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Asteriktos
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« on: November 02, 2008, 10:14:38 PM »

When you are chanting part of a prayer rule--let's say, the Psalms--should you do so in a "musical" fashion like you hear on chant CD's, or can you use more of a monotone-type chant, like you would if you were reading the Scripture? Also, what is it proper to chant, and what improper to chant? Is there anything that you should say rather than chant?  Sorry for the newbie questions!
« Last Edit: November 02, 2008, 10:19:15 PM by Asteriktos » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2008, 10:33:18 PM »

When you are chanting part of a prayer rule--let's say, the Psalms--should you do so in a "musical" fashion like you hear on chant CD's, or can you use more of a monotone-type chant
I've heard both on CD. I have a 4 CD set of the entire Psalter chanted in English and divided into the Kathismata and it's a monotone chant. I have it on my Ipod and listen to it on long drives. Actually, listening to the whole Psalter chanted like this takes exactly the amount of time it takes to drive from my home in the mountains to my beach house on the South Coast- 4 hours and ten minutes!
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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2008, 11:30:40 PM »

[I've heard both on CD. I have a 4 CD set of the entire Psalter chanted in English and divided into the Kathismata and it's a monotone chant. I have it on my Ipod and listen to it on long drives. Actually, listening to the whole Psalter chanted like this takes exactly the amount of time it takes to drive from my home in the mountains to my beach house on the South Coast- 4 hours and ten minutes!

Hey, George, who does this?  I might like to procure a copy for myself.
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2008, 11:41:15 PM »

Hey, George, who does this?  I might like to procure a copy for myself.
The Hermitage of the Holy Cross (ROCOR).
My set was the first edition and is on 4 CDs, but the new edition is on 3 CDs.
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« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2008, 12:11:05 AM »

When you are chanting part of a prayer rule--let's say, the Psalms--should you do so in a "musical" fashion like you hear on chant CD's, or can you use more of a monotone-type chant, like you would if you were reading the Scripture? Also, what is it proper to chant, and what improper to chant? Is there anything that you should say rather than chant?  Sorry for the newbie questions!
I think part of the answer may lie in the particular regional chant tradition you use as your definitive guide.  From my experience I can say that the parishes of the Slavic tradition almost always chant the Psalms, while the parishes of the Byzantine tradition will much more often speak them.  As regards other prayers, I hear my [OCA] parish's ecclesiarch (head reader) chanting now what he had customarily spoken years ago.  I can't draw from these experiences any formal rules that you must follow, if that's what you seek.  I can just tell you what I've seen and let you discern the correct path from there.
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« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2008, 03:02:30 AM »

When you are chanting part of a prayer rule--let's say, the Psalms--should you do so in a "musical" fashion like you hear on chant CD's, or can you use more of a monotone-type chant, like you would if you were reading the Scripture? Also, what is it proper to chant, and what improper to chant? Is there anything that you should say rather than chant?  Sorry for the newbie questions!
I think part of the answer may lie in the particular regional chant tradition you use as your definitive guide.  From my experience I can say that the parishes of the Slavic tradition almost always chant the Psalms, while the parishes of the Byzantine tradition will much more often speak them.  As regards other prayers, I hear my [OCA] parish's ecclesiarch (head reader) chanting now what he had customarily spoken years ago.  I can't draw from these experiences any formal rules that you must follow, if that's what you seek.  I can just tell you what I've seen and let you discern the correct path from there.

PtA, I think this thing is more of an American phenomenon.  I would ask those that have experience in the middle east and Greece for a more definitive answer.  Seems to me that it would be like thinking that Orthodox Churches usually have pews just because one has seen them in all the churches they have been to.  Matter of fact, I have heard that most of the MP parishes in the east coast have pews...and refuse to abandon them.  Those obviously wouldn't be very indicative of MP parishes on a whole though.

As to prayers, for a personal rule, I just quietly whisper them to myself.  If it was in a family setting (i.e. I was married w/ kids and we were doing them together), then I suppose I would chant/read some.  Just me? Maybe occasionally (and I'm a singer in several choirs and have done services myself many times).
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« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2008, 03:30:19 AM »

There are certain psalms (or shortened forms of them) which are a permanent part of a specific church service, such as Pss 102 and 145 as first and second antiphons in the Divine Liturgy, or, in a Vigil, Pss 1 (Blessed is the man), 40-41 (Lord, I have cried), 117 (God is the Lord), 134-135 (the Polyeleos psalms), and 148-150 (at the Praises). These psalms are sung in these liturgical settings. Psalm 50, the appointed psalm kathismata of the day before the Polyeleos, and the Six Psalms at the opening of Matins are always chanted in a quite plain style with simple cadences, or, occasionally, may simply be read, as one would an ikos, which should always be read, never chanted or sung. However, these are examples of liturgical, not personal usage.

As for how to treat psalms during one's own personal prayer rule, I would regard a simple plain chant to be acceptable if one can do it, else simply reading the psalms in a reverent manner would also be quite OK. I don't think there are any hard and fast rules on this.
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« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2008, 08:55:09 AM »

When you are chanting part of a prayer rule--let's say, the Psalms--should you do so in a "musical" fashion like you hear on chant CD's, or can you use more of a monotone-type chant, like you would if you were reading the Scripture? Also, what is it proper to chant, and what improper to chant? Is there anything that you should say rather than chant?  Sorry for the newbie questions!

I would say to do the Psalms however you wish to.  They are ancient Israel's song book that we continue to use in such a varied way ourselves.  You can read them, you can intone them, or you can chant them (I've seen books with musical score for almost every psalm in the book).  Don't feel restricted by anything other than your preference.

As for other prayers, it just depends.  ISTM that about any prayer can be either read or intoned, but I normally chose to read them - intonation is specifically good for amplifying one's voice in a Church setting, and for conveying the message to others that the reading is not in your words, but others' (Epistle, Gospel, etc.).  However, when praying at home, you're usually alone (ok, not alone - with wifey), so you don't need to project and she knows quite well that they're not your words.  So you should just go with your personal preference (i.e. read or intoned).
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« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2008, 12:24:40 PM »

Hey, George, who does this?  I might like to procure a copy for myself.
The Hermitage of the Holy Cross (ROCOR).
My set was the first edition and is on 4 CDs, but the new edition is on 3 CDs.

I got this myself last month and I second the recommendation! 
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« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2008, 12:35:17 PM »

When you are chanting part of a prayer rule--let's say, the Psalms--should you do so in a "musical" fashion like you hear on chant CD's, or can you use more of a monotone-type chant, like you would if you were reading the Scripture? Also, what is it proper to chant, and what improper to chant? Is there anything that you should say rather than chant?  Sorry for the newbie questions!

I tend to do both monotone type chant (aka "Psalm tone") and more musical chant (prostopinije, of course!), depending on the text and my familiarity with the music.  It also depends on the setting.  At work, I tend towards monotone chant on most everything.  At home, however, I sing as much as possible, especially if I have the music in front of me and/or am familiar with the melody.  If it's a melody I'm either having trouble wrapping my head around or am just plain horrible at singing (alot of the Bolhar melodies spring to mind), I just chant it in a Psalm tone.

As for Scripture, I tend to chant it unless it's the Gospel, which I read in a plain, said voice, as instructed by numerous sources I've read over the years.
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« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2008, 03:08:04 PM »

The Hermitage of the Holy Cross (ROCOR).
My set was the first edition and is on 4 CDs, but the new edition is on 3 CDs.

You can hear a few samples here.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2008, 03:22:43 PM by Orthodox11 » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2008, 12:18:22 PM »

When you are chanting part of a prayer rule--let's say, the Psalms--should you do so in a "musical" fashion like you hear on chant CD's, or can you use more of a monotone-type chant, like you would if you were reading the Scripture?

For your personal prayers, I'd say do whatever works best for you. Smiley I personally just read them, but you can intone them or chant them to one of the 8 modes if you wanted to, (or just make up a melody)...it's personal prayer so I don't think there is any right or wrong way to do. I mean I wouldn't use a "happy" melody if in fact your praying a psalm of repentance, but there are exceptions to even that rule.

I personally read them for the most part, though sometimes I'll chant Psalm 50 because I know it by heart from Sunday Orthros, but usually I just read them.

Now some Psalms do have specific/popular melodies that are often chanted on Mt. Athos and part of the Byzantine chant tradition (Psalm 50/51 for example), Psalm 103 when done during the Liturgy, etc....there are CD's (in greek) of monks/choirs chanting the Psalms according to the 8 modes but as far as I know this isn't really done in typical parishes even in Greece, only in the monasteries. I have a CD the Psalms chanted by....well I forgot who, but a famous choir by a famous psalti. (not EBX)

Quote
Also, what is it proper to chant, and what improper to chant? Is there anything that you should say rather than chant?  Sorry for the newbie questions!

Well in the GOA, I was taught (by a priest who was from Constantinople) that Old Testament readings (with the exception of the Psalms) are READ never intoned. Only NT readings are intoned ekphonetically. OT readings are read. That is of course Liturgical rubrics, which I keep as my personal practice as well. (because it makes sense to me)

The issue of the Psalms are another story, for the most part they are "usually" read as the 6 Psalms in Orthros are always read and never intoned, but those same Psalms are often chanted (in one of the 8 modes) in other services. Or the Royal Psalms which are usually done during Holy Week are intoned. Or "let my prayer rise as incense" or "let everything that breathes...." etc...all psalms are all are "usually" chanted according to the 8 modes. The Psalms are definitely our "official hymnal" as it were, so it's ok to chant or intone any of them, particularly at home for personal prayer. As long as we're praying, I don't think God cares if we even make up a our own melody...only you and God knows anyways, so it's no biggie.


I personally just read/whisper the prayers to myself and read them, with the exception of a feast where I'll chant the feastal hymn in it's proper mode and melody. Otherwise I just read everything. But my guess is that, it's YOUR prayer rule, do what works for you.

oh yes, as always I'm only explaining what I was taught in the GOA by several priests and chanters (liturgically speaking I mean) and other jurisdictions might do it different....

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« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2008, 03:18:17 PM »

I know where on oc.net there is a link that contains the whole psaltir in Church Slavonic.
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