Byzantine notation vs linear notation

#1
This post is mostly in regards to the double notation books that are in Romania but they also pertain to the English stuff posted on ages. Can western notation write out Byzantine music entirely if this is the case what’s the purpose of knowing the Byzantine notation other than culture and tradition. I know one of the responses to yes it can but it’s not as good is the issue of coloring. However can you remember the coloring with linear notation as well by the way the thesis are written out? I truly think Byzantine notation is easier to learn but is it really any better than linear notation. I don’t know how to read linear notation anymore I haven’t read it since I was a kid and that was only for instruments so I don’t understand it for singing at all but if someone could go over it this is greatly appreciate it
 
#2
Ι will try a rather personal explanation not knowing to read byzantine notation but having started occupying myself with historical differencies between East and West. Western notation is a kind of tabulatura, it represents a five-string instrument - with the exception of the upper line (F). But If you put # on F, you have a pentatonic scale E-G-B-D-F#. On the other hand, byzantine notation represents only a vocal line and its ups and downs from a single tonic, which is not defined - it could be any given one. Byzantine notation is microtonal, which means that it may denote at least two pitches falling between two successive equivalent strings forming a pentatonic scale. In order for the two systems to coexist (something always, it seems, forbidden in eastern church music) one would have to admit the use of instruments at least for educational or tuning reasons. PS. There was a western notation in gregorian chant in the early middle ages adapted from the byzantine one and pretty much like it (gregorian neumatic). It seems to me that the use of instruments in church services in the west, especially of the organ, was crucial for estabishing current western notation.
 
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Π. Δαβίδ

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#3
Dear friend, Doamne ajută!
I believe you know much better than we do the reasons which caused BOR to start printing these books and keep them in circulation. As a priest living in the diaspora where it is very difficult to find suitably trained chanters, I need to recourse to linear notation and even transcription of texts in Latin alphabet. Indeed linear notation is not the best to use for psaltic music as Latin alphabet is not the one to be used for writing Greek texts. But somehow the Church must keep on functioning.
 
#4
...so one could perhaps put the byzantine signs ON the western pentagram following the thought stated here and following the correspondance between pthorai (departures from the previous note) and the diatonic scale as given here. Of course under most texts one would not divide the staves in equal parts.
 
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#5
I think the Byzantine notation style is, in every respect, inferior to its western counterpart. It evolved out of a system that was not supposed to describe the music in great detail, and that's why it still retains its stenographic cloudiness. It is what it is.
I believe it's very possible and probably much easier for a new student to learn Byzantine music on a pentagram with the appropriate adaptations. The main problem would be a lack of transcriptions.
To be honest, the only valid reason for keeping the old style of writing, is differentiation in an effort to avoid westernization which I think is a perfectly valid concern to have, given the older and even more recent trends...
 
#6
The system byzantine notation was derived from is, according to some suppositions, not only verbal-musical but also choreographic, partaining to a very old (ancient) tradition of artistic dancing-singing (choral poetry). After some point, the singing dancer(s) it was designed for could be taken as fictional ones, keeping the voices in fact and dancing in theory. Dancing could also be more with hands than with feet. The use of "fictional" characters is a very ancient practice, attested in Sumeria, for example on clay tablets. So one could compose, write down and perform a dancing choral ode without any real dancing taking part, pretty much like in the western oratorium, where acting is imagined but not performed (the Eastern Church never reached the composition of oratoria, mostly , it seems, because it was out of its philosophy-theology). Now, the level of concretiness - i.e., how much the byzantine notation system is detailed and precise, comparing it to the western one - in its pitch, style and/or body moment description - can be debatable - I have heard, for example, that it can be much more precise than western notation,in denoting very small pitch changes. In Chrysanthos's book one has the impression that what the writer admits is that the old byzantine system is not so good for the description of rhythm - comparing to western notation, or to the Otoman practice. But, one must bear in mind that since ancient times and, according to Baud-Bovy, since Aristoxenus, popular i.e. symmetric and repetitive dance patterns, like the ones reflected in western notation (4/4, 9/8 etc.) are considered non-appropriate for poetic music. PS. - To put it briefly - it seems that the two systems are incompatible, and cannot be transcribed to one onother, only (perhaps) be combined.
 
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