Lesson 06 - July 20 St. Elias Lord I have cried Doxastikon, Plagal of Second Mode


Παλαιό Μέλος
Dear Michael,

Thanks again for your work.

The reason why things were sounding monotonous was because you were not selecting large enough groups of syllables when looking for formulas before a cadence. I will explain this in more detail when we get there in my comments.

Here are my suggestions:

1. In line 4, there is the phrase "in the most august temple". This is a tricky phrase to set to music properly because it has two consecutive accented syllables. As I mentioned in comment #1 in Lesson 04, we need to decide which of the two should be accented. In other words, we need to pretend that our 0010110 formula is either a 0010010 formula or a 0010100 formula. I can see that you chose the former: to accentuate "tem-" instead of "-gust". The problem with this is that the particular formula you chose (0010010) puts much more melodic emphasis on the unaccented syllable "au-" of the word "august" than it does on the accented syllable "-gust".

Since looking for a 0010010 formula didn't work very well, we need to see if there is a 0010100 formula that will work better. Fortunately for us, there is a 010100 formula on p. 561 that gives enough melodic emphasis to the second to last "0". So this will be perfect for our particular phrase.

2. In line 6, you have an apostrophos for the first syllable of the word "after". But since this is an accented syllable, it would be better to replace the apostrophos with a petaste. And then the next note (for the syllable "-ter") will have to be an apostrophos so that the melody can continue as you have it.

3. In line 7, the phrase "manner of the psalms" is followed by a martyria. The problem is that your melody for this phrase is a heirmologic bridge. In sticheraric melodies, heirmologic bridges are only supposed to be used as filler notes after a martyria and before a sticheraric formulas. Martyrias are only placed at the end of sticheraric formulas. So to fix this, we need to either get rid of the martyria and make your heirmologic bridge blend into the following sticheraric formula, or we need to change your heirmologic bridge into a sticheraric formula. I don't think we should get rid of the martyria, because by examining the grammar of the phrase, we see that you have placed the martyria where there is a natural break between the phrases: "after the manner of the psalms" and "let us sing a hamonious song to Christ our God". Even though there is no punctuation in all those words, a comma could have been placed after the word "psalms".

Since we decided to keep the martyria as it is, this means we will need to replace the melody you have before it with a sticheraric formula. On p. 541 there are some nice 010001 melodies. The second of the two would not be as good as the first one, because it goes so high. We don't want to make the melody go so high at this point because this will make it sound monotonous when the melody goes high again in the phrases right after it.

One other thing we need to change is the melody for "let us sing" after that martyria on line 7. We need to change this, because it repeats the same melody we just found for the previous words "of the psalms". You have used a sticheraric formula for "let us sing" but it was not necessary to do so, considering that there is no punctuation after these words. So we can easily solve our problem by creating a simple heirmologic bridge for these words. Since the sticheraric formula that we are going to blend into doesn't begin until the syllable "mo-" of "harmonious", we are actually looking for a heirmologic bridge for the five syllables: "let us sing a har-". Although there are other solutions besides mine, I suggest using the following:

Another equally good solution would be:

There is one other totally different solution we can use for this phrase. We have treated "-monious song" as the part of the phrase that will use a sticheraric melody, while everything before it (let us sing a har-) uses a heirmologic bridge. However, instead we can choose to include more of those words into the sticheraric part of the melody by looking for a longer formula. In other words, instead of using a 1001 formula for "-monious song" we can use a "1001001" formula for "sing a harmonious song". In general, using larger sticheraric formulas tends to result in a smoother sounding final product. It also usually results in less monotony, because most of the melodies for formulas with few syllables tend to sound similar.

So, if we want a 1001001 formula, we will look first in the the Di-Di section of formulas on pp. 564-566. Unfortunately, there is no 1001001 formula there. But if we look in the Ke-Di section on pp. 566-568, we find plenty of options: the 1001001 and X001001 formulas on p. 567 and the 01001001 formulas on lines 1, 3, and 4 of p. 568. Since they all sound wonderful and fit our text perfectly, we should choose the one that is most different from the other formulas in our composition so that there is as much melodic variety as possible. Since there is a melody using the hard chromatic scale for the high notes above Ke in line 6 of page 2, we shouldn't use the 01001001 formula in line 3 of p. 568. I think you should choose one of the other options.

4. In line 9, the melody you have for "to Christ our God" is not exactly wrong, but it sounds choppy to use a phrase with only four syllables to go from Di to Pa in sticheraric plagal second mode. To solve this problem, you can use the following neat trick of blending two formulas into one. The way you do it is to use the last note of the previous sticheraric formula as the first note of this next sticheraric formula. This trick only works if the previous sticheraric formula has only one note for its last syllable and if the next sticheraric formula begins with an ison. So you take the last word of the previous phrase "song" and combine it with the current phrase "to Christ our God" and then look for a formula that fits this new combination: "song to Christ our God" (10101). On p. 535 there are some beautiful 00X0X formulas that would work fine. Personally, I like the first one of them best, but they are all acceptable.

I call blending formulas like this a "neat trick" because it results in a melody that sounds really slick! And don't worry; it is completely legal. I found several such instances when gathering formulas in traditional books. I can't recall right now an example exactly like ours, but if you want to see an example of how a word can be split between two formulas, look on p. 389 of the standard Anastasimatarion (or p. 383 in older editions) in line 4 of the troparion Τὸ ζωοδόχον σου μνῆμα. The composer used the third 100010 formula on p. 838 of my formulas and the first 001 formula on p. 860. Notice how the word "ἀθάνατος" gets split across the two formulas. This is not quite the same thing we have, but I thought I would point it out anyway.

5. At the end of line 10, you hold the word "them" for three beats. I assume you did so because the 01001 formula you used on p. 583 is written like that. Although I never explicity said so in my formulas book, the duration of a note before a martyria is something that for many formulas can be freely changed from a three-beat note to a two-beat note, or vice-versa. Likewise, a two-beat note at the end of a formula can be changed to a one-beat note or a one-and-a-half-beat note. It all depends on what comes next in the melody. Since the next syllable in our melody is on the downbeat, it would be best to keep a steady 1-2 rhythm by holding the word "them" for only two beats.

6. In line 11, you have used an invalid heirmologic bridge for the words "and in joy". I can't prove that it's invalid, but I just know so from experience. We can easily solve this problem by using one of the many 100X010 melodies on p. 567. I personally like the second pink melody best, because it puts a nice joyful twist on the word "joy".

7. I don't think your melody for "let us cry" is in my list of formulas. It looks like a valid formula that has had its first notes cut off. The problem is that we're usually not allowed to cut notes off of a formula like that. We can solve this problem by using the 100 melody on p. 534. But as I mentioned above, using little formulas like that makes things sound a little choppy. So I suggest that we blend formulas again by using the X100 on p. 567. The "X" will be the syllable "-ness" from the previous word "gladness".

8. The word "Rejoice" on line 13 is not going to work as you have it, since the wrong syllable is emphasized. You probably realized this, too, since you put a question mark next to it. I suppose you did this to imitate the original melody for χαίροις which is as follows:

To imitate the original melody (which descends to Nee at the end of the word χαίροις) we will have to do some fancy tricks, since there is no formula in my compilation for a word accented on the penult that ends on low Nee. Notice that the original descends to low Nee and then places a diatonic fthora of Di on it, and then ascends diatonically from there as if from Di. To imitate this, we can treat our Pa as if it were the high Ke in a hard chromatic scale, and then descend from there to Di, and then ascend diatonically from there. To do this, we will look for a melody going from Ke to Di in sticheraric plagal second mode that fits our accentuation pattern of 01 for "rejoice". Unfortunately, there isn't any satisfactory melody on p. 544 for this. So we can resort to those other tricks I just mentioned above in comment #4, regarding blending two formulas together and splitting a word across two formulas.

What we can do is group the word "thou" together with the previous word "rejoice" so that we now have a 010 phrase. Looking for a 010 formula on p. 552, we see that there is one, but it won't work for us, because in order to blend it together with the next phrase, the final syllable of our phrase must have only one note, but this 010 has two notes for the final "0". But we can use the 10 formula on p. 552 for the syllables "-joice, thou" by inserting an ison for the first syllable "re-".

Now, to combine this with the remaining words, which are "earthly angel", we want to find a 1010 formula going diatonically from Di to Di. On p. 564 there are several 1010 formulas that would work, but they don't ascend diatonically like the original melody does. But the second 01010 melody on p.565 does ascend diatonically like the original melody. So to use this formula, we need to blend it with the previous formula. In particular, the final note of the 10 formula on p. 552, which is an ison with a klasma, needs to be replaced with an ison followed by kentemata. The kentemata are used to replace the first "0" in the 01010 formula on p. 564.

Now, to continue with the following phrase "and heavenly man", all we need to change in your music is to change the ison above "and" into an oligon with a hard chromatic fthora.

This was a little complicated, and I hope my description was clear. By the way, you may have noticed that even though I described things as if I first found the melody for "rejoice" and then for "thou earthly angel", I really did them in reverse order. And in general this strategy is best: first find how the cadence will be, and then figure out how you're going to get there. The reason why this is the best strategy is because there are fewer options for the cadences, whereas there are usually several ways to get to the beginning of the formula that ends on a cadence.

9. The phrase "great of name" has the same problem as the phrase "let us cry" three lines earlier, in that it is a piece of a valid formula that by itself is invalid. To solve this problem, we can look for a longer formula for our phrase "O Elias, great of name" a 0010100 phrase. We could just use the 0010100 formula at the top of p. 536, but this is melody is too similar to other melodic phrases in our composition. For more variety, I think we would be better off using one of the 010100 formulas on p. 535. Since our phrase has an extra "0" at the beginning, we can just use an ison for that syllable as a one-note heirmologic bridge.

10. At the top of your second page, again you imitated the original melody perfectly, but in doing so, you used a 10 formula for your word "rejoice" which has a 01 accentuation pattern. So this will have to be fixed. Unfortunately, all the 01 melodies ending on Ke in our compilation of formulas are very bland and inappropriate for a word such as "rejoice". We can use the same trick we used for the previous occurrence of this word by combining "rejoice" with the following word "thou". In other words, we will be looking for a 010 formula ending on Ke. We could use any of the 010 formulas on pp. 573-574, or better yet, we can use the fourth 10 formula on p. 573, which happens to be the same melody used in the original.

To combine this with the following words ("who didst receive"), we won't be able to use your formula anymore, because your formula begins with the word "thou" which we already used as part of the previous formula. To blend that formula with these words, we want to find a 10001 formula for "thou who didst receive" that begins with an ison and takes us from Ke do Di. We are fortunate to find one on p. 544: the last of the three 10001 formulas.

11. Your melody for "rejoice" at the end of line four on the second page is actually the 001 melody on p. 540 used for a 01 phrase. In other words, you tried to apply a melody to your text that is inappropriate to its syllables. If we really want to have an elaborate melody for this word, we can try looking for one in the "Old (slow) Sticheraric Formulae" section of formulas on p. 590. We see that there is in fact a 01 melody there that will take us from Pa to Di, but in my opinion it is much too elaborate for our purposes. We could use the bland 01 formula on p. 540, but the problem with this is that it ends with a two-beat note, and the following words begin on the upbeat. This will make an awkward 3/4 measure. To avoid this, I think the best solution would be to simply use the 0 "formula" on p. 569 for "-joice", preceded by an ison for "re-". And then we can use an apostrophos on "ye" to continue with the melody you have composed.

12. The melody for the word "physicians" on lines six and seven of the second page is fine, but there is a missing psefiston on "si-" and a missing vareia before "-cians". (See the 0100010 formula on p. 576.) The way you ended this formula, you were forced to put a number "3" to mark the 3/4 measure. Although it is not wrong, it would be smoother if we could avoid this by using an alternate ending to this formula. If you look at the 010010 formula on p. 576, you can see that an alternate ending for this kind of formula is to place a gorgon on the final apostrophos. Although I didn't explicitly say so in my compilation of formulas, it is understood that you can use this alternate ending for any formula that ends with those notes.

13. The "3" you have on line 9 of the second page can be avoided by holding the previous note (-ple.) for three beats. Although this isn't absolutely necessary, I think it is worth holding it for three beats, considering that it is the end of a sentence. If it weren't the end of a sentence, I would just leave it as it is with the 3 in it.

14. The "3" you have on line 11 of the second page can also be avoided by removing the klasma on the syllable "-sault". Another advantage of removing the klasma there is that having that phrase end with a one-beat note is more appropriate for a phrase that does not end with punctuation and is followed by a syllable on the upbeat.

Everything else looks fine. Hopefully you will be able to incorporate all these corrections and post them before tomorrow so that people will be able to use your music in church tomorrow.

in Christ,
+Fr. Ephraim
Last edited:
Father, bless.

Phew, I think I have made all the corrections, although it seems I may have introduced some new problems -- I can't quite put my finger on it.

Also, I did not use the 010100 formulas on p. 535 (in # 9 above) you recommended because it was too similar to the phrase we had used 3 lines above.

Looking forward to your comments on this. It seems like there is still some fine tuning that is needed.

In Christ,



Παλαιό Μέλος
Things look much better now, Michael. The remaining problems are primarily orthographical. Here are the final corrections that I think need to be made:

1. In line 4, for the words "in the", I had intended for you to use the first two notes of the 0010100 formula on p. 561.

2. The vareia in line 9 before the word "our" is orthographically incorrect. (You can see this at the top of p. 524 in the third formula in the box shaded green.)

3. The last note on line 12 (for the word "cry") should have a number "3" above it, and then the first note on line 13 should have a vertical line after it to mark the rhythm.

4. The first note on line 14 should have a vareia before it.

5. The hard chromatic martyria of Pa near the beginning of line 14 should be erased (since the melody was changed to become diatonic on Nee).

6. According to the 01001 formula on p. 563, there should be a vareia before the syllable "en-" in line 14.

7. The martyria for Di in the middle of the last line (on the first page) should be erased. Also in the same line, there should be an oligon beneath the syneches elaphron and the kentemata for the word "of".

8. The last note on the first page should have a number 3 above it, and then the first note on the second page should have a vertical line after it.

9. The first note on line 4 of the second page should have the number 4 above it, and there should be a vertical line before the first note of line 5.

10. The first note on line 5 of the second page is a jump of four using an oligon. Although it is not orthographically incorrect to write it like that, it is much more common to use a petaste for this jump of four when it is followed by a single descending note.

11. The vareia near the beginning of line 9 on the second page should be deleted.

12. On the same line, the number 4 should be written above the syllable "-ple". Right after this, I think there is a vertical line after the syllable "De-", but it is sort of dim, so please write it darker so that it is clear.

13. The martyria of Di in line 11 on the second page should be deleted. Martyrias are almost never written after a note that is held for only one beat.

14. According to the 100X0X formula on p. 603, there should be a vareia before the syllable "fes-" in line 14 on the second page.

I believe we are done now, unless of course someone else would like to point out any corrections that we missed. Please post the final version.

in Christ,
+Fr. Ephraim
Please forgive me for taking so long on this. Here are the final corrections. In the mean time, I finally bit the bullet and am learning how to use the Byzantine Music Fonts / Macros. So hopefully this will be easier to read (and may have fixed some other mistakes by copying and pasting from the Word versions of the Formulae).

Let me know if I missed something in the translation to the Byzantine Music Fonts.

In Christ,



Παλαιό Μέλος
Dear Michael,

Thanks for posting the corrected version. It looks much nicer also now that you have my fonts installed. But I can tell that the "PolishNotes" macro either is not working on your computer or you forgot to run it.

There are just four things left that I think could be improved:

1. In line 2, the melody for "most august temple" doesn't give enough emphasis to the accented syllable of the word "temple." That is why in my original comments I recommended that instead you use the 010100 formula on p. 561.

2. In line 7, I assume that you intended the melody for the word "angel" to be diatonic, but I think you forgot to put the fthora to do this. Also, you didn't use the correct fthora right after that word to bring things back to the hard chromatic scale. It should have been the other hard chromatic fthora (the one for PA), because the fthora you used is the one for DI.

3. The fthora in line 9 for the word "double" collides with the gorgon, and as a result neither can be clearly read.

4. The question of how frequently one should insert martyrias is difficult to say definitively, since different books do things differently. It seems to me that (for a sticheraric melody like this) the norm would be to insert approximately a martyria after a minimum of about ten notes. This is what you did almost everywhere in your composition except in lines #1 and #9. In my opinion (and it is just an opinion), I think the first martyria in line #1 and the third martyria in line #9 should be removed.

Everything else looks very nice!