[quote author=Ian Lazarus link=topic=3224.msg67183#msg67183 date=1107055373]
Ehem..........a quote from Stravinsky:
I have to say that what makes the Orhodox music so different is that it is intended to be sung without instruments and sounds better that way. Adding chords and accompaniment to it would only complicate and indeed destroy both the atmosphere and the flow of the music. It's one of the things that attracted me to the church (not the only thing). Its not easy to sing A capella, but it is so worth it. One parish I was a member of just did the service with a pitch pipe and the choral director singing the triad so that everyone got the pitch in their mind and it was GO time. I like that solution, BTW.
Oh, I do like Anglican and Gregorian Chant as well, especially when done correctly (no inst.). It was made for the church, and is a joy to listen to. I wonder if any would have objectiosn to using those in a liturgy. Oh I know that we have our tones and I think they are great! Wouldn't trade them! But since they were written and practised mostly durring the periods befroe the Great Schism, I donet see anything wrong with using them if they can fit into the liturgy. Maybe as a troparia setting or a Stikeria setting. Any opinions? What do the clergy think?
Peace ad Butterda (they tells me not to but I still drinks it!),
Ian Lazarus :grommit:
All, There is a fascinating history of Byzantine music and Hymnography by E. Wellesz that reviews much of the history of music tradition in the church. I will summarize here. The organ was used several centuries before the Schism, having been a gift to the west to King Pepin by Constantine V of Constantinople. The historical writings indicate that Constantinople was viewed as 'supreme' because it had the organ, and this gift was an equalizer. In the West, monks, and one Pope became the organ builders during this time. Before this time, originally, the organ (invented a few centuried BC by Ctebesius, water powered, called the Hydraulis) was used in celebrations and, as one of the few instruments of the time, had a reputation associated with 'orgies' and the like. Hence it wasn't used in worship. However, over time the Byzantine Christian Empire used it for formal ceremonies and it began to take on a different reputation. All of the ceremonies of the Emperor were officiated by the Patriarch... church and state were one. The tradition of congregational singing was banned early in Constantinople to allow for trained psatltis to praise God and other trained chanters to exalt the Emperor. This would happen during processions, side by side, with the organ in the procession, two groups of chanters for the Emperor and two groups of psaltis for the Patriarch, chanting antiphonally. These would end in the church. The Byzantine chant itself was not unique music, - it was the popular music of the era, with history back to Pythagoras.. it was the only choice from which to pick church music. The specific modes were chosen for the feeling they conveyed which paralleled the scriptures they were to be used with, however they were in existence long before. People would know the specific feeling of each tone, having been familiar with the music of the time. Wellesc notes that near the end of the Empire, that a traveller noted in his travel notes that there were organs in all the churches and they were used on certain days throughout the week. Note that monasteries favored little singing or chanting ,less than the churches, so the tradition was not there. Wellesz speculates that the organs may have been used to hold the ison, or for practice.. Since they were made of gold, they were likely plundered during the fall. Wellesz also comments that the Byzantine chant used today is different from the early chant, which was more diatonic, having been influenced later under Turkish rule. The organ, which was an engineering miracle, captured the air of the universe and turned it into beautiful sound.. and for some it symbolized the cosmos in church, and the connection between man and the universe. Hence its use in church. It was picked not for spectacle, but to aid in solemnity and the feeling of meditation and the scriptures. In Russia, where Moscow was established by Peter the Great as the "new Rome", great composers were commisioned to compose for the church.. And here you have Tchaik., and others. Again, the music of the Russian church incorporated some folk or popular tradition in its music,and it is easy to hear the difference between Russian chant and Byzantine chant. But the organ was never gifted to Russia.
If one considers the thinking behind the choice of music that happened in the early church, one point becomes clear: The music was chosen to reinforce the the feeling of the words... The challenge for Orthodoxy today is what happens when the Byzantine tradition doesn't follow the ethos of it's original intent and doesn't convey the scriptural feelings to todays parishioners? Is that Orthodox tradition?? While I personally enjoy it, some parishioners view it as awful, ear wrenching belly aching (esp if it's in Greek, but sometimes even in English) and this takes away from the words. At the same time, the traditional organ has few uses but church music.... and the music written for it was done for the exact same reason as the tones were chosen: to convey the feeling of the words. So, as long as the words are the focus, and the organ the support (not the other way around), this follows the spirit of the tradition and helps non-ethnic Americans worship in the Orthodox faith. Thiis is why the GOA uses the organ, and has established a new Orthodox tradition of music for the church, with composers of Orthodox music writing for chanters, choirs, and organs.As an instrument, it is less 'even toned' than the piano, and overtones are it's magic. America is a new frontier for Orthodoxy and has in it all of the challenges presented years ago as Christianity spread throughout the East, West, North and South. It's all of that roled into one country and requires evolution of tradition, just as it evolved in the past. If you check out some of the new church music being written by Orthoodox composers, there are elements of Byzantine and non-Byzantine sounds, to help everyone pray...