Lesson 23 - Vespers Doxastikon - September 17

basil

Παλαιό Μέλος
#21
My response would be that it is included in the Anastasimatarion this way, and that Papa Ephraim (who wrote the orthrography rules article) continues to include that particular thesi in the original form (for instance, in his adaptation of Εν τη Ερυθρά, "In the Red Sea", which I am sure you are familiar with.)
Both of your points fail to prove that writing this formula with kentemata is orthographically correct. I will address your second point first. Just because Papa Ephraim wrote this formula with kentemata in his adaptation of "In the Red Sea" doesn't necessarily mean he believes that writing this formula with kentemata is orthographically correct. (For example, he may have simply copied and pasted that formula from his formula book without considering the matter.) Thus your argument from authority is ill-formed. But even if Papa Ephraim does believe that writing this formula with kentemata is orthographically correct (which we don't know), you have still not proven that a consensus exists among legitimate experts in Byzantine orthography on this matter. Thus even if your argument from authority were not ill-formed, it is still weak.

Regarding your first point, just because Ioannis Protopsaltis (d. 1866) wrote this formula with kentemata on page 219 of his Anastasimatarion doesn't necessarily mean that it is orthographically correct to do so. For example, Ioannis Protopsaltis used a petaste in the «Κύριε Εκέκραξα» of First Mode when it is orthographically more correct to use an oligon in that instance. In addition, the purple notes on page 75 of the formula book are an example of a combination that is orthographically incorrect yet frequent in Ioannis's Anastasimatarion. (As an aside, an astute observer will notice that Ioannis Protopsaltis wrote the formula in question with an oligon on page 146 of the same Anastasimatarion.)

Papa Ephraim observed that "the most reliable books for perfect orthography are those with music written by the Three Teachers or their immediate disciples." We therefore examine the orthography employed by Gregorios Protopsaltis (d. 1822), one of the Three Teachers, as well as his immediate disciple Petros Ephesios (d. 1840) in two Doxastika: that of the Archangels («Όπου επισκιάση») and that of St George («Ανέτειλε το έαρ»). In the Syntomon Doxastarion of Petros Peloponnesios as published by Petros Ephesios (Bucharest, 1820), the formula in question is written with an oligon on both page 56 (page 64 of the PDF) and page 185 (page 193 of the PDF). In a manuscript of the Doxastarion of Petros Peleponessios by the hand of Gregorios Protopsaltis that was probably written between 1811 and 1819 (during the period when the New Method was adopted), the formula in question is also written with an oligon on both page 40 and page 127. In another manuscript by Gregorios Protopsaltis, the same formula is presented on page 17 in both the Old Notation and Gregorios' transcription into the New Method, again with an oligon. On the other hand, I was unable to find a single instance of this formula written with kentemata in any nineteenth-century manuscript or in any of the printed editions by Petros Ephesios. The above evidence strongly suggests that writing this formula with an oligon is indeed more correct.
 
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frephraim

Παλαιό Μέλος
#22
Just because Papa Ephraim wrote this formula with kentemata in his adaptation of "In the Red Sea" doesn't necessarily mean he believes that writing this formula with kentemata is orthographically correct.
When I gathered formulas, several times I found more than one way of writing the same formula. When one way of writing the formula clearly breaks a rule of orthography, I would not bother including that way of writing it, since it is obviously a mistake. But when an alternate way of writing it did not seem to me to break any rule, I would include it in color.

As for this particular formula in question (which is at the top of page 453 in my formulas) you can see that I found the same formula written with either an oligon or kentemata (which is why they are green). But I had forgotten about rule #22 in my orthography rules that says that kentemata "are never placed on the downbeat." Therefore, I should fix that formula on page 453 by writing it only with an oligon. So much for my credibility as an "authority"! :wink:

Regarding my use of the cross symbol in the formulas, it seems there might be some misunderstanding. I used that symbol not with its normal meaning (i.e., that a breath may be taken at that point) but to indicate that a repetition of syllables begins at that point. The cross is not a part of the formula and therefore one should not automatically insert a cross in those places when composing music using a formula that has a cross in it--only insert one if you really want to have one there. (Truth be told, the classical composers of Byzantine music use the cross symbol extremely rarely.)

As for that melody for "they stood," it doesn't sound right to me either.
 
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basil

Παλαιό Μέλος
#23
Regarding my use of the cross symbol in the formulas, it seems there might be some misunderstanding. I used that symbol not with its normal meaning (i.e., that a breath may be taken at that point) but to indicate that a repetition of syllables begins at that point. The cross is not a part of the formula and therefore one should not automatically insert a cross in those places when composing music using a formula that has a cross in it--only insert one if you really want to have one there.
Thank you for clarifying that, Father. I was under the mistaken impression that those symbols were to be retained when using the formulas. Perhaps you should write a note explaining their meaning on your web page, because it was not at all clear to me.
 

GabrielCremeens

Music Director at St. George, Albuquerque, NM
#24
As for this particular formula in question (which is at the top of page 453 in my formulas) you can see that I found the same formula written with either an oligon or kentemata (which is why they are green). But I had forgotten about rule #22 in my orthography rules that says that kentemata "are never placed on the downbeat." Therefore, I should fix that formula on page 453 by writing it only with an oligon. So much for my credibility as an "authority"! :wink:
Thank you, Papa Ephraim. But is the kentemata in question really a downbeat?

As Phokaeus pointed out,

The beat in question is not, in fact, a downbeat. This particular section of the thesi could be viewed as being in 4/4 time (strong-weak-"medium"-weak), and because it's duple meter, the third beat is not classified as "weak."
Dr. Karanos independently made the same observation to me when we were discussing this particular thesis.

As for that melody for "they stood," it doesn't sound right to me either.
Regarding this particular melody, what I attempted to do was take the melody from Ke to Di. I used a variation of the first X100 thesis on p. 310 of the formula book, and simply used a petaste for "they", before going down to Di on "stood", and then simply using the thesis as written on p. 310. It is a common short sticheraric thesis from Agia fourth mode. The only difference between my usage and that of the thesis on p. 310 is that there are only three syllables ("stood boldly") in instead of the four called for by that particular section of the book. But - correct me if I'm wrong - do we not see many theseis almost identical to this one, which ascends to high Ni, with a variable number of syllables, in some instances? I'm not sure where exactly it is, but, given some searching, I think I could find pretty quickly an example of what I'm referring to.

In Christ,
Gabriel
 
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frephraim

Παλαιό Μέλος
#25
Thank you, Papa Ephraim. But is the kentemata in question really a downbeat?
Good question. I don't know the answer, but considering what Basil wrote in message #21, it seems that the great majority of classical composers did use an oligon. So I conclude that most of them would consider that to be a down beat.

I used a variation of the first X100 thesis on p. 310 of the formula book, and simply used a petaste for "they"...
That seems like a reasonable way to create a melody, but for some reason it still doesn't sound right to my ears. Maybe someone else can tell us why it doesn't sound right (or else present an example of this from the classics).
 

basil

Παλαιό Μέλος
#26
My intention was not to use any particular formula here, but more of a "stock" melody for this short little phrase out of the text.
Regarding this particular melody, what I attempted to do was take the melody from Ke to Di. I used a variation of the first X100 thesis on p. 310 of the formula book, and simply used a petaste for "they", before going down to Di on "stood", and then simply using the thesis as written on p. 310.
These two statements contradict each other. Which one is the truth, Gabriel?

That seems like a reasonable way to create a melody, but for some reason it still doesn't sound right to my ears. Maybe someone else can tell us why it doesn't sound right (or else present an example of this from the classics).
This formula appears in Mousike Kypsele on page 45, lines 10-11 (on the phrase «αὐτὸς καὶ νῦν δώρησαι»). This phrase consists of a 0001 heirmologic bridge immediately followed by a 100 formula. If the 0001 bridge were separated from the 100 formula by an additional unaccented syllable, we could easily blend these two formulas together; the end result would be identical to the last five syllables of the first 1010100 formula on page 309. However, in this case the 0001 heirmologic bridge is back-to-back with the 100 formula, making it more difficult to blend the two. We have two get from Di to Zo in two beats, so instead of giving the Di two beats as we would in the previous case, we give the Di only one beat and ascend one step to Ke on the following beat, bringing us to the desired Zo on the next downbeat.

Based on my experience, I strongly suspect that other instances of this formula follow the same pattern. That is, to blend a formula that ends on a two-beat Di (usually, but not necessarily, ending with an accented syllable) with a 100 formula that starts on Zo, the classical composers changed a two-beat Di to a one-beat Di followed by a one-beat Ke. Gabriel's usage does not follow this pattern, because if we removed the word "boldly" and made "stood" a two-beat Di, the resulting melody for "they stood" wouldn't stand on its own as a valid heirmologic bridge or formula.
 

GabrielCremeens

Music Director at St. George, Albuquerque, NM
#27
These two statements contradict each other. Which one is the truth, Gabriel?
They don't, Basil. The first is the way it happened as I composed it - not thinking of any particular formula from Papa Ephraim's book, but simply doing what sounded natural to my ear as a way to move from Ke to Di, based on what I had heard in the chapel here at school and from listening to recordings. (And also from talking to Dr. Karanos and, later, John Boyer and Rassem el Massih.)

The second, because it seemed to me that you wanted to know the exact type of formula I used so as to further look into my usage of it, was when I checked in the formula book to find the exact thesi which I had utilized. I cannot claim that I had Papa Ephraim's formula book at my side at every moment when I was composing this piece, so I had to go back and look to see what exactly I had done (an act of composition which was originally based on my own ear).

I'm sorry if that caused any confusion.

In Christ,
Gabriel
 

basil

Παλαιό Μέλος
#28
The first is the way it happened as I composed it - not thinking of any particular formula from Papa Ephraim's book, but simply doing what sounded natural to my ear.... I cannot claim that I had Papa Ephraim's formula book at my side at every moment when I was composing this piece, so I had to go back and look to see what exactly I had done (an act of composition which was originally based on my own ear).
In other words, you wrote what seemed natural to you at the time and attempted to rationalize it after the fact. But since both Papa Ephraim and myself noticed phrases that don't sound quite right to us, you should question how good your intuition really is. Developing an intuition for composing Byzantine melodies takes a lot of time. Papa Ephraim has developed it partially as a result of collecting over 10,000 formulas. To develop my own intuition, I spent months chanting every piece in the Anastasimatarion and Mousike Kypsele, paying particularly close attention to melodic contour, modal variations, rhythmic balance, and how formulas were blended together. This knowledge can't be gained just by referring to the formula book. Sorry, but your weak rationalizations indicate that you aren't ready to "fly solo" based on your intuition alone. Until you do, you ought to look up every single phrase in the formula book. Yes, it is a lot of work, but it is a critical requirement (along with studying the classical books in depth) in order for inexperienced people like yourself to produce quality compositions.
 

phokaeus

Παλαιό Μέλος
#29
That seems like a reasonable way to create a melody, but for some reason it still doesn't sound right to my ears. Maybe someone else can tell us why it doesn't sound right (or else present an example of this from the classics).
Evlogeite Papa Ephraim,
I believe I understand what you mean when you say it doesn't sound quite right. I am not in any position to contest the validity of the thesis itself - given my very rudimentary knowledge of Byzantine formulaic rules - but my initial thought upon seeing this thesis was that it might sound this way just by virtue of being a rather abrupt modulation. I'm sure you already thought of this, but also that it might be useful to suggest.

Basil:
To develop my own intuition, I spent months chanting every piece in the Anastasimatarion and Mousike Kypsele, paying particularly close attention to melodic contour, modal variations, rhythmic balance, and how formulas were blended together.
For the sake of any inexperienced chanters reading this discussion, I believe the following needs to be made perfectly clear: the classical psaltic repertoire (as has been recently pointed out) is not in any way limited to these two volumes, nor do they encapsulate the only "authentic" compositional style! You are (probably unintentionally) making it sound as if the opposite is true. While I agree that a thorough knowledge of the music in both the Kypsele and the Anastasimatarion is of pivotal importance to everyone studying Byzantine chant, it is equally important to correctly understand the context of these works in the larger scheme of the entire Byzantine musical oeuvre. Granted, I understand that Papa Ephraim's goal is emulation of the Kypsele compositional style - and there is certainly nothing wrong with that - but I think it's important not to disregard other works such as the Old Sticherarion (which some argue are of even more importance than the Kypsele).

EDIT: To further clarify, the above was not in reply to the criticism of the thesis in question, but rather just a general observation. One other thing I would like to mention to correct a mistake I made earlier is that the correct term for an unaccented beat is simply "off-beat." These would be beats two and four in 4/4 time. Beat three would be called an on-beat, and the downbeat is the strongest beat in the bar, i.e. the first.
 
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basil

Παλαιό Μέλος
#30
… the classical psaltic repertoire (as has been recently pointed out) is not in any way limited to these two volumes, nor do they encapsulate the only "authentic" compositional style! You are (probably unintentionally) making it sound as if the opposite is true.
Your words, not mine. I neither stated nor implied such a thing. The fact that I spent a lot of time studying the Anastasimatarion and Mousike Kypsele to develop my compositional intuition neither implies that the classical repertoire is limited to those two volumes, nor does it imply that those two volumes encapsulate the only authentic compositional style. Obviously, the classical repertoire is not limited to those two volumes, and there are many authentic compositional styles.

While I agree that a thorough knowledge of the music in both the Kypsele and the Anastasimatarion is of pivotal importance to everyone studying Byzantine chant, it is equally important to correctly understand the context of these works in the larger scheme of the entire Byzantine musical oeuvre. Granted, I understand that Papa Ephraim's goal is emulation of the Kypsele compositional style - and there is certainly nothing wrong with that - but I think it's important not to disregard other works such as the Old Sticherarion (which some argue are of even more importance than the Kypsele).
I agree with everything you wrote. I neither stated nor implied anything to the contrary above.
 

phokaeus

Παλαιό Μέλος
#31
Your words, not mine. I neither stated nor implied such a thing. The fact that I spent a lot of time studying the Anastasimatarion and Mousike Kypsele to develop my compositional intuition neither implies that the classical repertoire is limited to those two volumes, nor does it imply that those two volumes encapsulate the only authentic compositional style. Obviously, the classical repertoire is not limited to those two volumes, and there are many authentic compositional styles.



I agree with everything you wrote. I neither stated nor implied anything to the contrary above.
Nor did I imply that is what you meant. However, I am saying it is not at all unlikely for someone reading this discussion (particularly someone with little experience) to come to this conclusion.
 
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basil

Παλαιό Μέλος
#32
Nor did I imply that is what you meant. However, I am saying it is not at all unlikely for someone reading this discussion (particularly someone) with little experience to come to this conclusion.
Thank you for clarifying that and for your proactive steps to ensure that inexperienced chanters don't come to erroneous conclusions from reading this thread.
 

Kavouras

Νέο μέλος
#33
Well I read this thread and I can't come to any conclusions at all! Hard to believe I read through the entire thing, I could feel the frustration. I comb through these lessons every so often to try and learn just that little bit more each time, and it seems that we went to correcting the poor guy's composition to spear chucking. I probably have some real dumb questions then:

Can't we just 'make up' an hiermologic bridge? Even once? Why does it have to be out of a formula book? Why does it make it wrong if it's not? Does it matter if it's not a formula you've ever seen? We're talking 4 notes here, we're not trying to build a rocket ship. Is it that important? I don't think I ever chant a piece exactly the way it's written anyway. We can't improvise for a couple notes?

Anyways for what it's worth, it's one thing to reject a 'bridge' because it sounds wrong, and another to reject it because you can't find it in some book.

Forgive my ranting.
 

GabrielCremeens

Music Director at St. George, Albuquerque, NM
#34
In the discussion of the piece at hand, I would like to re-post (with a more specific reference to the thesis in question) the piece provided to me by Phokaeus, which utilizes a variation of the third mode "nana" thesis which I used, transposed to high Ni, in my composition.

In examining the piece (Τον ήλιον κρύψαντα in plagal first mode, as composed by Germanos Neon Patron), we find, on page 2, lines 6-7, a variation on the thesi which I utilized in the Doxastikon for St. Sophia and her three daughters. The contention was that it might not be valid to use this thesi in a plagal first mode composition, because there was not an example of it in a classical score. Can the use of this (essentially) identical thesis be a justification for my own use? Granted, the thesis in question is in its "natural" position on Ga, not transposed to high Ni as I used it.

In Christ,
Gabriel
 

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basil

Παλαιό Μέλος
#35
Can the use of this (essentially) identical thesis be a justification for my own use?
That example isn't relevant because it is an old sticheraric formula from Third Mode in the context of an old sticheraric composition in Plagal First Mode; your melody for "they cried, O Lord," on the other hand, is an old sticheraric formula from Third Mode in the context of a new sticheraric composition in Plagal First Mode. While I have seen old sticheraric formulas from Third Mode used frequently in old sticheraric compositions in Plagal First Mode, I have not once seen one used in a classical new sticheraric composition in Plagal First Mode.
 

GabrielCremeens

Music Director at St. George, Albuquerque, NM
#36
Regarding the phrase "they stood boldly", what if we made use of the following heirmologic bridge instead:

di - they

ke - stood

zo-ni-zo-ke - bold-

di - ly


This would be as found in the Resurrectional Stichera of plagal first mode Ο την Αναστασιν διδους, as found on the first line of page 205 of the Anastasimatarion of Ioannis Protopsaltis.
 

GabrielCremeens

Music Director at St. George, Albuquerque, NM
#38
Papa Ephraim, evlogeite,

I've made some changes to the score based on your comments, as well as Basil's. Namely, I have changed the section "they stood boldly" and the long thesis "grant victory" to use an oligon instead of kentemata.

Kissing your right hand,
Gabriel
 

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phokaeus

Παλαιό Μέλος
#39
Another example of the use of the modulatory thesis employed on the words "they cried, O Lord" can be found in the apostichal doxasticon for St. Symeon the Stylite, composed by Chourmouzios the Archivist (found in his apostichal doxastarion published in 1901). The piece is in the plagal first mode, and the thesis is used on high Ni.
 
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basil

Παλαιό Μέλος
#40
Another example of the use of the modulatory thesis employed on the words "they cried, O Lord" can be found in the apostichal doxasticon for St. Symeon the Stylite, composed by Chourmouzios the Archivist (found in his apostichal doxastarion published in 1901).
This example appears in Chourmouzios' Doxastarion Apostichon (Thessaloniki, 1901) on page 10, lines 6-7. Like the previous example, it is irrelevant by the reasoning in message #35.
 
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