Lesson 01 - Vesperal Doxastikon - Sunday Before the Nativity

My scanner cut off the apostrophos in the sinehes Elafron on "O Lord" at the beginning of line 3. It's kind of there, but hard to tell what it is. In line 4, and I tried to rescan and it did the same thing, it cut off the Vareia at the very beginning.

All critiques welcome!



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Παλαιό Μέλος
Dear Sam,

Thanks for the nice work!

I have attached a PDF file below with some simple corrections showing where the vertical rhythm lines were missing and a few 3's were missing. I will explain in this message two corrections that I did not mark in that file:

1. On line 5, the phrase "foretold of Thee" is the 0X01 formula from p. 540 of my formulas book. Notice that this phrase has two ways it can end; you picked the second of the two ways that is in red in the margin. However, that choice is primarily used when the following note is going to be on the upbeat. But since the words following "foretold of Thee" are: "that without seed" (which does not begin with a syllable on the upbeat), you should not use the ending of the 0X01 formula that you chose but the other ending that is in red that is not in the margin.

2. Another problem with this line is that the phrase "that without seed" is a 0011 phrase, but the melody you used is for a 1010 formula. Your melody is essentially the first 1010 formula on p. 564 of my formulas (but with an optional ending that can be found at the bottom of p. 565). In other words, your melody emphasizes the word "that" too much.

There are two ways we could fix this. One way would be to find another formula that matches our 0011 phrase better. The other way would be to combine these words "that without seed" with the next words "Thou wouldst be born a babe" and to find a singular formula for all those words. I like this second option better, because there is no punctuation between "that without seed" and "Thou wouldst be born a babe".

So treating all those words as a single phrase, we now need to find a 0011+100101 = 0011100101 formula. Since we probably won't find a formula with three consecutive 1's, we should decide which of those syllables really should be given a musical accent. In my opinion, I think the word "seed" is the one that would be emphasized if we were to read this text out loud. Therefore, we can change the two 1's surrounding it into 0's, and then our target formula is: 0001000101. Since there aren't very many formulas ending in 101, we can make our job even easier by treating that final 1 as a 0, since most sticheraric formulas end with a two-beat note anyway, which tends to give syllables enough of a musical accent.

Therefore, all we need to do now is to find a 0001000100 formula going from Di to Di. Although there aren't any with that precise pattern, there are several on page 560 that have our pattern without those three 0's in the beginning. It is typical not to find formulas beginning with a bunch of 0's, because whenever the Greek composers had a phrase like that, they would just use a few filler notes before getting into the real formula.
Of all the formulas on p. 560 we really could use not only the two 1000100 formulas, but also any of the X000100, 101010X, or 10X10100 formulas for these words "seed Thou wouldst be born a babe". In my opinion, any of the X000100 formulas would work best. I'll let you choose which one you like best.

Now, to find music for those initial three 0's. Since there is an odd number of 0's between the previous "1" (the word "Thee") and the "1" coming after them ("seed"), it would be nice if the first of these 0's could be on the upbeat. To do so, we can use the original melody you had for "foretold of Thee" rather than my suggestion above in #1, since that will set us up nicely for an upbeat.

As for the actual melody for those three 0's (the words "that without") I think we can put "that" on Di for one beat, "with-" on Di for one beat, and "-out" on Ga for one beat.

Everything else looks fine, and I like the way you were able to preserve that extended melody in the original on "Theos" in your version, and you even managed to use it on the same word! Usually we don't get so lucky, and if we want to preserve a particular melody, the English text usually won't let us do so on the exact same word that the Greek had it on.

I hope these comments are clear.

in Christ,
+Fr. Ephraim

P.S. Sam, if you agree with my comments, please implement them and post the corrected version.


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In regards to the formula of "that without seed", at least with the book I have downloaded, on page 550 there is under the listings of 0010 formula of Di-Di that fits what I used as a 0010, thus why I accidentally emphasized "that" too much. Is this an error? Do I not have the most recent version of the Formula book?

I agreed with all of your corrections. That middle part was the hardest part for me due to the three 1's. I composed the beginning and the end rather quickly, and I was quite excited when I counted the syllables for "the immutable God" and saw how they lined up with that formula!

I hope my corrections work. Thank you for your time, attention, and help. It really is a joy to work on this project.



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Παλαιό Μέλος
In regards to the formula of "that without seed", at least with the book I have downloaded, on page 550 there is under the listings of 0010 formula of Di-Di that fits what I used as a 0010, thus why I accidentally emphasized "that" too much. Is this an error?
Good point. Even though I don't doubt that I really did find a formula like that in Greek, I think the initial 0 really should be changed to a 1, bearing in mind that 99% of cases where we find this melody, the initial syllable will be an accented syllable. I will fix it in my Formula Book.

Do I not have the most recent version of the Formula book?
On June 17, 2007 I made several dozen minor corrections and added a couple more formulas here and there. Since then, I've been keeping track of several dozen more little typos and additions that I've found, but I haven't uploaded them yet. I will do that in the very near future.

There are two minor typos left:
1. You erased by accident a gorgon at the end of line 5
2. The "3" in line seven should be a "4" on the previous note.

One last thing I noticed is that there is no martryia in the first three lines. Although it isn't wrong, I think it would be helpful to put a hard chromatic martyria for Di after the word "desires" on line 2. You could even put another martyria on line 3 after the word "Lord" since this word is followed by a comma. But I think that placing two martyrias so close to each other in the melody tends to clutter things up.


Παλαιό Μέλος
Re-Uploaded it to the previous message with those two corrections.
Bearing in mind that we would like all the comments in this sub-forum to be preserved intact as a seminar of sorts for everyone else who wants to learn, in general it would be best if no one removes from this forum their old rough drafts full of errors, because then those newcomers won't be able to see what was corrected. But in the case of merely fixing a few minor typos, I guess it doesn't matter if you replace the old version with the corrected version.
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