Music for the text or text for the music?

Dimitri

Δημήτρης Κουμπαρούλης, Administrator
Staff member
#1
I had written this a while ago in the byzantinechant forum. I post it here too.

Hi all, I often hear people claiming how well Byzantine Chant uses music to support the meanings of the text and how this is really according to the definition of the word "chant". I spent some time pondering this the other day and really it seems to be true only sometimes (for certain types of compositions). A vast number of other Byzantine hymns are actually written the other way around: text to fit the music. For instance take the thousands of Prosomoia, Kathismata, Polyelaioi, Exaposteilaria, Prokeimena, Ancient Mathemata, Canon troparia etc. Sometimes, accented syllables are not emphasised, non-accented syllables are emphasised, sentences are broken into parts, joyous modes are chosen for non-joyous texts, etc. A paradise for the potential "correcters" of our chant out there.. :rolleyes:

What's going on? Were our (music) fathers crazy or lacking common sense or literary knowledge? Or do we have something to learn from their example?

Probably the main reason why they chose "text to fit the music" instead of "music to fit the text" is that they wanted repetitiveness which leads to easy learning by the people and eventually achieves the goal of transmitting the text better than the other way. It also hinders improvisation and personal aesthetics in the presentation of the hymns.

The music becomes "well known" and approachable to the congregation, easy to learn and predictable, easy to preserve and transmit in the generations to come. I would not be surprised if such pieces are some of the most ancient melodies we use. A psaltis who knows 30-40 prosomoia melodies can chant about half the Church year repertoire!

Note that the negative effects of the (not so common) case of misrepresenting the text trying to fit it to music can often be avoided by an experienced psaltis who can adjust their performance locally preserving both text and music. Something that Iakovos Protopsaltis seemed to have done in excess to the point of annoying his Lambadarios Petros Byzantios. Other times it just shows incompetence of the hymn's poet.

Other times the text is so well-known that it doesn't matter if it is misrepresented by the music in one or two places. Other times, the misrepresentation becomes a musical "game" of the composer (like in Bereketis's slow Doxology where the "soi" of "Doxa soi" is emphasised more than "Do") who wants to surprise the listeners and draw their attention to the piece being chanted in a different way.

I will leave to you the potential extensions of the above reasoning to transcription of Byzantine Chant to other languages.
 

Shota

Παλαιό Μέλος
#2
Building up on what Dimitri wrote, I'll add a few more observations. There's also an interestind discussion going on in the Greek part of the forum:

http://analogion.com/forum/showthread.php?t=301

First of all, here's in more detail what Chrysanthos writes on Iakovos Protopsaltis: "He was a good grammarian and would have been an excellent chanter if he didn't have bad rhythm. This is because, ignoring the rules of rhythm and poetry - supposedly to preserve the meaning of the troparion - he didn't preserve the rhythm of the prosomoia."

He goes on to write how this was annoying and disappointing his Lampadarios Petros Byzantios. In the discussion on this passage in the byzantinechant forum Ioannis Arvanitis supplied some interesting observations, which I quote below, because not everybody might be subscribed to that forum:

I think that , in order to understand the passage of Chrysanthos concerning the 'rhythm' of Iakovos' singing, we must have in mind the original (or another, old) meaning of the word 'rhythm', ie. 'shape'. In this sense we can also speak about 'rhythm' in the visual arts. So, Iakovos was distroying the 'shape' of the automelon, so that its prosomoion has a full (entelh) cadence at the end of a period of the words, a medial cadence at the place of a comma of the words of the prosomoion, in others words to make the syntactic structure of the prosomoion conform with its music. But because the syntactic structure of the prosomoion does not always coincide with the syntactic structure of the automelon, Iakovos tried to alter the music of the Automelon when adapting the words of the prosomoion (retaining of course some similarity to the music of the Automelon) , so the music of the prosomoion reflects faithfully its syntactic structure. So, he was singing with (Chrysanthos' expression:) 'melopoiia kata ta nooumena', ie. setting to music according to the meaning. This is exactly reflected in the whole Iakovos' work: eg. in his Doxologies. The older Doxologies by Balasios, Bereketis, Germanos and, to a lower degree those by Daniel and Petros Lampadarios, follow basically the same pattern in every one of their verses. Although the verses of a doxology are not prosomoia, their singing, as well as the singing of the old or older polyeleoi, followed the custom found in the ancient psalmody (see eg. the rubrics in Asmatic offices; very often only the music of the first verse is given in the Mss and the rest are sung 'according to this'), ie. a certain pattern to be followed (the same custom holds also for western psalmody). But Iakovos Doxologies deviate strongly from this rule; they are composed according the meaning, using new high or low points, phthorai and ither devices of 'word painting'. In other words, they are not so much 'strophic'; they are 'through composed'. The same manner of composition has strongly affected his Doxastarion: in a frame of old sticheraric, traditional, long 'theseis', new compositional devices are present, eg. a) new (frequent) use of phthorai but through old formulas b) short sticheraric formulas (coinciding to the ones by Petros) etc. So, Iakovos is at the same time traditional and innovative. He wanted to protect the long old sticherarion (= his conservatism) from disappearance (it was thought already as too long, so Iak. composed only a Doxastarion and not a full stichararion), but he thought he had to shorten and to 'modernize' it (through devices like the above mentioned ), so that at least something of it be preserved; this was maybe the only way to for the old sticherarion to survive. (I have collected material for writing an article on Iakovos' Doxastarion and its notation. I don't know when I'll be able to write it. You know about my situation. Maybe I'll have the chance to present it in some conference)

On the matters of phrasing and paratonismoi in prosomoia, I 'd have much to say (defending the older books) , but allow me to stop here for the present. I hope to give details in my PhD. My article that Shota referred to, give some basic things on this. Concerning the style of composing old stichera, Wellesz is still valuable, as well some articles by J. Raasted. What is important, is that the Melodoi were very artful and careful when composing. As I have studied and concluded, the manner of composition of the now used chants (I mean the 'classical' compositions) has its roots in their work (despite the apparent differences). So, one should not easily criticize the older composers (eg. Petros) as not having composed artfully and appropriately. Sometimes it is as if one criticizes or accuses St. John or St. Kosmas as being ignorant of the grammar, the syntax etc. Sorry, it's a very long story to be described here.


So the discussion on whether one has to set troparia to music strictly "according to the meaning" does not appear to be a new one.

One source of the problems is that the liturgical books contain many examples when the troparia do not match metrically and tonically their heirmoi, or when the same happens with prosomoia and automela. This is well outlined in this excerpt of Tomadakis' book:

http://www.analogion.com/Tomadakis-RythmotonikeKaiMelos.zip

Examples are from the works of great hymnographers and accusing them of ignorance would be a major folly. What Tomadakis mentions and what Arvanitis develops in greater detail in one of his articles here ( http://www.analogion.com/Arvanitis-Paleobyzantine.pdf ) is that when composing new canons to existing heirmoi the melodoi had in mind not only the text of the heirmoi, but also their melodies. What could appear as a troparion that didn't follow its original heirmos if looking only at the texts, could have been perfectly fine when chanted to a specific tune. So in a sense I'm surprised by some of the corrections of Fr. Konstantinos Papagiannis in his "Corrections and observations on the Triodion" (University Studio Press, Thessalonike, 2006). Here is one example from the 5th troparion of the 9th Ode of the canon of the Sunday of Publican and Pharisee (see p. 24):

Τῆς σῆς ἀξίωσον μακαριότητος, τοὺς διὰ σὲ τῷ πνεύματι πτωχοὺς ἐνυπάρξαντας· εἰσηγήσει γὰρ τῆς σῆς προστάξεως, πνεῦμα συντετριμμένον, σοὶ προσκομίζομεν. Σῶτερ προσδεξάμενος σῷζε, τοὺς σοὶ λατρεύοντας.

Fr. Konstantinos suggests to replace (with some reservations) "makariotetos" with "oraiotetos", thus removing an extra syllable in comparison to the heirmos. But he doesn't provide manuscript evidence for such a change. Another example is found on p. 29, the 2nd troparion of the 7th Ode of the canon of the Sunday of Prodigal Son:

Ἀναβοῶ τὸ Ἥμαρτον, μηδόλως ἐνατενίσαι, ἀποτολμῶν εἰς ὕψος τοῦ οὐρανοῦ Παμβασιλεῦ· ὅτι ἐν ἀφροσύνῃ, μόνος σε παρώργισα, ἀθετήσας τὰ σὰ προστάγματα· διὸ ὡς μόνος ἀγαθός, μή με ἀπορρίψῃς ἀπὸ τοῦ σοῦ προσώπου.

It is suggested to delete either "dio" or "monos" to force the troparion into the same syllabic pattern as the heirmos, but no documentary evidence is provided. There are many other changes of this type.

My final observation for a time being is division of the hymnographic pieces into verses. This has been brought up in the discussion in Greek as well, the point being that the existing melodies do not always divide text according to the meaning. So it might be not totally uninteresting to see how the texts were broken up by canon composers (this can be found in old editions of the Greek books, see the use of the dots there). In general their smaller textual units, phrases, correspond to how one would break the text according to the meaning, but not always. Here is one example from the 1st troparion 8th Ode of the Great Monday canon (the text and its sudivision with asterisks is as in the Holy Week book published by the Apostoliki Diakonia with editor Fr. Papagiannis):

Ὑμᾶς μου τότε Μαθητάς
πάντες γνώσονται, εἰ τὰς ἐμᾶς ἐντολὰς
τηρήσητε, φησὶν
ὁ Σωτὴρ τοῖς φίλοις πρὸς Πάθος μολών.
Εἰρηνεύετε
ἐν ἑαυτοῖς καὶ πᾶσι
καὶ ταπεινὰ φρονοῦντες ἀνυψώθητε
καὶ Κύριον
γινώσκοντές με ὑμνεῖτε
καὶ ὑπερυψοῦτε
εἰς πάντας τοὺς αἰῶνας.

According to the meaning this should have been something like this:

Ὑμᾶς μου τότε Μαθητάς
πάντες γνώσονται,
εἰ τὰς ἐμᾶς ἐντολὰς τηρήσητε,
φησὶν ὁ Σωτὴρ τοῖς φίλοις πρὸς Πάθος μολών.

etc. This is found not only in the troparia, but also in heirmoi. Here is one example from the heirmos of the 8th Ode of the Great Tuesday canon (p. 168):

Τῷ δόγματι τῷ τυραννικῷ
οἱ ὅσιοι τρεῖς Παῖδες μὴ πεισθέντες,
ἐν τῇ καμίνῳ βληθέντες, Θεὸν
ὡμολόγουν ψάλλοντες·
Εὐλογεῖτε, τὰ ἔργα
Κυρίου, τὸν Κύριον.

This should have been for instance

Τῷ δόγματι τῷ τυραννικῷ
οἱ ὅσιοι τρεῖς Παῖδες μὴ πεισθέντες
ἐν τῇ καμίνῳ βληθέντες,
Θεὸν ὡμολόγουν ψάλλοντες·
Εὐλογεῖτε,
τὰ ἔργα Κυρίου,
τὸν Κύριον.

Now I can't claim the texts were chanted exactly as they were divided with dots (we don't know the melos used in the old heirmologia), but still we can't dismiss such evidence completely.
 

Dimitri

Δημήτρης Κουμπαρούλης, Administrator
Staff member
#3
Welcome back Shota!

The other day I was listening to some Cappadocian carols (for St. Basil, track 11 I think of this CD) where the music prevails over the text in such a characteristic way that reminded me of the issue discussed here. I tried to find a site with a music sample of it but couldn't. Anyhow, there are other examples of 'text for the music' in folk culture.

What happens in Georgian music in this respect?
 

Emmanouil Giannopoulos

Emmanouil Giannopoulos
#4
So in a sense I'm surprised by some of the corrections of Fr. Konstantinos Papagiannis in his "Corrections and observations on the Triodion" (University Studio Press, Thessalonike, 2006). Here is one example from the 5th troparion of the 9th Ode of the canon of the Sunday of Publican and Pharisee (see p. 24):

Τῆς σῆς ἀξίωσον μακαριότητος, τοὺς διὰ σὲ τῷ πνεύματι πτωχοὺς ἐνυπάρξαντας· εἰσηγήσει γὰρ τῆς σῆς προστάξεως, πνεῦμα συντετριμμένον, σοὶ προσκομίζομεν. Σῶτερ προσδεξάμενος σῷζε, τοὺς σοὶ λατρεύοντας.

Fr. Konstantinos suggests to replace (with some reservations) "makariotetos" with "oraiotetos", thus removing an extra syllable in comparison to the heirmos. But he doesn't provide manuscript evidence for such a change. Another example is found on p. 29, the 2nd troparion of the 7th Ode of the canon of the Sunday of Prodigal Son:

Ἀναβοῶ τὸ Ἥμαρτον, μηδόλως ἐνατενίσαι, ἀποτολμῶν εἰς ὕψος τοῦ οὐρανοῦ Παμβασιλεῦ· ὅτι ἐν ἀφροσύνῃ, μόνος σε παρώργισα, ἀθετήσας τὰ σὰ προστάγματα· διὸ ὡς μόνος ἀγαθός, μή με ἀπορρίψῃς ἀπὸ τοῦ σοῦ προσώπου.

It is suggested to delete either "dio" or "monos" to force the troparion into the same syllabic pattern as the heirmos, but no documentary evidence is provided. There are many other changes of this type.
One must have two lifes to comment all the things you mentioned. I don't have them! And of course every one is rensponsible on what he says and writes-publishes, and the dialogue goes on. But in a general point of view and without being home to see your references (I am in Athens) I would like to observe that
1. Chanting is praying to God in a melodic way. We respect of course the music, but when this music destroy completely the meaning of a poetic prayer and there is a possibility to do a small change in this music in order to solve this, and to chant (i.e. to pray) in a more logical way the meaning of a troparion, I do it.
2. When we have a published work which (based on the old hand written tradition) offers too many solutions in specific hymns, both from a metrical and from a grammatical point of view, as well as in the meaning and theological accurancy of them, first of all we must declare that we respect it! Nobody attempted to do something like that in such an extented way! Let's think: Could we/Are we ready to do it on some others of the liturgical books?
If we want to observe this or that in this pyblished work we can of course do it, while considering that in a work like that there are also a few suggestions (with some reservations) as you said. The old editors of the liturgical books like Vartholomaios Koultoumousianos did the same in many cases, you can find these references in the liturgical books and in many cases maybe they did it without reference. Where is the problem?
Does this fact in a work like that, gives reasons for this expression: "I'm surprised by some of the corrections of Fr. Konstantinos Papagiannis...". If you "are surprised" with these few suggestions inside one's life work which opens new routes in the publication of our liturgical books, then we will wait for your contribution in the same field! We hope that we won't "be surprised"!
You see, when somebody has a ready work ("στο πιάτο") by another, the most easy thing is to "be surprised" by some kommas or full stops. The most difficult is to appreciate what he reads.
 

Shota

Παλαιό Μέλος
#5
What happens in Georgian music in this respect?
The Georgian has the same problems as any other language into which the Greek hymnography was translated insofar that one has to try to preserve the relationship between the automela and prosomoia. A large corpus of the Greek hymnography was translated into Georgian in such a way that e.g. the troparia match their heirmoi metrically (this is not true in all instances). However, this does not usually hold true for accents (would be a Herculean task indeed) and also breaks between phrases often occur in "unexpected" places. This is as far as the texts are concerned. On the musical level unexpected breaks or similar phenomena can also be found and in many cases music seems to prevail.
 

Shota

Παλαιό Μέλος
#6
One must have two lifes to
1. Chanting is praying to God in a melodic way. We respect of course the music, but when this music destroy completely the meaning of a poetic prayer and there is a possibility to do a small change in this music in order to solve this, and to chant (i.e. to pray) in a more logical way the meaning of a troparion, I do it.
OK. But even when making references to St. Gregory of Nazianzus, one has to try to understand how he himself or how his contemporaries or later church fathers understood or applied his words, not how we interpret them in the 21st c. The method to do it is to try to understand e.g. how the old Heirmologia worked. This is what Arvanitis seems to be trying to do.

In any case an approach advocated by you would render kratemata useless since they are a type of pure music, as well as most of the papadic pieces, because they get close to the pure music and also many traditional devices of the Byzantine chant like repetition of words of phrases or insertion of gorthmic sounds since they are useless from the textual or meaning point of view. But then we have many quotes from St. Augustine, for instance on Ps. 150, 5 (“Praise Him on the well-sounding cymbals, praise Him on cymbals of jubilation”. The Greek text: αἰνεῖτε αὐτὸν ἐν κυμβάλοις εὐήχοις, αἰνεῖτε αὐτὸν ἐν κυμβάλοις ἀλαλαγμοῦ): For “jubilation” that is, unspeakable praise, proceedeth not, save from life. Or this one from Ps. 94, 1 (The Greek text: ἀλαλάξωμεν τῷ Θεῷ τῷ Σωτῆρι ἡμῶν·): “Let us make a joyful noise unto God, our salvation.” …Consider, beloved, those who make a joyful noise in any ordinary songs, as in a sort of competition of worldly joy; and ye see them while reciting the written lines bursting forth with a joy, that the tongue sufficeth not to express the measure of; how they shout, indicating by that utterance the feeling of the mind, which cannot in words express what is conceived in the heart. If they then in earthly joy make a joyful noise; might we not do so from heavenly joy, which truly we cannot express in words?

2. When we have a published work which (based on the old hand written tradition) offers too many solutions in specific hymns, both from a metrical and from a grammatical point of view, as well as in the meaning and theological accurancy of them, first of all we must declare that we respect it! Nobody attempted to do something like that in such an extented way!
My comment wasn't meant to belittle the work of Fr. Papagiannis. It was an academic one. If one claims to be using academic means for publication of the liturgical texts, then one has to be ready to be judged based on principles used in academia. So when I see text being altered without manuscript evidence, I get suspicious. Any philologist would, I guess.

Let's think: Could we/Are we ready to do it on some others of the liturgical books? If we want to observe this or that in this pyblished work we can of course do it, while considering that in a work like that there are also a few suggestions (with some reservations) as you said.
I did not quote all the instances, there are many more and some of them do not look like mere recommendations. A frequent pattern is to delete or alter words that don't "damage" the meaning, e.g. articles etc. But this is not sound from the academic point of view. And in any case there are very well-known texts by very well-known hymnographers which can't be "fixed" by simple means. The question then is whether they really need to be fixed or we don't understand something?

The old editors of the liturgical books like Vartholomaios Koultoumousianos did the same in many cases, you can find these references in the liturgical books and in many cases maybe they did it without reference. Where is the problem?
See above.

Does this fact in a work like that, gives reasons for this expression: "I'm surprised by some of the corrections of Fr. Konstantinos Papagiannis...". If you "are surprised" with these few suggestions inside one's life work which opens new routes in the publication of our liturgical books, then we will wait for your contribution in the same field! We hope that we won't "be surprised"!
This I won't comment. Thank you for your answers.
 

Emmanouil Giannopoulos

Emmanouil Giannopoulos
#7
OK. But even when making references to St. Gregory of Nazianzus, one has to try to understand how he himself or how his contemporaries or later church fathers understood or applied his words, not how we interpret them in the 21st c. The method to do it is to try to understand e.g. how the old Heirmologia worked. This is what Arvanitis seems to be trying to do.
In any case an approach advocated by you would render kratemata useless since they are a type of pure music, as well as most of the papadic pieces, because they get close to the pure music and also many traditional devices of the Byzantine chant like repetition of words of phrases or insertion of gorthmic sounds since they are useless from the textual or meaning point of view. But then we have many quotes from St. Augustine, for instance on Ps. 150, 5 (“Praise Him on the well-sounding cymbals, praise Him on cymbals of jubilation”. The Greek text: αἰνεῖτε αὐτὸν ἐν κυμβάλοις εὐήχοις, αἰνεῖτε αὐτὸν ἐν κυμβάλοις ἀλαλαγμοῦ): For “jubilation” that is, unspeakable praise, proceedeth not, save from life. Or this one from Ps. 94, 1 (The Greek text: ἀλαλάξωμεν τῷ Θεῷ τῷ Σωτῆρι ἡμῶν·): “Let us make a joyful noise unto God, our salvation.” …Consider, beloved, those who make a joyful noise in any ordinary songs, as in a sort of competition of worldly joy; and ye see them while reciting the written lines bursting forth with a joy, that the tongue sufficeth not to express the measure of; how they shout, indicating by that utterance the feeling of the mind, which cannot in words express what is conceived in the heart. If they then in earthly joy make a joyful noise; might we not do so from heavenly joy, which truly we cannot express in words?
All the above quotation has no relation with what I wrote in 1.. I didn't mention kratemata, and I didn't mention the "unspeakable praise" or what "we cannot express in words". On the contrary, all the hymns are written to be expressed by human's voice and mind. The hymns present facts from the Lord's and Saints' life, the dogmatic teaching of the Orthodoxy, etc. In my opinion we must chant it in a way that they could be understandable.
And, if somebody in your opinion does not understand successfully St. Gregory, then you may help him to do that. So, which is the meaning of St. Gregory reference?

My comment wasn't meant to belittle the work of Fr. Papagiannis. It was an academic one.
The academic comment does not belittle anyone. The expression? Was it an academic one?
As I wrote one can comment, but he also has to see the total work and not only the points in which he has objections. We are full of people with objections, but we have a great lack of new contributions.

This I won't comment. Thank you for your answers.
Well, it isn't easy, for you, for me and for many other people.
Thank you, too.
 

Shota

Παλαιό Μέλος
#8
Dear Manolis,

The way it's conducted now, I don't see a point in this discussion. So I'll refrain from its continuation.

Shota
 

Shota

Παλαιό Μέλος
#9
On the musical level unexpected breaks or similar phenomena can also be found and in many cases music seems to prevail.
One specific example, the apolytikion of the Nativity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1s1s15pzB8

Here's a complete Greek text for easy reference:

Ἡ γέννησίς σου Χριστὲ ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν, ἀνέτειλε τῷ κόσμῳ τὸ φῶς τὸ τῆς γνώσεως· ἐν αὐτῇ γὰρ οἱ τοῖς ἄστροις λατρεύοντες, ὑπὸ ἀστέρος ἐδιδάσκοντο σὲ προσκυνεῖν, τὸν Ἥλιον τῆς δικαιοσύνης, καὶ σὲ γινώσκειν ἐξ ὕψους ἀνατολήν, Κύριε, δόξα σοι.

Retranslating it to Greek, one could observe

1) Something similar to Ἡ γέννη-(stop at 0:04!)-σίς in the opening Ἡ γέννησίς σου...
2) οἱ τοῖς ἄστροις λατρεύοντες, ὑπὸ ἀστέρος ἐδιδάσκοντο (stop at 1:44) σὲ προσκυνεῖν...
3) A stop after ἐξ ὕψους (at 2:40). The Georgian translation of the last verse differs somewhat from the Greek original.
 

basil

Παλαιό Μέλος
#10
In my relatively limited experience composing music for canons, I have noticed some issues. While I have only composed canons in English, using metered English translations, I believe that many of the issues are the same for those composing canons in Greek. I will give examples below of some of the issues I have encountered, using my English music for the Canon of the Akathist Hymn.

http://dropbox.basilcrow.com/music/byzantine/Canon of the Akathist.pdf

1.) Sometimes the text of the troparion is drastically different from the text of the heirmos for a given phrase. This may be because the phrase of the troparion has a different number of syllables than the corresponding phrase of the heirmos. It may also be because the accentuation pattern of the phrase of the troparion is different enough from the accentuation pattern of the corresponding phrase of the heirmos such that it is impossible to use the same music in both cases (for example, if the phrase of the troparion is accentuated on the second-to-last syllable, while the corresponding phrase of the heirmos is accentuated on the third-to-last syllable).

In this case, everyone agrees that the music of the troparion should be altered. For example, in page 1 of the music above, in the first troparion, the phrase "on seeing thee, O pure one" has a different accentuation pattern than the corresponding phrase in the original heirmos. The same is true for "gates of Hades by thy childbirth" on page 6. In both cases the music has been altered to fit the new text.

2.) Sometimes the text of the troparion is only somewhat different from the text of the heirmos for a given phrase. In this case, the number of syllables is usually the same in both phrases; however, there may be subtle differences in the accentuation patterns of the phrases. For example, on page 2 of the music above, the phrase "utterly is dispelled" has a subtle difference in accentuation compared to the other troparia of the ode. While the other troparia are accented on the third-to-last syllable (100100), the troparion in question is accented on the last syllable (100001). The same happens in the Greek text of the Great Paraklesis canon in Ode 1. The third troparion has a phrase ("ἀντίληψιν κραταιάν") with a 0100001 accentuation pattern, while the other troparia of the phrase have the pattern 0001001.

Ioannes Protopsaltes, in his music for the Great Paraklesis, alters the music to fit the new text in this case as well. I have done the same in my music for the Akathist Canon above. But this has its disadvantages. On page 11, the music for the phrases "O pure Virgin who hast not known wedlock" and "and gavest birth to the timeless Son, Who doth grant salvation" has been altered to fit the text. In this case, roughly half of the musical lines have been altered, even though the melodic contour is the same as the original music. This is particularly frustrating since the only point of having a metered translation is to sing it to the melody for which it is metered. Did I go too far? What would an experienced chanter do?

3.) Sometimes the text of the troparion is metrically identical to the text of the heirmos, but the phrases are divided in a way that obscures comprehension. Some examples have already been brought up in this thread. For example, on pages 11 and 12, we come across:

"saving all of mankind from the flood of / sin and transgression; rejoice, O Bride of God"

This case seems particularly bad to me, since the phrase ends with a dangling preposition. In my music, I opted to divide the phrase thusly:

"saving all of mankind / from the flood of sin and transgression; / rejoice, O Bride of God"

And composed corresponding music to fit the new division of phrases. But on page 5, I left the phrase "Rejoice, radiant morn that hath dawned, bringing / forth Christ God, the spiritual sun" without altering the division. I made this decision because I did not think that the problem was very serious, and also because I could not think of any good music lines for a shortened first phrase ("Rejoice, radiant morn that hath dawned").

This type of change is the most controversial, since it alters the melody more significantly than the other types of changes mentioned. It has been mentioned that Fr Constantine Papagiannis makes changes like this often in his books. I am respectful of his work, but also curious of the history of this technique. My questions are as follows:

1.) Do we have any evidence of this technique in any of the classical Byzantine music books of the 19th century?
2.) Do we have any evidence of this technique in recordings from the Ecumenical Patriarchate?
3.) Do we have any evidence of this technique in Byzantine music manuscripts?
 
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