Αγγέλου Βουδούρη : Μουσικολογικά Απομνημονεύματα / Angelos Boudouris: Musicological Memoirs
Scanned passages

A few scanned pages from Boudouris' book ([pdf])"Mousikologika Apomnemoneumata" where he claims that he could immitate perfectly I. Nafpliotis to the degree that people were getting confused as to who was chanting. Also reveals tha Nafpliotis was not discussing the secrets of his art but expected students to learn from by listening only.

Summarised passages by D. Koubaroulis

Boudouris (in his Musicological Memoirs, p 261) mentions that (the externally hired) Georgios Biolakis Protopsaltis (late 19th cent) couldn't stand the superiority of the existing older Patriarchal psaltai around him and tried slowly to dismiss them. He managed to dismiss first domestikos Michael Pavlidis and the then second domestikos Kostantinos Savopoulos and eventually (1888) the old man lambadarios Nikolaos on the (fake) basis of being inadequate for his role due to his age Biolakis also wanted to get rid of Nafpliotis for a long time (because Nafpliotis was distinguished amongst the Patriarchal teachers) but he didn't manage it.

Georgios Violakis Protopsaltis did not like the superiority of the other Patriarchal teachers that knew how to analyse the classical texts. He didn't know how to analyse the musical theseis, his chanting was dry and plain. So after forcing the Lambadarios and the First and Second Domestichoi to resign, he was after getting rid of Nafpliotis as well (who by then had become First Domestichos) as he was the only one that knew how to chant better than the Protopsaltis. However, he didn't manage to do it because the Patriarchal and some bishops of the Synod liked Nafpliotis and did not like Violakis (who was rather old as well). They used to tell Violakis "you are now old, let the Domestichos chant more" and "you should take care of the Domestichos because he is going to succeed you one day". The final end to Violakis' plans was give by the Patriarch (Ioakeim the 3rd) who arranged for Nafpliotis to marry Violakis' niece. With that, the Patriarch hit two birds with one stone. He managed to secure Nafpliotis' place in the Patriarchate and he prevented Nafpliotis from attempting to take over Violakis' position any time soon.

Boudouris mentions that in older the commonly used composition for the communion hymn of Christmas ("Lytrwsin") was that of Petros Lambadarios, not the one by Daniel which is the current popular choice.

Translated passages by D. Koubaroulis

p. 29
"I had the opinion that for someone to be restricted to the practical learning of the (music) art, means that he doesn't master the art and what's about the art".("Eixa tin gnwmin oti to na periorizetai kaneis epanw eis tin kata praksin mathisin tis texnis touton simainei oti den katexei tin texnin kai oti afora tin texnin.")


"... in his [Chrysanthos] book and the rest that are based on it, a most important and significant chapter of our music is skipped, which is the issue of rhythm which pertains to Ecclesiastical chant.There is no well written book method edited for this exact purpose, the teaching of Eccl. music. All relevant musical knowledge is acquired by the practising the profession of the psalti. Whoever wants to learn the music has to go through all the melodies that are chanted in church with his teacher as well as the various mathemata of the services. That's why learning of the music is slow, and those psaltai that haven't put so much effort to learn all the series of mathemata are clearly behind the rest.According to the teaching of our theory books, those printed in the last 100 years onwards, musical melodies are executed by-beat "kata chronon", which todays' psaltai consider as "rhythm". Any melos executed by the definition that "each musical character lasts for one thesis and one arsis and that is one chronos", - does not produce any interesting acoustic impression. The by-beat ("kata chronon") execution of musical melos becomes tiring ("apovainei kourastikh"). Under such circumstances, psalmody misses out ("kathysterei") because it doesn't please, it doesn't entertain, it doesn't appeal to the congregation. However, I have noticed that psaltai are suffering confusion in this matter of music. They can't distinguish "chronos" from "rhythm". They confuse "rhythm" with "chronos" and they even identify those two different elements of melos. Due to that confusion, they sometimes chant by-beat and other times they chant by-rhythm. On the same topic, I have observed the following too. There is discrepancy between theory definitons and practice of music. From this contradiction, it is melos that misses out with respect to its interpretation. It was observed that when a musical piece is chanted not exactly, that is not keeping the exact durations of the characters as defined in theory, that melos sounds more pleasing with respect to its interpretation. And this means that for the interpretation of each type of Eccl. melody there will be -by necessity- special rules. But in which theoretical work should these rules be listed? Usually, Ecclesiastical psaltai keep one arsis and one thesis for each quantity character, extending the duration of musical lines and modifying the melodies. Due to that, they present the various chants, from the interpretational point of view, as if they have no musical value and being heavy ("varea") and tiring ("kourastika"). "

Dimitri: From the above it seems that Boudouris recognises that monosemos (by-beat, tak-tak-tak) was a common practice in early 20th century Constantinople. However, he doesn't approve of it and later (as I have posted before) he goes on to explain that Patriarchal psaltai chant "kata ry8mon" and that's why they please and captivate the congregation. Having said that, he himself supported monosemos (using the exact word) for some types of pieces e.g. fast heirmologic and fast sticheraric (see also one of my previous posts on that). I don't know why Boudouris believes that Chrysanthos and the other theory books support monosemos. Didn't he read anything about OOII and tetrasemos and the chapters on Rhythm and the division of chants with vertical lines etc.? He seems to support parestigmenon where quantity characters are not bound to be exactly one beat each but can deviate according to the melodic/rhythmic pattern.


"Georgios Raidestinos, after his dismissal from the Patriarchal Church, chanted in the church of St John of Chios and then went on to compose Leitourgika in Second Mode. Until then, all psaltai of Galata were chanting the chyma traditional Leitourgika (dk: in kliton) as they were done in the Patriarchal church. Raidestinos' example was followed by the rest of the parish psaltai of Galata, who composed Leitourgika and Axion Estin in various modes. From then onwards started the decline of ancient ecclesiastical melos ("ektote hrxisen h kataptwsis tou arxaiou ekklhsiastikou melous")".


"This ex-Protopsaltis corrupted the notation of the new notation system of the trascribers for which fact he was criticised by the Patriarchal and other music teachers of his time. The corruption and change of notation reached the point of confusion in his own writings (" h diafthora kai alloiwsis thw grafhs hfthase mexri tou shmeiou wste na epelth sygxisis eis thn yp'autou xrhsimopoioumenhn grafhn"). And it was in this corrupted notation that Raidestinos presented to the public his Holy Week and Pentecostarion."


"Whenever Georgios Biolakis would "open" a musical text and start chanting a slow Doxology which was not from the ones usually chanted in the Patriarchal Church, Labadarios Nikolaos would shut his mouth ("ekleie to stoma tou"), and would ask his domestikos to chant instead. Nikolaos was a strict judge of Biolakis. He used to comment softly from his position: "This is how they chant in Galata" (dk: suburb of Constantinople). Everyone was scared of old-man Nikolaos, that old "relic" of the Patriarchal church ("to palaion touto leipsanon tou Patriarxikou Naou")."


"Konstantinos Psaxos and Neleus Kamarados, both external psaltai, were of the opinion that Byzantine Music was not chanted authentically in the Patriarchal Church, due to the fact that the Patriarchal teachers were using different musical texts than themselves and all the other extenal psaltai. For the above reason, they were criticising and lobbying against ("katetrexon kai antipoliteuonto") the Patriarchal psaltai, having Georgios Papadopoulos Protekdikos as their leader".


"Konstantinos Psaxos, since the time when he was still chanting at St George church of the Holy Sepulchre Metochion, was claiming that he came to the Fanarion to eradicate Iakovism ("dia na kserizwsei ton Iakovismon"), that is the ecclesiastical psaltic domination of the first Patriarchal domestikos Iakovos. He didn't succeed however, because he was sent to Athens."


"Neleus Kamarados, whenever attending a service at the Patriarchal church and listening to I. Naplfiotis' chanting, would always approach him after the service and say to him "I admire you for the way you chant the ecclesiastical pieces" and the teacher would say to him in turn "If you spend as many years as I have in this Church you will learn to chant like this as well".


"Some of the Patriarchate clergy took the initiative to teach good-voiced children to chant the 3rd Stasis of the Engomia (dk: Lamentations) with diphony. They later asked for the permission of the Protopsaltis to allow them to chant it. The teacher replied that he would have to first listen to the piece before giving his permission, because it is not allowed for any arbitrary chant to be chanted in the Patriarchate. It so happened that the Patriarch Fotios listened to a rehearsal of the Engomia the next day and forbade the polyphonic piece on the basis that it was not part of the established melodies of the Patriarchal Church".


"The voice of Eustratios Papadopoulos (dk: also known as Kabouris) was limited and inadequate ("periorismeni kai aneparkhs"). To balance the insufficiency of his voice, he would train helpers and children. He was the one who introduced the system of helpers and domestikoi in the parishes of Constantinople. Before his time, parish psaltai did not have helpers, they chanted everything by themselves. Eustrarios was the kind of person who tried to make a living out of music, which (dk: music) he wasn't capable of serving as a psaltis".

27 January 1939

"Upon the submission for approval by the Great Church of the intended publication of the musical work of Oikonomos Charalambos from Pafos, Cyprus (dk: his theory book), a committee was formed in the Patriarchate consisting of Metr of Elaia Agathangelos, Metr. of Nazianzos Filotheos, the Protopsaltis Iakovos and the Labadarios Konstantinos (dk: Klavvas). The committee was to study the work and report its conclusion to the appropriate authorities.


"From a visit at home by Metr of Christoupolis Meletios, the Protopsaltis found out that the local region councillor ("nomarxis") had found out about this committee and was upset that he was not asked for permission upon its formation. After the complaint of the councillor, the committee was dissolved."


"The Protopsaltis informed me that a three-member committee will be coming from Athens to find, photograph and catalogue the musical manuscripts preserved in Constantinople, within the libraries of the EP and the Holy Sepulchre metochion"


"During his (dk: Nafpliotis') illness, the very-old Protopsaltis was visited at his home by all psaltai of the Archdiocese except Basilios Onoufriadis, who was appointed by Protekdikos Georgios Papadopoulos (who had passed away in Athens), as the music teacher of the Patriarchal court ("mousikodidaskalos tis patriarxikis aulis"). And that was because Onoufriadis thinks of himself as the music teacher of music teachers ("o mousikodidaskalos twn mousikodidaskalwn") and that such a visit “does not suit him” ("kai auto den tou tairiazei").


"The Protopsaltis received letters from Chios inviting him to take a leave and rest on the island. Forty psaltai offered to contribute financially to raise a salary of 7.000 Greek drachmas in order to just have the chance to hear the Protopsalti chanting every now and then.

(dk: !! where is this love for traditional Byzantine Music in our days??)


"Regarding the current psaltai of Constantinople, the Protopsaltis believes that none of them knows Byzantine Music ("kaneis twn den hkseurei thn BM"). When he’ll retire, the Patriarchal psaltai, , will make a mess ("tha ta thalasswsousi"). Because they will not have their guide and inspirer. Today's Ecclesiastical musicians do not study, (dk: repeats) do not study, they are in general careless ("epipoleoi"), self-instructed ("autosxedioi"), and uneducated ("akatartistoi"). They chant with their imagination without knowing what is the essence of what they should be chanting. There is some difference now between the Patriarchal and the external teachers, as long as they follow his (dk: Nafplioti's) art. When he’ll leave one day, he wonders what his successors will do. But God is great. He will not let our music get lost. He will cater."


"When, more 100 years ago, the ecclesiastical repertoire was transcribed into the new method, the external psaltai all followed the trascriptions and the transcribed pieces, however, the Patriarchal psaltai continued to chant according to the order ("taxis") established in the Patriarchal) Church."


"That was the reason of the fact that until 1870 all external psaltai of the Archdiocese used to gather at the EP every Saturday evening and under the instruction of the Protopsaltis they exercised chanting according to the Patriarchal style ("kata to yfos to patriarxikon"), which was not common amongst them ("oper den hto koinon metaksy twn"). The external psaltai were aware that their chanting was different than the interpretation of the Patriarchal teachers. In the EP, the musical pieces were chanted in a completely special way ("kat'ena idiaiteron olws tropon").


"From the time of Patriarch Gregorios the 6th, it was attempted to capture the melos as chanted by the Patriarchal psaltai. For that reason, a committee was established by the most famous psaltai of that time, which undertook the task to write down and publish the melodies commonly chanted in the Patriarchal church. The committee went on to publish the Mousike Bibliotheke book in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. However, because the task was difficult, work stopped and the committee was dissolved."


"The one person who, through the whole of the 19th century, fanatically kept the musical tradition of the Patriarchal church, was Nikolaos Stogiannou, the Labadarios. He opposed every attempt made during his time towards changing the melodies from the state in which they were preserved by tradition. He opposed the appointment of Georgios Biolakis (an external psaltis) who was used to chanting according to the style of the suburb of Galata. And such was his opposition that Biolakis was forced to chant the musical pieces from his position of Protopsaltis by learning them off-by-heart. This same Labadarios, also opposed Biolakis' manic desire ("manian") to introduce into the Patriarchal church unusual pieces of his (dk: Biolakis') successor (dk: and student) Aristeidis. who wanted to present himself as chanting according to the ancient style ("arxaioprepws") because he had served as a canonarchos of Protopsaltis Ioannis Byzantios."


"After Nikolaos' (dk: forced?) retirement ("meta tin apomakrynsin tou Nikolaou"), when Aristidis became Labadarios on the Presanctified Liturgy on a day of the 1st week of Lent coinciding with a saint's feast, he chanted the Koinwnikon "Eis Mnemosynon" on the basis of the melody of "Geusasthe" of Kladas. Nikolaos Labadarios was sitting on a stasidion close to the entrance of the church -where the pangarion was located then- and was observing the choirs as he did until his death. After the dismissal of the service, he called the first Domestikos Iakovos (dk: Nafpliotis) and asked him "Mousikologiotate (dk most-musical = musicologisimus), what did you think about the Koinonikon as was chanted by Mr. Aristidis?" (he wouldn't call him Labadarios). Following the domestikos' silence, the teacher added: “what Mr Aristidis does, has no place here. This is how the psaltai of Galata chant. In this place, only the pieces of the Patriarchal teachers are to be chanted. This is what prevails ("auto isxyei") and this is what should always prevail in the future."


"Due to Nikolaos' opposition, both Biolakis and Aristidis were discouraged to the point that they didn't introduce any external pieces while Nikolaos was alive. Nikolaos' example was followed by domestikoi Iakovos (dk: Nafpliotis) and Konstantinos (dk: Klavvas), both of them sharing the conservatism of the late Nikolaos. And after all that, when they became Protopsaltis and Labadarios respectively, they followed the tradition of the Patriarchate".


"In the EP they never chanted Bereketis' Theotoke Parthene during the artoklasia. They always chanted a single idiomelon from those of the Liti. The external (non-EP) psaltai used to chant the mathema of Bereketis. In addition, in the EP, when it was required, they used to always chant "Makarios Aner" of Petros Labadarios, abridged by Manouel Protopsaltis and never the Anoixantaria of Th. Fokaeus".


4 Feb 1939

"From my Protopsaltis (dk: Nafpliotis), I found out that he was visited today by Simon Karas of Athens, member of the three-member committee visiting the EP, an archaeologist specialising in musical manuscripts of Byzantine Music. The visitor also gave him (dk: Nafplioti) a reference letter from Manouel Gedeon, then living in Athens, encouraging the Protopsaltis to help Mr. Karas in his work."


"According to the teacher (dk: Nafpliotis), Karas is intending to collect whatever manuscripts he could find in Constantinople so as to photograph their content. Karas asked him to give him the manuscripts in his library for the above purpose. For that, the teacher asked for the two manuscripts he had lent me, namely the Anastasimatarion and the Doxastarion of the time of Manouel Protopsaltis"


"From what Karas told the Protopsaltis, the committee was sent to Constantinople to collect whatever treasures ("keimhlia") are preserved here such as icons, manuscripts, musical manuscripts, paintings, folk songs, etc. The other two members of the committee were the son of Nikolaos Politis, ambassador of Greece in Paris, and the son of law professor, Kalligas."


"From what Karas told the Protopsaltis, Konstantinos Psaxos failed ("exreokopise") and the music community in Athens stopped taking him seriously ("epause na ton logariazei"). Because Psaxos was recently of the opinion that it is possible and is appropriate ("oti dynatai kai prepei") to introduce the Armonion (dk: organ, but doesn't clarify what type of organ) in the churches of Greece."


8 Feb 1939

"The musical manuscripts of the library of the Protopsaltis, already catalogued by Simon Karas, are shortly to be sent to Athens to be handed over to the National Library of Greece"


"Karas, upon his return to Greece, also received by the Protopsaltis, the photograph of late Nikolaos Labadarios (Stogiannou) as well as Nafpliotis' own photograph in order to take photos of them, and so as take along the originals as well.
The teacher has formed the opinion that Karas is an intellectual man ("logios") with a desire to work on the matters of our music, of which music he happens to be a fan and supporter ("thiaswtis kai yposthrikths"), although he doesn't master it ("an kai den thn gnwrizei"). "


"Protopsaltis Ioan nis Byzantios, had Pangiotis Kiltzanidis as a partner in his publications,. The published Anastasimatarion and Heirmologion of Ioannis Protopsaltis do not contain the musical pieces as chanted in the Patriarchal church. Even Ioannis himself did not follow the pieces of his Anastasimatarion: he followed the tradition of the Patriarchal church."


"The teacher is 70 years old this year and has served the Patriarchal church for 60 years."