Final Cadences in Sticheraric Modes: Problems and Potential Solutions


Παλαιό Μέλος
2) BZQ report showing the values of AverDiff, a measurement of how much a note differs from the Average B.M. corresponding value as explained above:

BzqAverDiff 20231012 marked.png
The image shows interesting parts from the info txt file (see attachment below).
There are four parts, one for each of the solutions #1 to #4.
The left column is the BZQ line number.
The second column is the BZQ mnemonic note name, e.g. n = low ni. N=high Ni.
The next column (numerical) is the "measurable" value of the AverDiff, see previous explanations.
An AverDiff of less than 0,5 is negligible, consider it as "noise".
An AverDiff of 1 means that a total correction of say 12 moria may bring the score close to the average B.M. style.

Conclusions in this exercise:
Solutions #1 and #2 are ok.
Solution #3 may be improved if a correction is applied from the 16th note (Hamili, ni) and adjacent notes. Similarly for Solution #4.


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Παλαιό Μέλος
Sorry, but the previous two posts make no sense. There is a real statistical phenomenon taking place, though, which is that e.g. in new sticheraric Plagal Fourth Mode there are three solution types for the concluding phrase, with the vast majority of pieces (over 90% in absolute terms, and close to 100% of phrases that are not accented on the second-to-last syllable) following two of them, and a small minority (less than 10% in absolute terms, and close to 100% of phrases that are accented on the second-to-last syllable) following the third. In a different target language, applying the same logic of Peter the Peloponnesian yields a vastly different distribution of these solution types in final cadences. This has a (small) effect on the general aural landscape of the musical tradition in an evolutionary sense. This is not necessarily either positive or negative; my point is simply that it shouldn't be taken lightly. I think the Romanians were wise to tread carefully here, especially in the early stages. And I don't think we can call the new distribution a success just because it satisfies all known logical criteria. It will be a success if and when it penetrates into the minds and hearts of the faithful over the course of history.


Παλαιό Μέλος
Sorry, but the previous two posts make no sense.
Thank you.
Actually, they did make some sense:
They did spot two problems, both of them triggered by the Hamili used.
And the legendary teacher D.G.Panagiotopoulos (B.M.Theory and Practice) states on p. 313"...the sudden drops and jumps should be avoided".
Why? I guess he didn't think they are directly and in all cases the "Average B.M. style". And the BZQ AverDiff algorithm "thought" likewise.
Hamili may certainly be used but not in these specific two cases.
By the way, the AverDiff algorithm does not consider the text accentuation. It only tells how "Byzantine" the proposed score is, as a melody.

I agree with you that "It will be a success if and when it penetrates into the minds and hearts of the faithful over the course of history."
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Παλαιό Μέλος
Sorry, but the previous two posts make no sense.
I guess my first reply may be a kind of "dogmatic" and personal (of mine and/or Panagiotopoulos).
We need some real proof, pragmatic (rather than theoretical) one.

So I have spent a few minutes to do a pragmatic check:
Check how frequently Hamili-and-lower neumes are actually used in well known traditional B.M. books more than 100 years ago.
I decided to count the actual occurences of a hamili-&-lower neumes
in a non-biased selection of pages, but always, say, from page 100 to p.151, i.e. 52 pages in total.

Here are the results (I hope I have not missed something):

Hamilis_T.Notes__Frequency____Year & Book (pp.100-151)

4_______12480____1:3120_______1836 Doxastarion Iakovou Vol.1
3_______11440____1:3813_______1882 Doxastarion Petrou Pel. & P.Kiltz.Vol.1
15______11492____1: 766_______1869 Tameion Anthologias, Fokaeos, Othros A
12______10140____1: 845_______1906 Athonias, Petr.Filanthidou, Vol.1
2_______11492____1:5746_______750/1868 Anastasimatarion, St.John Damascene

The median frequency is like 1:3120
In other words: One Hamili (or lower) was used in a score of 3120 notes!

What is important is not the exact number, but rather the order of size.
How or why can we now, "Anno 2023", prefer a score of 50 or even 100 notes
to necessarily contain even one Hamili?
Why did the above old composers use a Hamili so sparingly? Why?
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Music Director at St. George, Albuquerque, NM
I'd like to return to this topic with a question for which there is a direct, practical need for a solution.

In the Greek Anastasimatarion and Doxastarion of Petros (a corpus which includes some 40-odd stichera in 1st Mode), there is not a single instance of a sticheraric melody in 1st Mode in which the text ends with an accent on the 2nd-to-last syllable (penult). All of these hymns have texts whose ending phrase can be accommodated by the following cadence (with some variation at the beginning).


In all the pieces I surveyed from those two works, every single hymn (except one) ended with the above formula. The single notable exception was the Holy Monday sticheron Ἐρχόμενος ὁ Κύριος, where a non-typical ending was used. This exception was notable not just for its use of an alternate formula when the above cadence would have (as far as I can tell) worked just fine, but also for the fact that the formula used for that ending cadence had been altered slightly to accommodate an extra syllable compared to the typical form which we find in the classical repertoire.


Thus, the works of Petros have been little help in finding an ending formula for text with an accent on the penult, due to the fact that, as mentioned above, not a single 1st Mode troparion in Petros' Anastasimatarion or Doxastarion contain an equivalent case that could be used as a precedent. The only thing close would be the end of Ἐρχόμενος ὁ Κύριος.

After surveying the works of Petros, I expanded my search to other reputable composers, and began surveying compositions by Manuel the Protopsaltis. In the book Sylloge Idiomelon kai Apolytikion, I noticed his setting of the third troparion at the Aposticha for the Transfiguration on August 6th: the hymn Τὸ ἄσχετον τῆς σῆς φωτοχυσίας. There, the text ends with an accent on the penult, and Manuel sets it with the following cadence:

When I first found this a number of years ago, I sent it to Papa Ephraim, and he added it to the ending cadences in the 1st Mode section of his formula book. (This line had previously only been found in the "medial cadences" section.)

I would be interested in any insight others (@basil ) might have as to the use of this formula as an ending cadence in 1st Mode. By my estimation, it has the same "advantages" and "disadvantages" discussed above. To say it is rarely used would be an understatement, but that is partially just a function of the number of stichera in Greek that have an accent on the penult (in Petros' Anastasimatarion or Doxastarion, none). What would Petros have done if this textual ending pattern were more frequent? I'm hopeful that @Laosynaktis can provide some insight into how common this textual ending pattern is in 1st Mode stichera more generally, not just the ones contained in the Anastasimatarion or Doxastarion, and what approach composers older than Petros took in setting such texts.

As a practical example of this problem, I've selected the Doxastikon at the Praises for the 4th Sunday of Lent. Below is how I have set the text; you'll notice that I followed Manuel's example in my choice of ending formula:


But other solutions that came to mind included the following:
#1 is the ending cadence from Ἐρχόμενος ὁ Κύριος, which has the advantage of being used by Petros.
#2 is something I made up; it evokes some of the more typical ending cadences in 1st Mode by moving up to Thi, but it does not end in the typical way.
#3 is also something I made up; it likewise sounds more like a typical ending cadence, but it blends that familiar beginning with the end of another common formula.

Thoughts and feedback are most appreciated.


Παλαιό Μέλος
A cadence from Dionysios Foteinos’ Anastasimatarion. Replace in the last three syllable word the syneches elaphron with hyporrhoe with gorgon to convert it into two syllables.

Foteinos’ work is not the New Sticheraric genre as such, but rather its reworking. Which, however, doesn’t mean he has poor ideas.


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Παλαιό Μέλος
Pann’s work based on Foteinos. The final cadence on words “ca un iubitor de oameni” (oa is a diphthong, ni is a palatalized n, so the last word is two-syllable).


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Παλαιό Μέλος
One more by Pann (“Doamne, mărire Ţie”).


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