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Author Topic: Serbian Orthodox Hymns/Chant?  (Read 921 times) Average Rating: 0
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88Devin12
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« on: September 01, 2012, 11:06:34 PM »

I attend a Serbian Church (well, partially) and whenever we have a Serbian Priest to serve in Church Slavonic, I'm met with the expected typical Russian-style chant which closely mirrors a lot of the hymns we sing in the OCA. Yet when I try to search for Serbian Chant on the internet, I'm actually met with Byzantine-Style Chant from Serbia. Is it common for Serbian-American parishes to have Russian music? Is there any reason for the switch from Byzantine to Russian when moved to from Serbia to the United States?
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2012, 12:34:02 AM »

I attend a Serbian Church (well, partially) and whenever we have a Serbian Priest to serve in Church Slavonic, I'm met with the expected typical Russian-style chant which closely mirrors a lot of the hymns we sing in the OCA. Yet when I try to search for Serbian Chant on the internet, I'm actually met with Byzantine-Style Chant from Serbia. Is it common for Serbian-American parishes to have Russian music? Is there any reason for the switch from Byzantine to Russian when moved to from Serbia to the United States?

Serbian Chant is rather hard to sing, and it sounds rather strange to some convert's ears.  In many ways, I have found the Serbs to have more in common with the Greeks than the Russians.  Russian music, on the other hand, is (in my opinion) far more accessable for Americans.  Our priest uses the Serbian melodies.  When he is not there, I use the Russian.  I can tell which ones the people prefer since many sing along with me when I am using the Russian Chants.
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2012, 09:32:01 AM »

I’ve found a few channels of Serbian parishes in USA and usually there was typical Serbian Chant. The same with very few recordings from USA – all of them were done in Serbian style. Sometimes in Serbia for some parts of Liturgy or other services Russian (synodal) melodies are used. Some Serbian choir also sing some hymns composed by Russian composers.

I agree that Serbian chant for new-coming into church can be a little exotic and all tones can sounds so similar. However, I have to admit, that in Serbian Church are used two variants of byzantine chanting. One is very similar to Bulgarian (only a bit different pronunciation) and the second one is, as I would say, “Serbized”. This second stills being byzantine, but with specific Serbian marks. It has origin in the sacral compositions of Mokranjac. Certainly, there were some others composers and theirs setting are used too.
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2012, 08:45:22 AM »

Yet when I try to search for Serbian Chant on the internet, I'm actually met with Byzantine-Style Chant from Serbia. Is it common for Serbian-American parishes to have Russian music? Is there any reason for the switch from Byzantine to Russian when moved to from Serbia to the United States?

The parishes in Serbia usually use melodies composed by 19th century Serbs composers. First of all Mokranjac. But also Stankovic and some others.
Check this articels:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevan_Stojanovi%C4%87_Mokranjac
http://www.mokranjcevi-dani.com/eng_ver/about_composer.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kornelije_Stankovi%C4%87
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josif_Marinkovi%C4%87
and put in Youtube words like: Mokranjac, Kornelije Stankovic, Mokranjac Liturgija,...
That is how we chant in most churches in Serbia.

« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 08:47:56 AM by Servos » Logged
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2012, 09:17:03 AM »

Looks like the Serbs and Bulgarians have the same approach: Choral music along with Byzantine style chanting. The reason why? Our hymns are incredibly complex, numerous and varied. There is almost no possibility to put all hymns to four-part setting first because of sheer volume and, second because most churches will not have four people to sing in a choir at each possible service. Ergo, chanters who use what is available. It was only the Russian Church with her vastly more superior resources who could have put together 2-3-4 part music for all occasions. Besides, the Russian tones are much more friendly to such an approach.

Caveat: I stand to be corrected as I am not a Church Music theorist or historian, just somebody who was involved in chanting and singing in the choir of a Bulgarian Church.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 09:17:50 AM by Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2012, 09:43:43 AM »

The reason why?
I am not educated also in church music, but, regarding the Serbs, I think the reason is influence of the West.
Namely, Serbs due to the Turkish oppression fled north in Austria where they settled patriarchy, seminaries, schools,... During centuries West influenced Serbian institutions, architecture, music, etc.
That is my opinion, but I'm not 100% sure.

More on the Serbian Church in Austria:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitanate_of_Karlovci
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarchate_of_Karlovci

"Karlovci chanting" is standard in Serbia. Byzantine is not, although in big cities there is some churches who are trying to reestablish byzantine chanting.
All monasteries, except few one, are using also "Karlovci chanting".
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 09:49:38 AM by Servos » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2012, 09:56:35 AM »

Serbian Chant is rather hard to sing, and it sounds rather strange to some convert's ears.  In many ways, I have found the Serbs to have more in common with the Greeks than the Russians.

Are there any typical examples online? There seems to be some Serbian chant on Youtube but I have no idea whether they represent typical Serbian chant that is heard in normal parishes.
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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2012, 10:59:41 AM »

Are there any typical examples online? There seems to be some Serbian chant on Youtube but I have no idea whether they represent typical Serbian chant that is heard in normal parishes.

This are examples of typical Serbian chant in normal parishes:

Live TV translation from Christmas midnight Liturgy 2012 in Belgrade Cathedral (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Michael%27s_Cathedral_%28Belgrade%29) celebrated by Serbian Patriarch Irineos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHEuG5ZSpXQ

Live TV translation from Easter midnight Liturgy 2012 in Saint Sava Church - Belgrade (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_of_Saint_Sava) celebrated by Patriarchs auxiliary bishop Athanasius:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNqiNWYnpMM

Live TV translation from Christmas Liturgy 1990 in Novi Sad Cathedral (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_George%27s_Cathedral_%28Novi_Sad%29):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhhgfPyV4iI

Live TV translation from Christmas Liturgy 2012 in Bijeljina Cathedral (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bijeljina), celebrated by Bishop Basil:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xd_Hip7Mu3k

Live TV translation from Liturgy 26. September 2004 in Banja Luka Cathedral (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banja_Luka), celebrated by Bishop Ephrem:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-Cyr27_NRI

Live TV translation from Easter Liturgy 2012 in Krusevac Cathedral (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kru%C5%A1evac), celebrated by Bishop David:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2xML5C2umg

Easter Liturgy in Belgrade Cathedral 1945:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPg_9jC8h6Y
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 11:12:27 AM by Servos » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2012, 11:59:32 AM »

I attend a Serbian Church (well, partially) and whenever we have a Serbian Priest to serve in Church Slavonic, I'm met with the expected typical Russian-style chant which closely mirrors a lot of the hymns we sing in the OCA. Yet when I try to search for Serbian Chant on the internet, I'm actually met with Byzantine-Style Chant from Serbia. Is it common for Serbian-American parishes to have Russian music? Is there any reason for the switch from Byzantine to Russian when moved to from Serbia to the United States?

Truly Authentic Serbian chant is very close to Byzantine chant. Most Serbian churches use mostly Serbian chant with Byzantine and Russian chant being used less often. As I said before, Serbian chant is more closer to Byzantine Chant. The 4-part Choral Serbian or Bulgarian tones are not authentic. Whenever you see a piece of sheet music with Serbian or Bulgarian chant slapped on the top, it means that it has been harmonized/(westernized). Many of the chant that we see in OCA Churches might say Serbian or Bulgarian or even Byzantine, but they are actually a 4-part harmonization of the original piece.
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« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2012, 12:04:28 PM »

Are there any typical examples online? There seems to be some Serbian chant on Youtube but I have no idea whether they represent typical Serbian chant that is heard in normal parishes.

This are examples of typical Serbian chant in normal parishes:

Live TV translation from Christmas midnight Liturgy 2012 in Belgrade Cathedral (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Michael%27s_Cathedral_%28Belgrade%29) celebrated by Serbian Patriarch Irineos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHEuG5ZSpXQ

Live TV translation from Easter midnight Liturgy 2012 in Saint Sava Church - Belgrade (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_of_Saint_Sava) celebrated by Patriarchs auxiliary bishop Athanasius:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNqiNWYnpMM

Live TV translation from Christmas Liturgy 1990 in Novi Sad Cathedral (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_George%27s_Cathedral_%28Novi_Sad%29):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhhgfPyV4iI

Live TV translation from Christmas Liturgy 2012 in Bijeljina Cathedral (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bijeljina), celebrated by Bishop Basil:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xd_Hip7Mu3k

Live TV translation from Liturgy 26. September 2004 in Banja Luka Cathedral (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banja_Luka), celebrated by Bishop Ephrem:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-Cyr27_NRI

Live TV translation from Easter Liturgy 2012 in Krusevac Cathedral (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kru%C5%A1evac), celebrated by Bishop David:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2xML5C2umg

Easter Liturgy in Belgrade Cathedral 1945:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPg_9jC8h6Y
Not that this is new, but it does really sound very much like the chant used un the western parts of Romania, although I would say, our tempo is probably slower.
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« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2012, 12:59:41 PM »

The best example for me: Both in the first tone, both from the Nativity Canon. The first one is Serbised byzantine chant and the second one typical byzantien chant also used in Serbian Church:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rY1dswRkMQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52lEethhS-0

Also depends much on the choir. If it's mxied, it sounds more Western.
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