Slow Doxology in Plagal First Mode by Petros Byzantios "the Fugitive" - English Adaptation


Music Director at St. George, Albuquerque, NM
Good morning all,

Attached is a musical score for an adaptation of the Slow Doxology in Plagal First Mode by Petros Byzantios "the Fugitive." I started it back in May, and finally sat down a little bit over the past couple of weeks and tried to finish it.

The original score can be found on the forum in this topic.

And a recording by Mr. George Papanikolaos of Samos can be listened to here.

There are multiple other recordings and some discussion (originally from the byzantinechant forum) about this particular doxology in the short presentation and discussion section of - it can be read here. A great deal of the discussion focuses on how we should "label" this doxology. Apparently this doxology is labeled as "first tetraphonos" in many old manuscripts, including the autograph of the composer!

However, it is distinct from Iakovos Protopsaltis' doxology in first mode tetraphonos, due (among other factors) to the fact that every verse of Petros Byzantios' doxology ends on Ke, instead of Pa. Additionally, the majority of the theseis are those which we regard today as belonging to the plagal first mode.

Strangely enough, this doxology is also characterized by some (see here) as being "μπακαλίστικη" - literally referring to "groceries," or "greengrocers" but perhaps rendered a little more colloquially as "quick and dirty," due to the repetition (in a good sense) of the same theseis, over and over again.

A few notes about the English score:

1) If there is an alternate line at the top of the page, it is usually one that I thought of afterwards that was either more smooth than the original that I first wrote, or it better adheres to the original score.

2) After I wrote verse #5 ("Receive our prayer"), I realized that "at the right hand of the Father," and "have mercy on us" used almost identical theseis. At the top of the following page, I included an alternate line for "at the right hand of the Father," but I'm not entirely happy with it. I would appreciate any suggestions.

3) Please note the beginning martyries of Pa on vs. 9, and the alternate vs. 9. Also, verse 10 should have the same starting martyria of Pa, but I forgot to write it. Alternately, each of these verses could simply begin with an ison, instead of the jump of 4.

4) Verses 11, 12, and 13 are alternates for "Blessed art Thou, O Lord; teach me Thy statutes," which is repeated 3 times. I would appreciate any thoughts as to which one is the most preferable, especially in comparison with the original Greek.

5) There are two versions of verse #14 ("Lord, Thou hast been our refuge.") Any feedback on which is preferable would, again, be helpful.

6) The alternate line for verse #17 ("O continue Thy mercy") is an exception to note #1 - I don't consider it to be better than what I have written in the main score.

7) I am dissatisfied with my solution(s) for "Holy Immortal", in each of the places where I wrote one (verse 17-19, and the two versions of verse 21). If anyone has a better suggestion that flows a little more smoothly and is simultaneously able to preserve the melodic contour (this beautiful thesis that goes to high Pa and ends on Di), I would be very thankful!

In Christ,