Can Vou be sharp in plagal second?


Νέο μέλος
I was listening to some recordings of "Lord I Have Cried" in the plagal second mode where it sounded like Vou was sharp. What exactly is going on here? Is it a melodic attraction of Vou towards Ga because the melody is centering on Ga? It almost sounds like there is a brief switch to soft chromatic based on Pa, but it's not indicated in the notation (visible in the first video below).



Ευάγγελος Σολδάτος
Plato says that music is the science of melody , the focus in all that happen in it. According to the ancient rules of symphony all the fourths in melody should be perfect. In your example, when melody Μέλος) goes down from ke to vou and back to ke then the vou has to be perfect forth with ke, otherwise it sounds not good. (Ke di ga vou gaaa di ke).
This is an ancient rule that unfortunatelly is not reported in modern theory books. This is the rule of second parallage(διπλοπαραλλαγή).
Every fourth does the same sound- "πάσα τριφωνία τον εαυτόν ήχο ποιεί "
This rule is the origin of elksis(=έλξη=), the rule of attraction between notes.
So the notes are not stable but everything is in a motion during melody, acording to the rules of parallage.
A papper of mine is issued in Greek where I have explained the matter of parallage(παραλλαγή), here

I'm glad that you notticed that vou here is sharp because here in Greece a lot of cantors and professors do not realise what they sing and cannot distinguish such details.
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Νίκος Θεοτοκάτος
It's a known issue on byzantine music: the hard chromatic often becames soft, when the phrase is not defined by the tetrachord pa-di (triphony), but by the trichord pa-ga (diphony). In that case the pa-ga is chanted more softly, like the soft chromatic, you are right. Sometimes, in newer book editions, this is indicated. But generally it is not indicated and it's performed like this by tradition. And this is natural: the voice tends to perform soft intervals on diphony (because the top note of pa-ga is a diphony from the base and the melodic attraction is based on that, so Vou is higher, as you say) and hard intervals on triphony (because the top note of pa-di is a triphony from the base, so Vou is lower, the one of the hard chromatic).

A very well known co-existance of the two chromatic genres is performed continuously on heirmological plagal second mode. In this mode you start with diphonic phrases and soft chromatic genre and you finish with triphonic phrases and hard chromatic. These details are not described thorougly on theory, you have a reason when asking. Maybe on some theoretical books are referred, but I doubt if there is a book that describes all these details. Your guide is -and always will be- the oral tradition. And not any tradition, but only well known traditional shanters, mostly old ones, like Nafpliotis, Priggos, Stanitsas, Chrysanthos Theodosopoulos, Tsamkiranis, Firfiris and many others.