Scale Chart

Dimitri

Δημήτρης Κουμπαρούλης, Administrator
Staff member
#2
Thanks Nick. Good work. Some comments:

Fixed Alterations -> Modulations?
Shadings -> Chroai
Even -> Zygos
Inflected -> Kliton
Broad -> Spathi

The scales are incomplete (there are lots more) but I guess they don't fit in a cheat sheet.
 

antonios

Αετόπουλος Αντώνιος
#3
The term "conjoiner" is completely the opposite from the greek term "διαζευκτικός", and, i think that the "role" of this tone there (if we see intervals in such a way) is "to separate" and not "to join" tetracords.
 

Reader Nick

Νέο μέλος
#4
Thanks for the initial comments!

Dimitri...I'm not sure if understand your comments. Did you want me to replace the words on the left with the words on the right? I was thinking about "General Alterations" instead of "Fixed", although I'm not sure.

As for the other words, the only one that doesn't have the transliterated Greek is "Shadings"...I thought having all the transliterated Greek made some things look a little cluttered, and cumbersome.

And, what other scales are there that I should include? I was following another chart, and that is all that they had (and most of what I have seen in the music I've read).

And, Antonios...I did realize the difference in translation, but it seemed to me that the note functions in both capacities. I was trying to find a word that could be divided into four almost equal sections...disjunct, divider, separater, and others may have been a more accurate translation, but didn't fit with the spacing...maybe "separater" would? Nevertheless, while it divides the tetrachords it also "joins" them. (In my mind, which may be wrong, the tetrachords are individual sets that were put together to form full scales, and therefore while the note divides the individual tetrachords, it also allows them to be combined in a useable fashion for chanting...hence, why I didn't have a problem using "conjoiner". The note doesn't literally cut them apart, as if they were one scale before, but separates the two sets.) Thoughts?

Should I try changing it to "separater"?
 

apostolos

Απόστολος Κομπίτσης
#5
I was trying to find a word that could be divided into four almost equal sections...disjunct, divider, separater, and others may have been a more accurate translation, but didn't fit with the spacing...maybe "separater" would? Nevertheless, while it divides the tetrachords it also "joins" them. (In my mind, which may be wrong, the tetrachords are individual sets that were put together to form full scales, and therefore while the note divides the individual tetrachords, it also allows them to be combined in a useable fashion for chanting...hence, why I didn't have a problem using "conjoiner". The note doesn't literally cut them apart, as if they were one scale before, but separates the two sets.) Thoughts?
In Professor Savas Savas' book Byzantine Music in Theory and in Practice (which, to my knowledge, is the first book of Byzantine Music theory translated into English, used by the students of our Holy Cross Seminary), he simply uses the term "connecting note" to denote the ΓΑ-ΔΙ interval that separates the two tetrachords. In lessons with my own students, I explain what this interval is and, for lack of a better word, use the term "disjunctive" (and you use it, too, with your phrase "Scales with Disjunct Tetrachords"). This may or may not be the most accurate word, but at this point, I'm just slapping a label on it. As the lesson progresses, I use the Greek word "diazeftikos" to refer to it.

With my own students, I insist on using the Greek terms rather than the English (i.e. "fthora" rather than "modulant"; "zygos", "kliton" and "spathi" rather than "even", "inflected" and "broad"; etc.) simply because the one-word translations are NOT accurate. I would rather use the Greek word and then talk for 10 minutes to explain exactly what this word means. There are only certain words that I WILL use consistently in English, words like "tetrachord", "diatonic", "enharmonic", "chromatic", and other words which are not only translations but direct derivatives of the root Greek words. In fact, just for variety's sake, I interchange "tetrachord" and "tetrachordon" and students know exactly what I'm referring to.

Hope this helps.

Apostolos
 

antonios

Αετόπουλος Αντώνιος
#6
Thanks for the initial comments!

Dimitri...I'm not sure if understand your comments. Did you want me to replace the words on the left with the words on the right? I was thinking about "General Alterations" instead of "Fixed", although I'm not sure.

As for the other words, the only one that doesn't have the transliterated Greek is "Shadings"...I thought having all the transliterated Greek made some things look a little cluttered, and cumbersome.

And, what other scales are there that I should include? I was following another chart, and that is all that they had (and most of what I have seen in the music I've read).

And, Antonios...I did realize the difference in translation, but it seemed to me that the note functions in both capacities. I was trying to find a word that could be divided into four almost equal sections...disjunct, divider, separater, and others may have been a more accurate translation, but didn't fit with the spacing...maybe "separater" would? Nevertheless, while it divides the tetrachords it also "joins" them. (In my mind, which may be wrong, the tetrachords are individual sets that were put together to form full scales, and therefore while the note divides the individual tetrachords, it also allows them to be combined in a useable fashion for chanting...hence, why I didn't have a problem using "conjoiner". The note doesn't literally cut them apart, as if they were one scale before, but separates the two sets.) Thoughts?

Should I try changing it to "separater"?
Even though, some new books of theory even in greek use the term, let's say "conjoiner", using this line of thought, it's not accurate. Tetrachords in a scale can be either joined or separated. Separated by a... "conjoiner"? :)
 

antonios

Αετόπουλος Αντώνιος
#7
In Professor Savas Savas' book Byzantine Music in Theory and in Practice (which, to my knowledge, is the first book of Byzantine Music theory translated into English, used by the students of our Holy Cross Seminary...

Apostolos
Where can we find the book? Is it for sale or just for use in the Holy Cross Seminary?
 

Nikolaos Giannoukakis

Παλαιό Μέλος
#8
The book is available through interlibrary loans, or by writing directly to the seminary for copies.

Although there are pdf versions, those who hold them are not allowed to distribute without the expressed permission of the seminary which still holds the copyright.

You may contact the Very Rev. Joachim Cotsonis, Director of the Archbishop Iakovos Library and Learning Resource Center; tel: 001-617-850-1243;
email: http://www.hchc.edu/holycross/academics/faculty/cotsonis/contact_joachim_cotsonis.html

NG
 

GabrielCremeens

Music Director at St. George, Albuquerque, NM
#9
It is worth mentioning that, as of this semester, the book used here at HCHC is the new Psachos book that was recently published. (I just ordered it for a classmate who is taking Prof. Karanos' Byzantine Chant I class.) :)

-G
 

basil

Παλαιό Μέλος
#10
Tetrachords in a scale can be either joined or separated.
According to Grout et al's "A History of Western Music,"[1] two tetrachords are conjunct "when the bottom note of one is the same as the top note of the other," and two tetrachords are disjunct "when the bottom note of one is a whole tone above the top note of the other." These terms are clarified in the Wikipedia article "Tetrachord" as follows:

Wikipedia said:
Larger scales are constructed from conjunct or disjunct tetrachords. Conjunct tetrachords share a note, while disjunct tetrachords are separated by a disjunctive tone of 9/8 (a Pythagorean major second). Alternating conjunct and disjunct tetrachords form a scale that repeats in octaves. ...
Define a tetrachord as a four-note segment of an octave, bounded by the interval between the first note and the fourth note (which is the sum of the intervals between the first note and the second note, the second note and the third note, and the third note and the fourth note). Then an octave in the diatonic, soft chromatic, or hard chromatic scale can be divided into two disjunct tetrachords with a disjunctive tone between them. Inversely, a disjunctive tone can be inserted between two consecutive tetrachords in the above scales to form an octave.

Note that the above statement and its inverse are logically equivalent. The term disjunctive tone in both refers not to the combination of two tetrachords in order to form an octave (nor, inversely, to the division of an octave into two tetrachords), but rather to the fact that neither tetrachord shares a note with the other (i.e., the two sets of notes are disjoint).

(P.S.: Confusingly enough, the Wikipedia article "Steps and skips," citing Bonds' "A History of Music in Western Culture,"[2] reveals that a step, or conjunct motion, is an interval between two pitches which are consecutive scale degrees, while a skip, or disjunct motion, is any larger interval. By this definition, a disjunctive tone is a conjunct motion!)

[1] Donald J. Grout, Claude V. Palisca and J. Peter Burkholder, A History of Western Music, 7th ed. (New York: W. W. Norton, 2006).
[2] Mark Evan Bonds, A History of Music in Western Culture, 2nd ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ.: Prentice Hall, 2006), 123.
 

Dimitri

Δημήτρης Κουμπαρούλης, Administrator
Staff member
#11
Dimitri...I'm not sure if understand your comments. Did you want me to replace the words on the left with the words on the right? I was thinking about "General Alterations" instead of "Fixed", although I'm not sure.

As for the other words, the only one that doesn't have the transliterated Greek is "Shadings"...I thought having all the transliterated Greek made some things look a little cluttered, and cumbersome.

And, what other scales are there that I should include? I was following another chart, and that is all that they had (and most of what I have seen in the music I've read).
Yes, I would replace them and use the transliterated Greek terms as Apostolos said too. For the "alterations" you could use the descriptive terms "yfesis" and "diesis" signs only.

With respect to scales, e.g. Plagal Second Mode uses more than one scale (full chromatic, semi chromatic/diatonic), Barys (Grave) Mode uses more than one scale (Enharmonic, Diatonic), Plagal First Mode uses more than one scale (Diatonic/Diatonic with Enharmonic top) and similar for other modes etc. But as I said it's fine as you have it as a cheat sheet of some basic reference.
 

Reader Nick

Νέο μέλος
#12
According to Grout et al's "A History of Western Music,"[1] two tetrachords are conjunct "when the bottom note of one is the same as the top note of the other," and two tetrachords are disjunct "when the bottom note of one is a whole tone above the top note of the other."
Thanks for the clarification, Basil! I think that helps elucidate the tetrachord understanding...I was thinking about it in the wrong fashion. If there's an intervening note (here of a whole step, or 12 commas), then it is by definition disjunct, and it is that note that makes it disjunct...hence, disjunctive note (irrespective of whether that note separates or joins tetrachords). Any suggestions on what word to use?
 

Reader Nick

Νέο μέλος
#13
Yes, I would replace them and use the transliterated Greek terms as Apostolos said too. For the "alterations" you could use the descriptive terms "yfesis" and "diesis" signs only.

With respect to scales, e.g. Plagal Second Mode uses more than one scale (full chromatic, semi chromatic/diatonic), Barys (Grave) Mode uses more than one scale (Enharmonic, Diatonic), Plagal First Mode uses more than one scale (Diatonic/Diatonic with Enharmonic top) and similar for other modes etc. But as I said it's fine as you have it as a cheat sheet of some basic reference.
In general, when I've been teaching others, many people who don't have a Greek background (or a language background, in general) are very hesitant to start using "weird" words that are not part of their vocabulary (especially the converts I've talked to). While Orthodoxy is replete with our own language of terminology, I try to use words they know when I can (otherwise, there's a huge resistance to learning, I've found). Sometimes it is essential, as has been noted, since there's an English word that is derived from the Greek, or the word is the symbol name...there's no way to argue another word at the moment. For things like "Tetrachord Shading" it seems like that's more helpful than the Greek word to the people for whom I think this chart is aimed. Otherwise, the Greek chart could suffice (many of my students have talked about some of the difficulties of using/learning multiple languages in order to learn the Byzantine notation "language"). For the "Tetrachord Shading", I normally say the scales are there to nuance the music, which I think comes across in the title. For the actual scale names (Klito, Spathi, etc), I think it'd be fine to leave just the transliterated Greek without the English, assuming the English translation has no relation.

For the fixed/general alterations, I've heard others use "General Flat" or "Sharp" which seems much more helpful to the understanding (for English only people) than "yfesis" and "diesis". If others don't think the Greek transliteration would clutter the chart, then I add them, but at the moment it seems a little crowded (I'm hoping that the chart could be used as a stepping stone, to lower the energy barrier to learning byzantine chant, instilling that desire that allows them to skip over to the Greek words for more clarity).

I always fear that we can lose people with the foreign language barrier, and then they can't learn how to chant the notation, even though they can sing...it's been hard enough for some of the people I've been helping to recognize the different scale degrees and martyrias with the Greek names...

Thoughts? I'm assuming the chart is aimed especially at those learning with a minimal Greek background?
 

Reader Nick

Νέο μέλος
#14
Please check out the updates made below!

To summarize:
1. I changed "Conjoiner" to "Separator".
2. I changed all the tetrachordal shadings to their transliterated Greek names with accents, with the English name used by David Melling in parentheses.
3. I changed "Klito" to "Kliton", per the suggestion of some friends from Chicago and to be in alignment with the book by Psilacos.
4. I changed "Fixed Alterations" to "General Alterations".
5. I fixed a mistake in the Enharmonic scale from Ga.

Finally, I uploaded two different versions. Please let me know which you prefer. Another friend from Chicago mentioned that the chart used the sharps and flats with no crossbars for all of the sections, when they should actually have varying amounts of bars to be technically accurate. I have included one version with the bars, and one without...please let me know your thoughts!

If you see anything wrong or if you think something should be changed, please let me know!

Thanks!
-Nick
 

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Nikolaos Giannoukakis

Παλαιό Μέλος
#15
Dear Reader Nick:

You should check with the tradition of the Great Church of Christ and the theory manuals that are considered mainstream (from Chrysanthos, to those spanning the mid 1800s-mid 20th century) regarding the sharps and flats with multiple crossbars to illustrate intervals relative to those of the diatonic generum. What you have included in your first pdf file, has no basis in the tradition of the mainstream theory.

In fact, if you do the mathematics (assuming you know what the barred sharps/flats mean) and then you put in the values into software that will play back your scale I doubt that the result will sound anything resembling the psaltae considered mainstream since the time of Naypliotis.

Stick with your second pdf cheat sheet. Also, the cheat sheet needs a reputable teacher along with it. Unless a reputable teacher is there for the students to LISTEN, it is useless.

NG
 
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Reader Nick

Νέο μέλος
#16
Dear Reader Nick:

You should check with the tradition of the Great Church of Christ and the theory manuals that are considered mainstream (from Chrysanthos, to those spanning the mid 1800s-mid 20th century) regarding the sharps and flats with multiple crossbars to illustrate intervals relative to those of the diatonic generum. What you have included in your first pdf file, has no basis in the tradition of the mainstream theory.

In fact, if you do the mathematics (assuming you know what the barred sharps/flats mean) and then you put in the values into software that will play back your scale I doubt that the result will sound anything resembling the psaltae considered mainstream since the time of Naypliotis.

NG
I didn't realize how different some of the newer systems are...I was going off of Psilacos and Boyer's texts which state that no cross-bar means substract/add 2 commas, one bar is 4, two is 6, etc., whereas it seems the older books (an english translation of Chrysanthos I found, and a brief look at Phokaeus) seem to refer to the various sharps/flats as cutting the interval into pieces (a quarter, half, third), with "no cross-bar" referring to cutting the interval above or below that note in half, or sometimes just used generally to represent any type of semitone. Does this seem like an accurate description?

I can see how the sharps/flats I used might make sense in one system but not the other...hopefully, they made sense in at least one system...

Dear Reader Nick:

Stick with your second pdf cheat sheet. Also, the cheat sheet needs a reputable teacher along with it. Unless a reputable teacher is there for the students to LISTEN, it is useless.

NG
I'll definitely stick with the second pdf. And, a reputable teacher is definitely necessary.
 

Nikolaos Giannoukakis

Παλαιό Μέλος
#17
Dear Reader Nick:

What is forgotten is the context in which the barred sharps/flats were first proposed and most importantly the footnotes in the Theory of Chrysanthos and mainstream theory manuals of the 20th century (Panagiotopoulos, Efthymiadis come to mind).

Chrysanthos, on p. 100-101 of his "Great Theory" and most importantly, in his footnotes in those pages, is very clear about the distinction between the practical and the theoretical. Also, on page 22 of his Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Ecclesiastic Music he is quite clear on these distinctions.

The Patriarchal Committee of 1881, in its "Elementary Teaching of Ecclesiastic Music" is very specific on the barred sharps/flats as being useful in the construction of the PSALTER (their version of a microtonal wind/key-driven instrument) but they are clear to note that their introduction of their version of barred sharps/flats is because of their choice of a 36 equal-temperament scale. In other words, they are describing symbols needed to explain the intervals of a musical instrument. Not for vocal performance.

This confusion continues to permeate modern day thinking (including, but not exclusive to Theodosios Georgiadis who Psillacos quotes).

As Chrysanthos states, and as many many traditional psaltae of last century point out, the genera are learned by listening and repetition. The theory can explain what one listens to and makes the execution of the intervals approximate closer the mean of the execution of the old-time traditional psaltae. Absent modern technology and synthesizer software, the numbers alone, without tradition, are meaningless. Look also at page 91 of Panagiotopoulos' theory book and p. 91 (coincidence?) of Avraam Efthymiadis excellent theory book as well and their comments re. sharps/flats.

NG
 
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