Chyma" (Freely"). There is some variation in how psaltai chant this
psalm nowadays. What is the most traditional way to chant this psalm? What do they
do at the Patriarchate?
Μουσικό Κείμενο / Scores
The following were offered by Shota Gugushvili.
Ioannis Protopsaltis (Second mode) [zip
, 680 Kb]
Ioannis Protopsaltis (Barys mode) [zip
, 650 Kb]
Georgios Raidestinos (Second mode) [zip
Georgios Raidestinos (Barys mode) [zip
Ηχογραφήσεις / Recordings
Διάφορες περιπτώσεις εκτελέσεων: / Variations of current practice:
Σύντομη χρονική αγωγή και σταθερός τονικός ρυθμός / Fast tempo with accent-based
Some psaltai chant it fast but rhythmically. This seems to be the Patriarchal practice.
Notice the tempo slow down at the end of each verse.
Στανίτσας-Δανιηλίδης (ζωντανά στο Πατριαρχείο) / Th. Stanitsas - N. Danielidis [rm
, 985 Kb] (live
a the Patriarchate, 1963) (from cmkon.org)
Note: "Idou Gar Alitheian" is always chanted slowly when there is a Bishop/Patriarch
presiding to give time for the Gospel to come out of the Altar and the Bishop to
venerate it. Eis polla is chanted at the end of that verse. Then, back to fast tempo.
Σύντομη χρονική αγωγή και μεταβαλόμενος ρυθμός/χρόνος / Fast tempo with irregular
Γεώργιος Μιχαλάκης / G. K. Michalakis [ra
(from psaltopedia) and a personal interpretation (GKM: a synthesis of all I have
heard from Tsolakidis, Bardas, Fr. Desipris, Lagouros and Xerodimas) [mp3
, 2 Mb]
Αργή χρονική αγωγή / Relatively slow tempo
Some psaltai chant it relatively slowly. This trend probably came from churches
with large congregations taking time to kiss the Gospel. In some local churches
in great feasts that can take up to half an hour! But many modern psaltai chant
the psalm slowly regardless. The especially slow down in verses like "Kyrie Ta Cheilh
mou Anoixeis" etc. which they perform solo and slower, in a kallophonic manner.
Χορός Κώστα Ζορμπά / K. Zorbas' choir [mp3
, 1.3 Mb] (part)
Άλλοι ήχοι εκτός από Δεύτερο / Other modes than the traditional Second mode
Σπυρίδων Μαϊδανόγλου (Πλάγιος του Τετάρτου) / Spyridon Maidanoglou (Plagal Fourth
, 1.3 Mb]
Γεώργιος Μιχαλάκης (Βαρύς Διατονικός) / G. K. Michalakis (Barys Diatonic mode) [wma
, 912 Kb] (at the end of that recording, 5:30 min onwards)
Note: Angelos Boudouris mentions that Iakovos Nafpliotis would often chant the 50th
psalm in Barys Diatonic mode.
Σχόλια / Comments
D. Koubaroulis:It has become customary to append some
text to the beginning and the end of the chanted version of the psalm. In the beginning
we add "Elehmon" and at the end we add "kai Elehson me o Theos". How traditional
are those additions and why were they added? I don't know.
S. Gugushvili: Apart of the 2nd mode versions there're
also ones in barys. According to Fr. Rigas in the Great Lent the 50th psalm is done
in the Pl.4 evidently because "Tis metanoias..." is in Pl.4. As far as appending
text to the Psalm verses is concerned, that's how all Psalms or Biblical odes were
chanted in ancient times (remember also adding Allelouia to e.g. Douloi Kyrion verses).
Maybe "kai eleison me o Theos" is a remnant (?) of this practice.
D. Koubaroulis: Apostolos Konstas mentions both text additions
in his Typikon (early 19th century).
G. K. Michalakis: The 50th psalm and the 2 troparions
which follow should last the time necessary for all to HEAR the psalm while venerating
the TEXTUAL SOURCE of salvation they're asking for, the EVANGELION. ...As far as
appending text to the Psalm verses is concerned, notice that I have done 2 versions
of each of the FIRST and LAST verses. According to some, the last verse addition,
"kai eleison me O Theos" has been added because the melody is LIMP (is missing syllables).
For those who argue in this sense, it's an addition of MUSICAL necessity and not
of any other traditional origin.. the same goes for the first verse. Compare the
two (ALL my teachers have chanted thushow..; SOME, however, did not always use "ELEIMON" when chanting the TROPARIONS (as opposed to ALWAYS using this addition on the first
verse of the psalm).