I've been having a hard time learning Byzantine chants just by ear. Does anyone know of On-line resources concerning Byzantine Chants -- in English?
I really just don't get it: WTH does plagal of the first tone mean? Yes, I know what plagal means -- it's in Wikipedia -- but how exactly do I sing it?
First thing: there have been a few resources given to you in this thread. However, I highly suggest that you develop a relationship with an existing and experienced Chanter (by telephone or internet, since I'm presuming distance is a factor) who can do the most important thing for you: hear you and provide feedback. Most of the wisdom of Byzantine Music can be found on the internet with a bit of patience and searching; however, the personalized feedback that comes with a one-to-one relationship between you and a teacher cannot be overlooked or under-stressed. You may learn the theory perfectly well, memorize the notes, but may have flaws in your chanting that can only be detected by an experienced third party.
I'd suggest, if you cannot find someone, sending a message (via the "My Messages" link near the top of the page) to user kelfar, who is an excellent chanter and one who could teach you (if he has the time).