Author Topic: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross  (Read 3039 times)

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Offline pensateomnia

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Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« on: August 21, 2009, 10:41:12 AM »
Apropos items in the news, thought I'd post a link to some of the Syro-Byzantine chant from the Antiochian seminarians now at Holy Cross.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPt-XOXDfys&feature=related

In fact, looks like a certain illustrious member of this very discussion forum is holding the ison. Bravo sou!
But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)

Offline SakranMM

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2009, 12:39:34 PM »
They're good, but half these guys came to HC having already completed the Byzantine Music Program at Balamand.

I once heard it said that people who leave seminary knowing how to chant well came to seminary knowing how to chant well.

A generalization, but true for the most part.
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2009, 01:14:06 PM »
They're good, but half these guys came to HC having already completed the Byzantine Music Program at Balamand.

I once heard it said that people who leave seminary knowing how to chant well came to seminary knowing how to chant well.

A generalization, but true for the most part.

A wise saying, to be sure, but I'd modify it a bit; they either came to seminary knowing how to chant well, or they came with at least a full introduction and didn't need basic instruction - I would say that of the excellent chanters I heard in 4 years there, most fell into one or the other group.

No one is claiming that chanters of that caliber (specifically the main two) are bred at HC; but having a strong core including folks like those gives the exposure that Met. +PHILIP is looking for (according to his letter).  The one has even been hanging around the school even before he started attending - helping a few people out, and chanting for holidays and special occasions.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2009, 01:14:35 PM by cleveland »
"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 pensateomnia

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2009, 01:14:57 PM »
They're good, but half these guys came to HC having already completed the Byzantine Music Program at Balamand.

True. But that's part of the beauty and educational power of being at any institution of higher learning -- the exchange of knowledge among one's peers. That is definitely true of chant at HC. Those who want to learn (from classes, practice, actual chanting during services, choirs and from peers) have many opportunities to do so.

I once heard it said that people who leave seminary knowing how to chant well came to seminary knowing how to chant well.

Depends on what you mean by well. If you mean at the level of a true protopsaltis, then, yes, that is the case, because like pretty much all musical art, it is almost unheard of for someone to master it if they don't (a) have natural musical talent and (b) start learning music in general, and usually their own particular form of it, as a child/young teenager. That's the reality, but that's not the fault of any seminary, especially when 50% or more of the incoming students are in their 30s, 40s and 50s.

If by "well" you mean able to put together a service from the various liturgical books and chant that service in a manner that is pleasing to the ear, follows the tradition as best as one is able, and helps parishioners to understand the words and worship God, then I disagree. I knew basically nothing about Byzantine chant when I came to seminary and, by my third year, was a paid chanter at several churches.
But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2009, 01:22:51 PM »
If by "well" you mean able to put together a service from the various liturgical books and chant that service in a manner that is pleasing to the ear, follows the tradition as best as one is able, and helps parishioners to understand the words and worship God, then I disagree.

I agree with you 100%.  There are plenty of people who came to school with no Byzantine music experience or knowledge, who left being able to pass as a good cantor for parish use.  It was a very rare case to find someone with similar origins who left with the experience and skill of a true protopsaltis.

I knew basically nothing about Byzantine chant when I came to seminary and, by my third year, was a paid chanter at several churches. 

You chant quite well, sir.
"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 scamandrius

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2009, 02:17:33 PM »
Do they teach Byzantine notation at HOly Cross?  I'd really like to learn and can't seem to do it on my own.
Hey, I don't hand out 9.5s to just anyone!  ;D

Offline Andrew21091

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2009, 02:51:30 PM »
Beautiful chanting. I know a few of the people in that video.

Some other good stuff here of Rassem who is chanting in the first video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGIrAr9y90k
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM6EZH2WoGQ

Offline scamandrius

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2009, 03:03:31 PM »


I knew basically nothing about Byzantine chant when I came to seminary and, by my third year, was a paid chanter at several churches. 

You chant quite well, sir.
[/quote]

Is there such a thing?  I've chanted so many services and I've only once (from a priest) received a gratuity.
Hey, I don't hand out 9.5s to just anyone!  ;D

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2009, 03:13:32 PM »
Do they teach Byzantine notation at HOly Cross?  I'd really like to learn and can't seem to do it on my own.

Yes, they do.  You can learn in English, or in Greek (with a translator).
"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: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2009, 03:14:36 PM »
I knew basically nothing about Byzantine chant when I came to seminary and, by my third year, was a paid chanter at several churches. 

Is there such a thing?  I've chanted so many services and I've only once (from a priest) received a gratuity.

These are situations where parishes pay to have a cantor on a regular basis.  It's fairly standard in the GOA, but the position is not very well-paying usually (except in certain areas of the country).  More of a salary than a gratuity.
"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 scamandrius

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2009, 03:47:15 PM »
Well, if I ever go to Holy Cross, then I can't wait to learn.  Of course, I would want to do it in the original Greek.  Do they teach Arabic at Holy Cross?
Hey, I don't hand out 9.5s to just anyone!  ;D

Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2009, 05:57:24 PM »
Do they teach Byzantine notation at HOly Cross?  I'd really like to learn and can't seem to do it on my own.

Yes. Each of the six required semesters of Byzantine chant are taught from Byzantine notation. And all services conducted in the chapel are chanted in both languages from notation whenever possible, so all may learn.

As for required classes: Seminarians have one semester of intro to learn the notation and some basic theory; then three semesters to cover each mode on its own, focusing on the Anastasimatarion in Byzantine notation (the Vespers & Orthros services for Sunday); then one semester to cover the Model Hymns (Prosomia) and typical services (Baptism/Chrismation, Marriage, Ordination, Funeral, Holy Water, etc); then, finally, one semester to cover all of the hymns of Holy Week.

If you come with skills, or are staying for the 4-year M.Div., you can take advanced classes after that. If you want to throw some English chant in, there are several electives offered. All are taught from notation.

Is there such a thing?  I've chanted so many services and I've only once (from a priest) received a gratuity.

I'd say it's largely a regional thing. In those areas where there are trained chanters and people value the music (Northeast & Chicago), there are indeed salaried positions. Nothing big, usually, but I'd venture to say there are at least 10 that fall in the $10,000 a year range. Some are more.

It's more typical for there to be a small stipend, or for the parish to require/request that parishioners offer the chanter something when he/she chants a Baptism, Marriage or Funeral.

Do they teach Arabic at Holy Cross?

Yes. They offer Liturgical Arabic.

Since you, like me, would be coming with existing Ancient Greek skills, you might even be able to pull some strings and get permission to take more than your normal share of classes at some of HC's sister schools in the BTI. I took a lot of courses at Harvard and Boston College; the former has an exceptional Semitics program (including the really cool stuff, like Classical Arabic, Syriac & Akkadian) and the latter has plenty of Arabic. Patristica Bostoniensia, a group of scholars/profs/grad students in the area, has a couple of active members who specialize in Semitic Christianity.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2009, 06:05:07 PM by pensateomnia »
But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)

Offline HandmaidenofGod

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2009, 10:23:45 PM »
Since you, like me, would be coming with existing Ancient Greek skills, you might even be able to pull some strings and get permission to take more than your normal share of classes at some of HC's sister schools in the BTI. I took a lot of courses at Harvard and Boston College; the former has an exceptional Semitics program (including the really cool stuff, like Classical Arabic, Syriac & Akkadian) and the latter has plenty of Arabic. Patristica Bostoniensia, a group of scholars/profs/grad students in the area, has a couple of active members who specialize in Semitic Christianity.

Wow, if there is such a thing as "knowledge envy" I am experiencing it right now. lol  :laugh:

What a gift to have been able to study all of that. Glory to God!
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11

Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2009, 10:50:29 PM »
Wow, if there is such a thing as "knowledge envy" I am experiencing it right now. lol  :laugh:

 :D Well, just to be clear, I myself didn't study in the Semitics department, but a colleague of mine did, so it is possible. Just laying out all the options.

Students enrolled at Holy Cross have graduate-level privileges at the libraries and can enroll in classes at any of the nine member schools of the Boston Theological Institute: http://www.bostontheological.org/. They can also earn additional academic certificates through the Institute.
But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2009, 03:58:31 AM »
Well, I don't think I could ever go to seminary. I'm not qualified to be a priest.  but I would like to enroll just to learn the Byzantine notation.

Now, let me ask this.  The Arabs do chant differently than the Greeks.  THe ARabs tend to favor more of a "minor" key feeling, especially with tone 2.  ARe both traditions taught or is preference given to the Greek style?

I might apply just to get my chanting in really good shape.
Hey, I don't hand out 9.5s to just anyone!  ;D

Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2009, 08:29:27 AM »
I might apply just to get my chanting in really good shape.

Without the scholarships that come with being a seminarian, I think it would be too expensive just for the goal of learning chant. If you're really that motivated and solely focused on chant, then I'd recommend going to one of the schools of ecclesiastical music in Greece (or at Balamand). Aside from being less expensive, they're better for that purpose, since that's their main focus -- not theological education and pastoral formation. FYI: There are scholarships available from the Hellenic Republic's Ministry of Culture if you go the Greek route.

THe ARabs tend to favor more of a "minor" key feeling, especially with tone 2.  ARe both traditions taught or is preference given to the Greek style?

There are easily more than six official styles of chant within the Byzantine tradition (Damascus' being one). All classes at Holy Cross are taught from within the Constantinopolitan tradition of the Great Church of Christ. Students are exposed to other styles in private study, chant groups, etc., especially in recent years wherein students from Balamand have been coming in greater numbers.
But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2009, 08:43:47 AM »
I might apply just to get my chanting in really good shape.

Without the scholarships that come with being a seminarian, I think it would be too expensive just for the goal of learning chant. If you're really that motivated and solely focused on chant, then I'd recommend going to one of the schools of ecclesiastical music in Greece (or at Balamand). Aside from being less expensive, they're better for that purpose, since that's their main focus -- not theological education and pastoral formation. FYI: There are scholarships available from the Hellenic Republic's Ministry of Culture if you go the Greek route.

That would be a bit costly indeed.  Of course, signing up for one semester's worth of the full offering of music (Byz Music 1, 3, 5, and Adv. 1 in the fall) would only technically be 6 credits, so not awful, but that would be a brutal learning experience.
"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 Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2009, 10:08:42 AM »
It seems that, as I suspected, Holy Cross does provide an excellent graduate level seminary education and experience to her students. Her location in close proximity to other excellent secular schools also help. I would say that in these respects Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary are rather alike. We are indeed fortunate in the United States to have two outstanding Orthodox seminaries.

Regarding different styles of chanting, indeed for any church singing, it strikes me that there are two separate approaches. I grew up in the first approach where the chanters and the choir were in the forefront, with very little congregational participation/singing. The separation between the chanter or the choir grew even farther apart when the chanting/singing became "concert" quality, especially during a Bishops rare visit. I should say that I grew up in a Bulgarian church, meaning all chanting was Byzantine style, while all choral music was Slavic (Bulgarian, Russian, Ukranian composers). For those of you who haven't heard a Bulgarian chanter, I would recommend to listen to any great Greek or Arab chanter and you will find a close approximation--although not as god as my father who was the best ever, but close enough.

In any case, later in life I came across another approach, that of congregational singing during the Divine Liturgy. I was thrilled with this development as I imagined (and had read) that such a participation lifted the "audience" to full participants. Imagine lay folks praying, chanting, and singing aloud! I experienced this in both OCA and AOA churches. However, in the OCA church the melodies were too flat--too much of a monotone; and in the AOA the attempt to put Byzantine modes into western notations just did not work--it had a forced quality. And, I did start missing some of the "fancier" choral compositions that I loved. So, I submit that we have not found a right balance yet.

Offline MarkosC

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2009, 08:17:23 PM »

THe ARabs tend to favor more of a "minor" key feeling, especially with tone 2.  ARe both traditions taught or is preference given to the Greek style?

There are easily more than six official styles of chant within the Byzantine tradition (Damascus' being one). All classes at Holy Cross are taught from within the Constantinopolitan tradition of the Great Church of Christ. Students are exposed to other styles in private study, chant groups, etc., especially in recent years wherein students from Balamand have been coming in greater numbers.

Hello pensateomnia,

Sorry to come into this late, but one question for you: what are these six official styles of chant?  And how does one become "official", as it were?

Thanks!

Markos
O Lord although I desired to blot out
with my tears the handwriting of my many sins
And for the rest of my life to please Thee
through sincere repentance
Yet doth the enemy lead me astray as he wareth
against my sould with his cunning

O Lord before I utterly perish do Thou save me!

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2009, 08:34:45 PM »

THe ARabs tend to favor more of a "minor" key feeling, especially with tone 2.  ARe both traditions taught or is preference given to the Greek style?

There are easily more than six official styles of chant within the Byzantine tradition (Damascus' being one). All classes at Holy Cross are taught from within the Constantinopolitan tradition of the Great Church of Christ. Students are exposed to other styles in private study, chant groups, etc., especially in recent years wherein students from Balamand have been coming in greater numbers.
Sorry to come into this late, but one question for you: what are these six official styles of chant?  And how does one become "official", as it were?


I think saying "official" makes it sound like there is a group who decides these things, perhaps a better word to use would is schools.

In my studies I believe we can identify the following different schools in no order...

Constantinople
Athens
Thessolonika
Beirut
Damascus
Orchrid (Serbian)
Dacian (Romanian)

Some of these schools are more closely related and can be indistinguishable to the ear. What sets the schools apart is the intervals in the scales and to get into that would require several pages and and decent understanding of how byzantine chant works.
Joseph

Offline MarkosC

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2009, 08:56:20 PM »
Thanks, Arimithea!  Is there any English literature (online or written) that discusses this?   Or, can we group some of the recordings out there into these categories? (i.e. I'd imagine much of the Balamand recordings are of the "Beirut" school.  But their Paraklisis, in terms of style and pitch, doesn't sound too much different from the Simonopetra recording to my ear)


eta: "paraklisis similar in style and pitch" vice "is similar".   The language is definitely not the same!!! :laugh:
« Last Edit: August 25, 2009, 08:58:56 PM by MarkosC »
O Lord although I desired to blot out
with my tears the handwriting of my many sins
And for the rest of my life to please Thee
through sincere repentance
Yet doth the enemy lead me astray as he wareth
against my sould with his cunning

O Lord before I utterly perish do Thou save me!

Offline serb1389

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2009, 09:05:47 PM »
Well, I don't think I could ever go to seminary. I'm not qualified to be a priest.  but I would like to enroll just to learn the Byzantine notation.

Now, let me ask this.  The Arabs do chant differently than the Greeks.  THe ARabs tend to favor more of a "minor" key feeling, especially with tone 2.  ARe both traditions taught or is preference given to the Greek style?

I might apply just to get my chanting in really good shape.

Also so you know there are 2 schools of Byzantine music outside of Chicago, as well as MANY opportunities to learn from guys who used to be Protopsalti's in Greece, who are now in Chicago.  It's a lot closer than Greece...lol.  If you are interested PM me and I can point you in the right direction.  you could go for 2 months at a time, 2 weeks at a time, or whatever works out for you. 
I got nothing.
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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2009, 10:29:31 PM »
It seems that, as I suspected, Holy Cross does provide an excellent graduate level seminary education and experience to her students. Her location in close proximity to other excellent secular schools also help. I would say that in these respects Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary are rather alike. We are indeed fortunate in the United States to have two outstanding Orthodox seminaries.

Regarding different styles of chanting, indeed for any church singing, it strikes me that there are two separate approaches. I grew up in the first approach where the chanters and the choir were in the forefront, with very little congregational participation/singing. The separation between the chanter or the choir grew even farther apart when the chanting/singing became "concert" quality, especially during a Bishops rare visit. I should say that I grew up in a Bulgarian church, meaning all chanting was Byzantine style, while all choral music was Slavic (Bulgarian, Russian, Ukranian composers). For those of you who haven't heard a Bulgarian chanter, I would recommend to listen to any great Greek or Arab chanter and you will find a close approximation--although not as god as my father who was the best ever, but close enough.

In any case, later in life I came across another approach, that of congregational singing during the Divine Liturgy. I was thrilled with this development as I imagined (and had read) that such a participation lifted the "audience" to full participants. Imagine lay folks praying, chanting, and singing aloud! I experienced this in both OCA and AOA churches. However, in the OCA church the melodies were too flat--too much of a monotone; and in the AOA the attempt to put Byzantine modes into western notations just did not work--it had a forced quality. And, I did start missing some of the "fancier" choral compositions that I loved. So, I submit that we have not found a right balance yet.

There's actually a "10 Commandments for the Cantor" in Greek written by a contemporary Psaltis in Greek, and it has (as #8):
Νὰ ἀπαγγέλλη τὰ ἀναγνώσματα καὶ νὰ ψάλλη τὰ μέλη εὐάρθρως καὶ ἐννοιολογικὰ ὥστε οἱ πιστοὶ νὰ κατανοοῦν καὶ νὰ συμμετέχουν.
http://typikon.analogion.net/DekalogosIeropsalth.htm
roughly translated as:
To recite the readings and to chant the pieces (evarthros?) and conceptually, so the believers can understand and participate.


When done properly, Byzantine Music can encourage participation as much as any other style/type.  However, "properly" is the key.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2009, 10:30:26 PM by cleveland »
"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 HandmaidenofGod

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2009, 12:26:01 AM »
When done properly, Byzantine Music can encourage participation as much as any other style/type.  However, "properly" is the key.

I think it's not entirely the chanter or the choir's responsibility for congregant participation. Should the music be easy enough to follow along? Absolutely. But I think sometimes the priest needs to say something to the congregation to the effect of "Hey, you guys are supposed to sing along too."

I've also noticed in various Liturgical books in varying jurisdictions that rather than the word "People" the word "Choir" is written for the responses. Thus the parishoners think that they are not supposed to sing, and it's just supposed to be between the Priest and the Chanter/Choir.

The Liturgy is a work of the people, and sometimes our parishoners need to be reminded of that.
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Offline LBK

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2009, 02:53:29 AM »
To recite the readings and to chant the pieces (evarthros?) and conceptually, so the believers can understand and participate.

Evarthros means "with proper diction", in other words, clearly.
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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2009, 06:26:33 AM »
To recite the readings and to chant the pieces (evarthros?) and conceptually, so the believers can understand and participate.

Evarthros means "with proper diction", in other words, clearly.

That makes sense; and it makes my ignorance of the word (considering the context) a bit ironic.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2009, 10:40:40 AM »
Do they teach Byzantine notation at HOly Cross?  I'd really like to learn and can't seem to do it on my own.

Yes. Each of the six required semesters of Byzantine chant are taught from Byzantine notation. And all services conducted in the chapel are chanted in both languages from notation whenever possible, so all may learn.

As for required classes: Seminarians have one semester of intro to learn the notation and some basic theory; then three semesters to cover each mode on its own, focusing on the Anastasimatarion in Byzantine notation (the Vespers & Orthros services for Sunday); then one semester to cover the Model Hymns (Prosomia) and typical services (Baptism/Chrismation, Marriage, Ordination, Funeral, Holy Water, etc); then, finally, one semester to cover all of the hymns of Holy Week.

If you come with skills, or are staying for the 4-year M.Div., you can take advanced classes after that. If you want to throw some English chant in, there are several electives offered. All are taught from notation.

Is there such a thing?  I've chanted so many services and I've only once (from a priest) received a gratuity.

I'd say it's largely a regional thing. In those areas where there are trained chanters and people value the music (Northeast & Chicago), there are indeed salaried positions. Nothing big, usually, but I'd venture to say there are at least 10 that fall in the $10,000 a year range. Some are more.

It's more typical for there to be a small stipend, or for the parish to require/request that parishioners offer the chanter something when he/she chants a Baptism, Marriage or Funeral.

Do they teach Arabic at Holy Cross?

Yes. They offer Liturgical Arabic.

Since you, like me, would be coming with existing Ancient Greek skills, you might even be able to pull some strings and get permission to take more than your normal share of classes at some of HC's sister schools in the BTI. I took a lot of courses at Harvard and Boston College; the former has an exceptional Semitics program (including the really cool stuff, like Classical Arabic, Syriac & Akkadian) and the latter has plenty of Arabic. Patristica Bostoniensia, a group of scholars/profs/grad students in the area, has a couple of active members who specialize in Semitic Christianity.

Do you have a link to this last group?
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Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2009, 01:54:01 PM »
Do you have a link to this last group?

They don't have a web site. It's informal/collegial. A sister group recently started at Brown.
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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2009, 04:56:54 PM »

THe ARabs tend to favor more of a "minor" key feeling, especially with tone 2.  ARe both traditions taught or is preference given to the Greek style?

There are easily more than six official styles of chant within the Byzantine tradition (Damascus' being one). All classes at Holy Cross are taught from within the Constantinopolitan tradition of the Great Church of Christ. Students are exposed to other styles in private study, chant groups, etc., especially in recent years wherein students from Balamand have been coming in greater numbers.
Sorry to come into this late, but one question for you: what are these six official styles of chant?  And how does one become "official", as it were?


I think saying "official" makes it sound like there is a group who decides these things, perhaps a better word to use would is schools.

In my studies I believe we can identify the following different schools in no order...

Constantinople
Athens
Thessolonika
Beirut
Damascus
Orchrid (Serbian)
Dacian (Romanian)

Some of these schools are more closely related and can be indistinguishable to the ear. What sets the schools apart is the intervals in the scales and to get into that would require several pages and and decent understanding of how byzantine chant works.

I would not identify Ohrid (your Orchid) with Serbia, as it was an important religious center of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. From the Wiki:

"The recognition of the autocephalous Bulgarian Patriarchate by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 927 AD makes the Bulgarian Orthodox Church the oldest autocephalous Slavic Orthodox Church in the world, which was added to the Pentarchy of the original Patriarchates. The seat of the Patriarchate was the new Bulgarian capital of Preslav, although the Patriarch is likely to have resided in the town of Drastar (Silistra), an old Christian centre famous for its martyrs and Christian traditions. Around 990, the next patriarch, Philip, moved to Ohrid (in present-day south-western Republic of Macedonia), which also became the permanent seat of the Patriarchate.

After the fall of Bulgaria under Byzantium domination in 1018, Emperor Basil II Bulgaroktonus (the “Bulgar-Slayer”) acknowledged the autocephalous status of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and by virtue of special charters (royal decrees) set up its boundaries, dioceses, property and other privileges. The church was, however, deprived of its Patriarchal title and reduced to the rank of an archbishopric. Although the first appointed archbishop (John of Debar) was a Bulgarian, his successors, as well as the whole higher clergy, were invariably Greeks. The monks and the ordinary priests remained, however, predominantly Bulgarian, thus allowing the archbishopric to preserve to a large extent its national character, to uphold the Slavonic liturgy and to continue its contribution to the development of the Bulgarian literature. The autocephaly of the Ohrid Archbishopric remained respected during the periods of Byzantine, Bulgarian, Serbian and Ottoman rule and the church continued to exist until its unlawful abolition in 1767."

(Now note well the following facts)

"The struggle between the Bulgarians, led by Neofit Bozveli and Ilarion Makariopolski, and the Greeks intensified throughout the 1860s. As the Greek clerics were ousted from most Bulgarian bishoprics at the end of the decade, the whole of northern Bulgaria, as well as the northern parts of Thrace and Macedonia had, by all intents and purposes, seceded from the Patriarchate. In recognition of that, the Ottoman government restored the once unlawfully destroyed Bulgarian Patriarchate under the name of "Bulgarian Exarchate" by a decree (firman) of the Sultan promulgated on February 28, 1870. The original Exarchate extended over present-day northern Bulgaria (Moesia), Thrace without the Vilayet of Adrianople, as well as over north-eastern Macedonia. After the Christian population of the bishoprics of Skopje and Ohrid voted in 1874 overwhelmingly in favour of joining the Exarchate (Skopje by 91%, Ohrid by 97%), the Bulgarian Exarchate became in control of the whole of Vardar and Pirin Macedonia. The Bulgarian Exarchate was also represented partially in southern Macedonia and the Vilayet of Adrianople by vicars. Thus, the borders of the Exarchate included all Bulgarian districts in the Ottoman Empire."

Of course, after WWI, the Serbian Kingdom also started an assimilation program targeted against the Bulgarians in the modern day Republic of Macedonia. Thus, it is grating to the ears of Bulgarians, so-called "Macedonians" and non-partisan historians to have Ohrid described as anything even close to Serbian.

To bring this tragic tale to the current day, Ohrid currently is the seat of the Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia--the Primate of the Macedonian Orthodox Church (which is accepted by neither the Bulgarian or Servian Churches). A little recent history from Wiki:

"In 1959, the Macedonian Orthodox Church was declared as the restoration of the Archbishopric of Ohrid. The declaration was celebrated in a common liturgy by Macedonian priests and the Serbian Patriarch German in 1959 in Skopje. The Archbishop Dositheus II was enthroned as Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia, continuing in the lineage of the Archbishops of Ohrid.

In 1962, the Serbian Patriarch German and Russian Patriarch Alexius I visited the Macedonian Orthodox Church on the feast of Saints Methodius and Cyril in Ohrid. The two Patriarchs and the Macedonian Archbishop Dositheus II celebrated Holy Liturgy marking the first occasion where the leader of the Macedonian church met with heads of other Orthodox churches. (Carl: we see here that even the Serbian Churh had renounced the Serbian-ness of Ohrid and Macedonia by this time).

On July 19, 1967, in Ohrid, the Macedonian Orthodox Church self-declared autocephaly from the Serbian Orthodox Church, as was the will of the church's faithful, but as of yet remains unrecognised by other Orthodox churches."

(On the other hand) "The Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric (Macedonian: Православна Охридска Архиепископија Pravoslavna Ohridska Arhiepiskopija) is an autonomous Eastern Orthodox archdiocese in the Republic of Macedonia under the jurisdiction of the Serbian Orthodox Church. It is the only canonical Orthodox Church in R. Macedonia and is in full communion with all other Orthodox Churches."
« Last Edit: August 26, 2009, 04:58:31 PM by Second Chance »

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2009, 11:43:50 PM »
What is "Syro-Byzantine" chant?
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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #30 on: August 30, 2009, 10:40:54 PM »
What is "Syro-Byzantine" chant?

Byzantine chant with a middle-eastern (Syrian, Lebanese, etc) flavour.
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Some Syro-Byzantine Chant at Holy Cross
« Reply #31 on: September 07, 2009, 08:14:53 PM »
What is "Syro-Byzantine" chant?

Byzantine chant with a middle-eastern (Syrian, Lebanese, etc) flavour.

Hmmmm. I don't notice the chant in the video being all that different from Greco-Byzantine chant.
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