Author Topic: Many liturgy questions!  (Read 3188 times)

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Offline prodromas

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Many liturgy questions!
« on: August 28, 2007, 08:06:17 PM »
A few questions I would love someone to answer:
1.what is the difference in the tones (like actual sound tones or something else)?
2.What is the names for the humming parts and the parts with many words?
3. If I walked in to a OO litrugy would it be completely foreign (I listen to Greek Byzantine liturgy)?

Thanks in advance!
The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
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Offline arimethea

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Re: Many liturgy questions!
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2007, 10:22:16 PM »
A few questions I would love someone to answer:
1.what is the difference in the tones (like actual sound tones or something else)?
2.What is the names for the humming parts and the parts with many words?
3. If I walked in to a OO litrugy would it be completely foreign (I listen to Greek Byzantine liturgy)?

Thanks in advance!

1. Each tone is a different scale in the Byzantine tradition or a different melody in the different Russian tradtions. There are a number of websites that explain theory in depth.

2. Not sure what you mean by this???

3. The OO liturgies are very different from the Byzantine Liturgy and depending on which form of OO you visited would depend on how foreign it looks to you. Almost every form of OO uses a different liturgical practice, much more different from what you find in the Byzantine practice where everyones uses the same liturgy on the same day.
Joseph

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Many liturgy questions!
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2007, 11:02:15 PM »
1. Each tone is a different scale in the Byzantine tradition or a different melody in the different Russian tradtions. There are a number of websites that explain theory in depth.
And there are eight of them.  In the Byzantine tradition, these eight tones are reckoned as four, each with its plagal.  You see these in the Octoechos compiled by St. John of Damascus.
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Offline prodromas

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Re: Many liturgy questions!
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2007, 11:17:04 PM »
thanks for the responses guys to reword my second question more eloquently.

2. In the litrugy there are parts with no words just harmonics (like it sounds like humming in different tones) and the parts were words are used (eg .tis presvesvies tis theotokous sautir soson emas (from the prayers of the theotokos saviour save us)) are there words for these different parts.

and also where would you suggest to get the whole divine liturgy and/or other services on a cd to listen on an mp3 player through the day?
The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
ܩܛܠܐ ܕܥܡܐ ܐܬܘܪܝܐ 1920-1914, never again,
השואה  1933-1945, never again,
(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again

Offline arimethea

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Re: Many liturgy questions!
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2007, 01:36:25 AM »
2. In the litrugy there are parts with no words just harmonics (like it sounds like humming in different tones) and the parts were words are used (eg .tis presvesvies tis theotokous sautir soson emas (from the prayers of the theotokos saviour save us)) are there words for these different parts.
Are you talking about the ison?
Joseph

Offline prodromas

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Re: Many liturgy questions!
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2007, 02:30:57 AM »
Are you talking about the ison?

Im sorry guys but thats why i'm asking I dont know whats what. like if people could give examples "like an audio file of what im attempting to explain"
The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
ܩܛܠܐ ܕܥܡܐ ܐܬܘܪܝܐ 1920-1914, never again,
השואה  1933-1945, never again,
(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again

Offline Νεκτάριος

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Re: Many liturgy questions!
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2007, 10:45:06 AM »
Quote
2.What is the names for the humming parts and the parts with many words?

The humming part is called the ison.

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Many liturgy questions!
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2007, 11:03:53 AM »
Im sorry guys but thats why i'm asking I dont know whats what. like if people could give examples "like an audio file of what im attempting to explain" 

The Ison (the humming or droning) is a foundational note used to provide a steady base to the melody being chanted by the cantors.  Since the "Byzantine" musical scale can slide up and down a lot, and music will switch tones with regularity, the drone note provides a clue as to which tone one is in, which part of the scale, and will provide for the cantors a reliable point just in case they sharpen or flatten their scales.

In Byzantine music there are only two "parts" - the melody, and the ison. 
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Many liturgy questions!
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2007, 11:12:20 AM »
And there are eight of them.  In the Byzantine tradition, these eight tones are reckoned as four, each with its plagal.  You see these in the Octoechos compiled by St. John of Damascus.

Each tone has its own unique musical scale, with the notes being different distances apart, the scale using different starting points, and different characteristic sharps and flats that occur at regular but not universal locations.

For example, a piano has 88 keys, each of which is a "half-step" different from the one directly adjacent.  If you go from the C key to the C# key, you are traveling 1/2 step.  If you travel from E to F, again 1/2 step.  However, in Byzantine music, sometimes the distance between two notes is 1/2 step; sometimes it's 1/3 step; sometimes its 5/6.

So each "tone" or mode has a different scale with different distances between the notes.  The only distance that is completely stable is the octave (most of the time).

There are 4 "Master" tones with 4 "Plagal" tones.  Then there are over 30 other musical scales used; our professor told us that in theory there are over 40 Tones in Byzantine music, even though we group them under the umbrellas of the big 8.
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.

Offline Elisha

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Re: Many liturgy questions!
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2007, 02:26:51 PM »
There are 4 "Master" tones with 4 "Plagal" tones.  Then there are over 30 other musical scales used; our professor told us that in theory there are over 40 Tones in Byzantine music, even though we group them under the umbrellas of the big 8.

For the 30/40/etc., it sounds like you are referring to special melodies (prosomia or samopodoben).  They are usually based on one of the existing 8 even if they sound completely different to most people.

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Many liturgy questions!
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2007, 03:17:19 PM »
For the 30/40/etc., it sounds like you are referring to special melodies (prosomia or samopodoben).  They are usually based on one of the existing 8 even if they sound completely different to most people. 

Actually, I'm referring to completely different scales that can actually be considered different tones, but aren't and are instead grouped with the others.  For example, First-Second Tone, which is a melding of the two, is normally listed as a subgroup of Second, although there is a radical change.  Or Plagal of the First Enharmonic, or "Phrygios", which is very different from Plagal of the First.

On a theoretical level, even systems that are thoroughly considered part of the same tone should be separated, such as Fourth Tone Eirmologic (Fast - a.k.a. Legetos), Sticheric (Medium) and Pappadic (Slow - a.k.a. Agia), each of which has different characteristic flats in it and different starting points for the scale.

Then you get into nuanced changes, such as Pentaphone First Tone, which essentially has a portion of the First Tone scale repeated above, which should be a different Tone because it doesn't even have clean octaves!
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.