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Author Topic: Question about the introduction to certain hymns  (Read 336 times) Average Rating: 0
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biro
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« on: November 29, 2011, 12:45:37 AM »

I have a CD called "What Earthly Joy" by the choir of St. Lawrence Orthodox Church. It's very good. On a couple of songs, the main vocalist 'warms up' by saying something that sounds like, "Ahh nah nehhs." I don't know if that's a word, if it's just a bunch of practice syllables, or what. The rest of the album is in English. I have heard this a few times on other Orthodox chant albums as well. Sorry, I don't have samples. I was just wondering if anybody else would recognize it, and could tell me what it is. Thanks very much.  angel
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2011, 12:50:37 AM »

These intros are a shorthand way of telling the rest of the choir which tone and melody the hymn is to be sung in. The equivalent in Slavic churches where polyphonic singing is the norm is "giving tone", where the choirmaster or choirmistress sings the starting notes pertaining to each voice in the choir (soprano, tenor, alto, bass, etc). It's analogous to singing or playing a scale.
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2011, 12:53:20 AM »

Thank you! That clears it up.   Grin
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Charlie Rose: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

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