Lesson 13 - Dec. 6, St. Nicholas Vespers Theotokion


Παλαιό Μέλος
John Mark Daly asked me to post the attached composition and comment on it. Here are my corrections:

1. Since the first note begins on the down beat, it should be followed by a vertical line.

2. In line 2, the oligon and kentemata above the syllable "com-" should have a psefiston beneath them, since they are followed by more than one descending note.

3. Also in line 2, the word "bearing" is treated as two unaccented syllables (see the 00 formula on p. 548). Although this is not exactly wrong, it would be preferable to treat it as a 10 formula, since it is a verb (and verbs are usually emphasized in a sentence). We could use either of the two heirmologic bridge formulas at the bottom of p. 548 or at the top of p. 549. I like the one on p. 549 better (Zo, Di), because the other one (Ke, Di) would be slightly monotonous, taking into consideration that the following notes are also Ke, Di.

4. In line 4, I am not entirely satisfied with the melody for the word "receive" because it is a verb and it is not emphasized by the melody. This phrase is a little tricky, because it has two consecutive syllables that ought to be emphasized: "-ceive" and "Him". In general, whenever we want to set to music two consecutive accented syllables, we need to choose which one of them can be treated as a "0", and then find a formula which gives enough melodic emphasis to that "0" so that it will sound somewhat emphasized. After unsuccessfully trying to find this kind of 0100001 formula for "receive Him that with a word", I went looking for a 0100100 formula (since the preposition "with" can be treated as a "1"). Fortunately for us, there are several 100100 formulas on p. 559 and a 0100100 formula on p. 560 that will work fine, because the "0" after the first "1" (which will represent the word "Him" that we are trying to get melodically emphasized) are held long enough in all of the 100100 formulas on p. 559 except for the second and third ones. You can choose whichever one you like, but I would suggest choosing the first 100100 formula on p. 559, because it has a melody that is not used anywhere else in this composition.

5. In line 6, there should be the number "3" written above the note preceding the martyria, since the note following the martyria is on the upbeat. And between the last two notes of line 6, there should be a vertical line.

6. The melody for "ye witnesses" on the second to last line of page 1 is only used when the melody is coming from Ke. If you examine the list of formulas, you will see that this phrase is only found in the Ke-Di section and not in the Di-Di section.
We could just find some other 0100 formula for "ye witnesses" that goes from Di-Di, but considering that we don't have any other medial cadences in this adaptation ending on Ke, I suggest that we use one here. To do so, we can use the 100010001 formula on p. 572 for "shepherds abiding in the fields". Even there is an extra syllable in the formula, we can get away with deleting the first "0" in it, since we know from experience that that "0" is an optional syllable. (This can be proved by comparing the X0010 formulas on p. 550 with the X00010 formulas on p. 551.) And then, for "be ye witnesses" we can use one of the X0100 formulas on p. 581. In order to combine this with the existing melody for the next phrase: "of the dread wonder", instead of:
of Ga
the Di
we will need to replace that with:
of Di
the Di
since a jump down of two from Ke to Ga for the word "of" would be awkward.

7. In the last line of page 1, there needs to be a psefiston beneath the oligon and kentemata for the syllable "-gi". (Compare with the 0010010 formula on p. 551.)

8. The first note on line 2 of page 2 needs to have a psefiston (see 101010X formula on p. 560).

9. In line 2 of page 2, the syllable "-cense" is held for two beats. There are two problems with this: 1) It introduces a 3/4 meter; and 2) It separates the phrase "and myrrh" too much from the previous words: "gold and frankincense. The first of these two problems is not serious enough in itself to warrant changing the duration of the syllable "-cense". But the second of these two problems does warrant such a change. To remedy this situation, all we need to do is to remove the klasma from the syllable "-cense", making it a one-beat note.

10. The melody for "for the Lord" in line 3 of page 2 is the 0010 formula at the bottom of p. 546. In my formulas, I state that it is a 0010 formula, but in the melody, by accident I only labeled where the first three syllables are placed. I apologize for the typo. There should be a "0" beneath the last ison of this formula. Since this is really a 0010 formula, we can't use it for our phrase "for the Lord" which is a 001 phrase. We can use the second 001 formula on p. 540, which is nearly identical to what was already chosen for this phrase.

11. Judging from the 01001 formula on p. 566 and the 001001 formula on p. 425, I am led to believe that the melody for "bowing to Him" in line 5 of page 2 does not adhere to the formulaic rules, however innocuous it may seem. If this melody really were valid, I sincerely believe that I would have found at least one example of it when I gathered all the formulas. So to be on the safe side, I think we should replace that melody for "bowing to Him" with the melody of the last four syllables in the 001001 formula on p. 425 (even though that formula is from the list of formulas for plagal first mode). General observation: Whenever there is a fthora that changes the mode, we are allowed to look for more formulas in that new mode.

12. Since the note after the martyria in line 6 of page 2 is on the upbeat, there should be a vertical line following that note. Also, the note preceding the martyria should have a "3" written above it.

13. Something is telling me that the melody for "that was in her arms" in line 7 of page 2 is not quite right. My ear is telling me that having two isons followed by a elaphron with a klasma is not done in this mode. To be on the safe side, I would suggest using the second 00001 formula on p. 542, which is identical to what was already written, except that the words "that" and "was" will be on Pa instead of on Di.

14. The melody in the second to last line on page 2 for "How wast Thou sown within me" is fine, except that it is only permitted to use this melody when going from Ke to Di, not from Di to Di. Although it is true that in many cases, the starting note of a formula is unimportant: in other words, many Ke-to-Di formulas can be used when starting at Di, simply by adding one to the initial note of the formula. Unfortunately for us, it turns out that this is not one of those formulas that can be changed like that. (I don't know how to explain why, other than by relying on what my experience is telling me about this particular instance.)

This phrase "How wast Thou sown within me" has a 1001010 accentuation pattern. We can either replace the existing melody for this with the melody of the 01001010 formula on p. 566 (we would remove the notes for the first "0" in this formula), or we could keep the existing melody while changing the melody for the previous words ("that was in her arms") so that it ends on Ke. This could be done by using the second 001 formula on p. 569 for "in her arms" and by placing the words "that" and "was" on Pa and Vou respectively.

15. The melody at the end of page 2 and the beginning of page 3 is fine as a melody, but it is inappropriate for this text, because it inserts a melodic break between the words "my" and "Redeemer". Instead, the phrase should be broken into the following two pieces:
"And how wast Thou grown within me"
"O my Redeemer and my God"

To do so, we will need a 01001010 formula for the first piece, and a 00010001 formula for the second piece.

For the first piece, we find ourselves in a bit of a dilemma, because the phrase immediately preceding it ("How wast Thou sown within me") also had a 1001010 accentuation pattern and it also ended on Di. This is a problem, because we only have one formula in the Di-Di section with that accentuation pattern. We wouldn't want to use exactly the same melody twice in a row, because it would sound monotonous. One way to avoid this monotony would be to make one of these 1001010 phrases end on Ke and the other on Di. This would give us different-sounding melodies for each. If we implement my last suggestion at the end of comment #14 above (using the second 001 formula on p. 569 for "in her arms"), then we are free to use the 01001010 formula on p. 566 for the words "And how wast Thou grown within me".

For the second piece ("O my Redeemer and my God"), we can use the existing melody if we simply create an heirmologic bridge for the first three syllables: "O my Re-". By examining the 010001 formula on p. 606, we can see that it would be appropriate to put the syllable "Re-" on Ga. My ear tells me that the other two syllables ("O" and "my") would sound good if they were both one-beat notes on Di. One last thing is that since there are an odd number of beats between the melodically emphasized notes, we will need to put a "3" above the note for "O" and a vertical line after the note for "Re-"

16. One last note about hyphenation: I noticed that the words "irrational" on page 1 and "offer" on page 2 were incorrectly hyphenated. The easiest way to get perfect hyphenation every time is to use the automatic hyphenator I mentioned that is at: http://juiciobrennan.com/hyphenator/

+Fr. Ephraim


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