Πρώτος Εστί Και Δεύτερος / First Mode or Second Mode?
Περί μελών του Α' ήχου που ψάλλονται σε Δεύτερο ήχο / Why do some pieces or passages
of First Diatonic mode sound like Second Soft Chromatic?
First or Second?
Why do some pieces or passages of First Diatonic mode sound like
Second Soft Chromatic?
There are some occasions where pieces of First (Diatonic) mode are chanted
in Second (Soft Chromatic) mode. Other times, certain passages or melodic
phrases of First mode, moving mainly around its basis sound like Second mode. What
are those pieces/passages? Why does that happen?
1. The kathisma/prosomoion "Ton Tafon sou Soter" belongs to First mode but is notated
as belonging to Second mode and has a "sound" (άκουσμα)
of Second mode. See relevant page on the analogion [html
2. The classical slow Alleluiarion of the Apostolos (by Ioannis Protopsaltis) which
is commonly chanted at the Patriarchate is indicated as First mode but is chanted
in Second mode for most of its duration (with the placement of a chromatic fthora).
3. The same happens with the idiomelo "En tais Lambrotesi ton Agion Sou" of Great
Tuesday (in Holy Week).
4. The beginning of certain papadic compositions of First mode sounds like
Second mode. E.g. listen to the beginning of the Koinonikon "Aineite" as chanted
by S. Tsolakidis [wma
, 346 Kb] .
Are there more examples?
Assuming PA is the basis
of First mode, the two intervals below it are PA 12
NH 8 ZW
exactly as in DI 12 GA 8 BOY
of Second soft Chromatic. The intervals above PA are
PA 10 BOY 8 GA
(18 moria) compared to DI 8 KE
(22 moria) of Second mode. So, when the melody doesn't show
too much GA and stays between the ZW-BOY tetrachord then the intervals are almost
identical to Second Soft Chromatic mode. I don't know how to explain "Ton Tafon
Sou" and I am not even sure about the above explanation but I haven't come across
any better one so far. So I am making this page in the hope that someone will
submit a better answer
The following are my assumptions, not checked for correctness. In some theoretical
treatises of the old method of Byzantine chant (like this one Ms Dionysiou [zip
] on the analogion) we read the following " if you move up three tones you shall
find First mode and this is the Second mode, because the First is one and the same
with the Second". If that refers to the base pitches of the notes then it says that
the base note of First mode is the same as the base note of the Second mode. In
modern terms, if KE is the base note of the First mode (as it is in some old compositions)
then KE should be the base note of the Second mode too. That would explain the placement
of Second mode on KE by Propsaltis Georgios Raidestinos and it would explain the
conversion of First to Second on the same note in "Ton Tafon sou" and the other
pieces mentioned above. Just a thought.