Byzantine chant in Russia

Panagiotis

Γενικός συντονιστής
#1
Any idea how byzantine chant is progressing in Russia? BTW I read in analogion that "Currently Konstantinos is actively working on setting the Church Slavonic texts to the Byzantine melodies". Why is he doing that? Is he unware of the work of Bulgarian XIX century psalts or he is does not like their work? They seemed to have composed virtually everything ::confused:
 

μάρκελλος

Μάρκελλος Πιράρ, Γενικός συντονιστής
#2
I totally agree with you Panagiotis. I have many psaltic books published in Bulgaria during the two last centuries, they cover almost all the repertorium, even Hourmouzios' Anoixantaria and Iakovos' Kekragaria.
 

Panagiotis

Γενικός συντονιστής
#3
And there is even more! :) Petar Sarafov in one of his books has even transcribed the Great Ison of Kukuzelis and the monastery of Rila has a fantastic library of manuscripts.
However is anyone aware how psaltic music is doing in Russia and what repertoire is being used?
 

Vladimir

Παλαιό Μέλος
#4
The situation here is not so simple. The usage of musical phrases in almost (if not) all slavonic BM books (at least in all that I've seen till now) differs more or less from that of the 'canonical' books of Petros – his Anastasimatarion and Doxastarion (if we take just sticheraric melos for the beginning). Specifically, it lacks that strict and logical system which one could easily observe in Petros books. If, for example, anyone wants to have books with meli composed in 'Petros system', he will discover that the Bulgarian books at many places pay no attention to some of the 'unwritten rules' that adheres Petros (or two Petroi, to be exact :)). This specifically relates to the distribution of the syllables in musical phrase and particularly, position of the stressed syllable in the phrase.

Here are several examples of this. Attached are two leaves from the Anastasimatarion and one of the Liturgy. On the page 5 of the Anastasimatarion in the second anastasimo sticheron in lines 6-7 is one example of such 'strange' phrase for the syllables '-konij nashih': I think you would never encounter such phrase in Petros books. Also, does not exist the phrase for the syllables 'izbavlej nas' in lines 5-6 – it is the beginning (a 'stump') of the phrase on Ga.

Further, on page 7 in line 2 there is incorrect (again, in terms of Petros books) usage of the phrase for syllables "tserkov' tvoju" – this phrase may be used for 2 of 3 syllables, but in no way for 4. Such usage occurs very often in Bulgarian books, as far as I remember.

On the line 3 of the same page there is a combination <zn'> which in Bulgarian language obviously counts as a syllable, but in Russian this conbination doesn't produce a syllable – it's a part of the one-syllable word <zhizn'>. Such instanses sound totally unexeptable for the Russian ear, it's just due to the difference in language pronunciation, but it needs to be corrected in order to use it in Russian churches. If you change the number of syllalbes, in most cases it obviously involves change of the music phrase.

In line 4 of the same page the syllables 'che-lo' take the four chronoi that in all occurences of that phrase in Petros books take a single syllable. Besides that, this syllable should be stressed in this musical phrase, whereas in reality the syllable 'lu' (2nd from the end) has the stress in this word.

Another example is the hymn 'Se ymnoumen' from the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great. If you compare this score with the classical setting of Iakovos, you'll see that in Bulgarian version the music of Iakovos has been left unchanged (not all, but the overwhelming part) and the words were 'squeezed into' the music. As a result, we have 1) the misplaced stresses and 2) differences in the correspondence of the musical phrases to the text. Eg.: the music phrase for <poje'm> is the same as for <-mnou'men> by Iakovos, so obviously we have misplaced stress; the word <blagoslovi'm> is just squeezed into the musical phrase for <eulogou'men>, resulting that the syllable 'slo' falls in the position of the musical stress, though it is unstressed in the language.

The same, as far as I have seen (just the first page though), relates to the score of the Anoixantaria shortened by Chourmousios – the music phrases are left almost intact, and the slavonic words are squeezed in the music.

To me personally, the more preferable approuch is that one (and this alternative is described well in the 'manuals' of Fr. Ephraim) where we adjust the use of the phrases according to the distribution of stressed syllables, and do not squeeze more text syllables in the musical phrase than how it was originally used by the 'greats'.

By these reasons, we are constantly looking for the books and manuscripts with the slavonic BM settings (eg. by Nektarios Vlachos, who presumably was an expert in composition for different languages; though we have very small number of his pieces yet), hoping that we can eventually find some quality adaptations. We already have quite a number of slavonic books, but according the bibliography that I have, there were printed much more books in Bulgaria than we have. Panagiotis and Markellos, if you have books, may we compare our lists, and may be you could share with us (and we with you :), if you need it) some books (of course I mean copies, preferably electronical ones) that we miss? Or manuscripts, if you have, because it's really important for us, as the volume of the material is really huge. I know that there are a number of manuscripts of Nektarios Vlachos disseminated in the monasteries of the Mt Athos and other places, may be you know where and how we can find it?
 

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μάρκελλος

Μάρκελλος Πιράρ, Γενικός συντονιστής
#5
Vladimir, Xristos voskrese

You are certainly right in noticing that in the Bulgarian psaltic books we found misplaced stresses as well as differences in the correspondence of the musical phrases to the text. Any adaptation of Byzantine music to any language must imperiously take into account the specificities of that language. In fact, one should be a poet-melod. A difficult task indeed.

I shall send you later today the complete list of all my bulgarian books.
 

evangelos

Ευάγγελος Σολδάτος
#7
Very interesting but the polyphonic music is so common in slavonic and Russian countries... The only country that I heard monophonic music is in Romania, Bucharest
 

frephraim

Παλαιό Μέλος
#8
I am delighted to hear that my compilation of formulas will be used for composing music in Slavonic. If you or any of those composers have any questions that you think I might know the answers to, I will gladly try to help you out.
+Fr. Ephraim
 

Panagiotis

Γενικός συντονιστής
#10
With all due respect to the work done in Russia I am afraid I cannot agree about the ideas regarding the unwritten and canonical 'lines'. Of course to me who are used to the melodies I learnt and execute in Greece some of these lines do seem 'different' but then again I believe that Kalistrat Zografski, Neofit Rilski et al. where closer to the three teachers' school and interpreted the melodies pretty well. However, if I were to chant from a book in slavonic whose melodic lines were according to Petros' (or perhaps Petroi's) style it would be much easier. :)
Nonetheless, in the same way that St. Paul rejoiced in the
The way Slavonic is pronounced in various countries in indeed different. I have learnt the Serbian pronunciation and my friends in Bulgaria make jokes about that (BlagOslovjen jEsi GOspodi... :D)
I cannot add much to Markellos' list, save new editions of some of the classical books (Triod, Voskresnik etc) published in the 21st century with corrected text and psaltic orthography. I can also boast in some psaltic books from the now Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM); the Anastasimataria of Anton Shahpaski and Vasil Ivanov Bojadziev and Shahpaski's Liturgy book (both lived in late XIX-early XX century).
Prior to the incorporation of the current FYROM into Serbia there were several psalts chanting either in Greek (those loyal to the Patriarchate) or in Slavonic and Romanian (those adhering to the Bulgarian Exarchate). Sadly the Serbs made the use of Mokranjac' s music compulsory and due to the country's ecclessiastical isolation studies in psaltic music have rather stagnated, though there are a few notable exceptions...
 

Panagiotis

Γενικός συντονιστής
#11
Very interesting but the polyphonic music is so common in slavonic and Russian countries... The only country that I heard monophonic music is in Romania, Bucharest
In Bulgaria psaltic music is used in many churches, especially for Matins and Vespers. Sadly, the isolation of the country due to a) the schism before it was healed and b) the former regime led to a stagnation of psaltic art. Let us not forget that for many years clergy could go for advanced studies only to the then USSR.

The situation is changing however, slowly yet steadily ;) The younger generation of clergy and chanters has frequent contacts with Mt. Athos and Greece in general, even with Constantinople. :)
 

Dimitri

Δημήτρης Κουμπαρούλης, Administrator
Staff member
#12
... BTW I read in analogion that "Currently Konstantinos is actively working on setting the Church Slavonic texts to the Byzantine melodies". ...
BTW the tribute page on Analogion for Kostas Fotopoulos is here.

Also there is a page on Kriuki: The Slavonic neumatic (Znameny) psaltic notation.
 

Vladimir

Παλαιό Μέλος
#14
I am delighted to hear that my compilation of formulas will be used for composing music in Slavonic. If you or any of those composers have any questions that you think I might know the answers to, I will gladly try to help you out.
+Fr. Ephraim
Father Ephraim, eulogeite!

Actually, we saw your compilation already after our work has been started. For us in our turn it was pleasure to see that there are people who understands the matter close. I have read the introduction and your sample 'how to' with the great interest, recognizing with a great delight the steps that we are going through when writing the stichera. We didn't try yet to put our experience in written form - which is not such easy task, and I want to express my respect to you regarding this work. It always helps to understand things more clearly. But, there is one thing that in some way hinders us from using your compilation. The matter is that, in your book it is not specified, which phrase are taken from which book (except for the mentioning the books in the beginning). And how I wrote above, we would like for the beginning to have books (at least the basic ones) composed in one style (preferably Petros' one as the basic one, because obviously there are differencies in repertory and use of musical lines by different composers - eg. Petros, Ioannis, Stephanos etc.). So, it's a kind of problem that we cannot select the phrases of a given 'author'.
 

Vladimir

Παλαιό Μέλος
#15
With all due respect to the work done in Russia I am afraid I cannot agree about the ideas regarding the unwritten and canonical 'lines'.
Lines are written :); 'rules' are not. But it is possible to derivate the rules analyzing the lines. As well as everyone can compare Pertos' lines to the other ones and see the differencies.

The way Slavonic is pronounced in various countries in indeed different. I have learnt the Serbian pronunciation and my friends in Bulgaria make jokes about that (BlagOslovjen jEsi GOspodi... :D)
It's why I don't see it strange that we want to have the music adapted to our pronunciation. By the way, the liturgical books that Bulgarians and Serbs use today, have the stress marks, and they are positioned exactly as in Russian ones (and that is how we pronounce them in service). And some of the readers/singers observe them (I heard that myself in Hilandariou and Zografou) in service, but some (I think the largest part) don't.

I cannot add much to Markellos' list, save new editions of some of the classical books (Triod, Voskresnik etc) published in the 21st century with corrected text and psaltic orthography.
The pages that I included as examples from the Anastasimatarion, were taken from the book that was made in Zografou in 2003, based on older books but slightly redesigned. Do you mean similar books?

I can also boast in some psaltic books from the now Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM); the Anastasimataria of Anton Shahpaski and Vasil Ivanov Bojadziev and Shahpaski's Liturgy book (both lived in late XIX-early XX century).
Is it possible to get scans, photo- or xerocopies of them? I didn't see those.
 
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Panagiotis

Γενικός συντονιστής
#16
It might be because I have studied science but I am not too keen in "unwritten" rules :)

Anyway, the books by Shahpaski as well those of Kalistrat Zografski and one by Dimitar Zlatanov-Gradoborski (aka in Greek: Dimitrios Vulgarakis) are published by Dr. Jane Kodzabashija of Skopje, a pupil of Arhid. Sebastian Barbu Bucur of Bucharest, who is currently professor at the Seminary and Theologic Faculty in Skopje and choirmaster of Markov Monastery. Jane has been working very hard for the last 10 years or more to promote psaltic music in his country, despite the many obstacles. He also plans to publish the Anastasimatarion of Ivanov. I can give you his email off list.
 

frephraim

Παλαιό Μέλος
#17
...there is one thing that in some way hinders us from using your compilation. The matter is that, in your book it is not specified, which phrase are taken from which book (except for the mentioning the books in the beginning). And how I wrote above, we would like for the beginning to have books (at least the basic ones) composed in one style (preferably Petros' one as the basic one, because obviously there are differencies in repertory and use of musical lines by different composers - eg. Petros, Ioannis, Stephanos etc.). So, it's a kind of problem that we cannot select the phrases of a given 'author'.
90% of the formulas in my compilation are from only two publications: the Zoe Anastasimatarion (by Petros Peloponnesios and Ioannis Protopsaltis) and from Mousike Kypsele by Stephanos Lampadarios. But as I explain on the first page of my article about melodic style, Mousike Kypsele is essentially the work of Petros Peloponnesios and Manuel the Protopsaltis. So even though the melodies in those two books I relied on contain some influences of 19th-century protopsaltes of Constantinople, they are still essentially the compositions of Petros. Besides, I think most people would agree that the effect of those 19th-century protopsaltes was to add melodic beauty to the simple lines of Petros, without creating a break in tradition. Therefore, my compilation of formulas should be perfect for anyone who wants to follow the classical Patriarchal style of Byzantine chant of the 18th and 19th centuries.

The only part of my formulas that you need to use with discretion is the sections entitled "Old (slow) Sticheraric Formulae". Although a few of the formulas in these sections are taken from the Anastasimatarion and Mousike Kypsele, the majority of them are taken from the Athonias of Petros Philanthidis. His book contains numerous formulas from a different melodic tradition that has many more notes per syllable. I use formulas from those sections only when I want to compose something elaborate (such as a doxasticon for a major feast day, or for the 11 Eothina Doxastica).

+Fr. Ephraim
 
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frephraim

Παλαιό Μέλος
#18

Dimitri

Δημήτρης Κουμπαρούλης, Administrator
Staff member
#19
νομίζω ότι η συζήτηση αυτή πρέπει να συνεχιστεί στα ελληνικά. Ολοι οι συνομιλητες μιλουν ελληνικα κ νομιζω ετσι θα μπορεσουν να παρακολουθησουν πιο ευκολα περισσοτεροι
[Moderator's note] Such questions should be sent to moderators of the forum and not in Greek in the English part of the forum. I would like the discussion to continue here in English since that's how it started. If someone is interested to start a Greek speaking discussion with the same topic they are free to do so. Thank you.
 

Panagiotis

Γενικός συντονιστής
#20
Ι must also mention the book "Pashalia" by Jovan Harmosin Ohridski; it contains the hymns from the midnight office of Great Saturday to Bright Saturday onwards. The book was republished in 1999 (ISBN 9789989991394) by Prof. Kodzabasija of Skopje. It contains certain interesting pieces (e.g. the lauds-hvaliti-stihira of mode II in irmologic melody) and the famous "Dostoino est" in mode V by Jovan Harmosin Ohridski.
Prof. Kodzabasija also published recently the works of Kalistrat Zografski (volume I vespers and matins melodies; volume II liturgy and anastasimatarion). Volume I has less 'practical' melodies (Dogmatika by Hrisafis, very slow paschal stichera etc); Volume II is more practical so to speak! :)
 
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