The Psaltic Art and influences upon it from Turkish music


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We need to be very careful with the transcription of mr. Karakatsanis. He makes some important mistakes (ex. "τερκικότερον" in later spot, etc), I am sure, not in purpose (we owe him a lot for publishing these books).
Original text: "Ἡ φωνὴ ἕως οὗ εὕροι ἄλλης φωνῆς ἶσον, ἤτοι μεταξὺ δύο περδέδων τερκικώτερον (τουρκικώτερον, in other sources), γεννῶνται ἄλλαι δύο φωναὶ κατὰ τὴν διδασκαλίαν τοῦ κὺρ Μανούλ, πρώτον φωνῆς, δεύτερον φωνῆς καὶ τρίτον, εἰ καὶ ἐφθαρμέναι, ἤτοι φθορικαί."

Karakatsanis version: "Ἡ φωνὴ ἕως οὗ εὕροι ἄλλης φωνῆς ἶσον, ἤτοι μεταξὺ δύο περδέδων, τερκικώτερον γεννῶνται ἄλλαι δύο φωναὶ κατὰ τὴν διδασκαλίαν τοῦ κὺρ Μανούλ, πρώτον φωνῆς, δεύτερον φωνῆς καὶ τρίτον, εἰ καὶ ἐφθαρμέναι, ἤτοι φθορικαί."

He gives an awkward meaning in this word "τερκικώτερον" using the context of the entire sentence (he suggests these possible explanations: "μαλακότερον", "λεπτότερον", "τρυφερότερον" etc). But it is obvious that the original word is τουρκικώτερον as found in other mss (Karakatsanis sais that in the Preface) and is placed there to justify the term "περδέδων" which is a Turkish word (περδές, perde). It's exactly the equivalent of the phrase "επί το ελληνικότερον"


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I attach a few pages from Gr. Stathis' book that deal with kratemata and some other mele (and influences of external music on them). References to mss and specific pieces are given in the footnotes.

P.S. Of course one can keep on asking how many of these kratemata are in use from 1900s. Probably none. But that's not the point: study of such cases allows one to better understand evolution of the Byzantine chant over centuries (and mechanisms of appearance of names like Saba, Ussak, Huzzam, Hicazkar, Acem Kurdi etc. in the 19-20th c. publications).



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Something that in my opinion opened a way to external influences in the sticheraric genre is a misconceived notion of "composing according to the meaning" (which in my understanding is an overdone colouring of individual words or phrases supposedly to better convey their meaning). A strictly structured Doxastarion of Petros Lampadarios offered limited (?) possibilities in that respect, whereas secular music possessed wealth of devices. And there you go.

As a little illustration (I deliberately avoid modern compositions), consider the doxastikon Πάτερ Αγαθέ composed by Petros Lampadarios, Stephanos Domestikos (or rather Konstantinos Protopsaltis) and Nikolaos of Smyrni. Petros' composition is the one that one would call "serious"; Stephanos spices it up with modulations, but the skeleton is the old one (I like in general some of the added modulations in Kypsele, but in the vast majority of cases they sound irrelevant to my ears, because they break the flow of the melody or are out of place; in our particular case see e.g. "ἐγύμνωσέ με" and "μισθίων σου", which to my ears are not very successful developments); Nikolaos' piece is really something else (what is it actually? Which genre does it belong to? Which composition rules does it obey?).

Nikolaos Giannoukakis

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We really have digressed from addressing Tim Gabe's question head on to ancillary discussions that go in separate and (thus far) unrelated realms of inquiry.

The arguments some are trying to make, pointing out to very special and very unique situations in even more unique compositions/improvisations, to support an across-the-board influence of makam on post-Byzantine music is academically disingenious.

If the argument being proposed is specific for some specific compositions, then I would answer Tim Gabe's original question as "yes, for these particular compositions and improvisations, there is influence from makam".

If the argument being proposed is that makam influenced an across-the-board revision of classic, on-analogion-use, compositions, then my argument, and I am confident any rational musicologist's response would be "no".

As for the member "Deacon", I sense that his line of argumentation on the ancillary topics has its source in elements that have been discussed elsewhere before and there is no reason to revive those....viewpoints and theories.



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I attach a paper by Dimitrios Balageorgos that deals with melodic tradition of the Great Doxology. Concentrating on the 17-18th c. and combining what he writes with what was said in this thread on Balasios' Doxologies, an over-simplified history would be that 1) initially composers, such as Bishop Melchizedek and Chrysaphes the New, were content with melodies restricted to one mode and employing in each verse stereotyped motives, 2) in the second half of the 17th c. complete cycles of Doxologies in eight modes appeared and although some interest in external music can be seen (see the case of Balasios), the compositional technique remained the same as before, 3) at the turn of the 17/18th c. new developments came into play that were associated with Petros Bereketis, namely the use of mixed scales and modulations, however to a limited extent, 4) by the second half of the 18th c. composing according to the meaning got firmly established as a practice (with subtle influences from external music), and 5) in the 19th c. even a greater use of mixed or simple scales (both loans from external music) took a firm root.



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Regarding composing according to the meaning in general and the melodic tradition of the Great Doxology in particular during the time of Iakovos Protopsaltis, see also these comments by Ioannis Arvanitis:

Laosynaktis said:
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', i.e. 'shape'. In this sense we can also speak about 'rhythm' in the visual arts. So, Iakovos was destroying 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', i.e. setting to music according to the meaning. This is exactly reflected in the whole Iakovos' work: e.g. 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 e.g. 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'), i.e. 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 other 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, e.g. 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 Iakovos 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.


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I attach an ad from the first volume of the Music Library series published by the teachers of the Patriarchal Music School (Archon Protopsaltis Stavrakis, Lampadarios Georgios Raidestinos et al.), where publication of the series is announced, reasons for the publication are explained and contents of projected volumes are described.

P.S. Interestingly, the books were not supposed to contain any works by Theodoros Fokaeus. It appears he was thought to be an innovator, and not being a Patriarchal chanter, he didn't get an indulgence :D


Talking about a Turkish influence, I think there is a bad way to discuss this question (but I do not refer to this discussion which I really like also because of the rich material offered here, except that nobody has tried to answer the original question, whether there was this influence before the fall of Constantinople). I do refer to a polemic by Tillyard who called the Turkish "influence" a "corruption" of Byzantine music, and in 1970 Gregorios Stathis was so unfortunate to argue that a European ear like Tillyard's or Wellesz' does not understand the difference (which is definitely true, but it does not help the real problem, Tillyard's obsession to clean the Byzantine from the Turkish which later even became an obsession of Greek people, as far as they tried to understand this difference):

I made the test and played during lecture-recitals a certain interpretation by Paikopoulos of the echos tritos cherouvikon, where he quotes a passage of Na't-i Mevlana by Itrî, and I can tell, there are also Greek and Turkish listeners who do not recognise the quotation, Western Europeans might be completely hopeless as long as they believe Latin Palaegraphy is enought to understand the music and its history of their continent. A dervish and a phanariot would recognise it immediately...

It is difficult to answer, because the Phanariotes' interest for makamlar usually refer not earlier than to Dimitrie Cantemir who invented a notation system and who was really and mainly interested in Ottoman court music. Talking about the experiment to become innovative within the oktoechos by this exchange, the earliest evidence might be Petros Bereketes, since his compositions became popular without being associated to the Patriarchate. But for a more precise analysis, we need to concentrate on the notation system as it was used by Petros himself. I think that Emmanouil Giannopoulos' article like the one by Nicolae Gheorghiță (published in the same volume) has to offer a discussion of some sources which were not so well-known yet.

Nevertheless, I fear that a distinction between "the Turkish" and "the Byzantine" does not make any sense in history (unlike the fluent difference between oktoechos and makamlar). I think "exchange" might be a better word, as far as Seljuks are meant with Turks, because their eclecticism supported a cultural flower and a kind of competition of the oriental caliphates with Andalusian Spain during the 12th century.

In a divan of this century is written that Ibn Misğah created Arabic-Islamic music as a synthesis of Persian music and the Byzantine tradition of Damascus, some other sources refer instead to his student Ibn Muhriz:

There was no problem for the Arab muslims to talk about their interest for Byzantine culture (already al-Kindi adored the oktoechos as a universal classification system, before Greek treatises were translated into Arabic and Persian dialects in Baghdad), but it might be a problem for certain classical philologists, that the Byzantine tone system is organised in tetraphonia, unlike the Latin and the Ottoman reception who rather referred to the systema teleion. Finally the New Method adapted to it, but the disadavantage is that a lot of transpositions are needed as a consequence. I guess for a traditional musician such a distinction is useless and pointless, as long as they are proud of their history without excluding any period.

I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of any books or articles that address the question of the influence of Turkish music upon Byzantine chant, especially before and after 1453.
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I also inserted the book by Kyriakos Kalaitzides, published in December 2012, since he also started with sources from the 15th century (in fact only one source EBE 2401 with a composition called "persikon"). It has been moved to the main entry:

Announcement of Kyriakos' book

I apologise for doing this announcement a second time.

According to the author the most integrative part of psaltic art were kratemata and teretismoi, because they were open to experiments with cyclic usûl rhythm and with unusal modal transitions which were obviously a great attraction of makamlar. I am sure that these first steps towards the earlier exchanges could also encourage studies with alternative criteria (Bereketes' experiments within the oktoechos had not yet been subject, neither those made by later psaltes).
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There is this page on Wikipedia for your consideration:

It states, among other things, that "The re-formulation of the Octoechos and its melodic models according to the New Method was neither a simplification of the Byzantine tradition nor an adaption to Western tonality. It was a reform of the notation as the medium of written transmission, in order to adapt it to the scales and the tone system which was the common reference for all musicians of the Ottoman Empire" that the tones were based on the tambur, the favored instrument of the Ottoman court, and that the New Method system was developed in order to transcribe and print makamlar. It goes on to say that the sufi music of the whirling dervishes recorded in Byzantine notation then inspired compositions that contributed to the traditional genres of Byzantine chant.

If this is an outdated idea, someone might want to look at updating Wikipedia?