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Author Topic: Prokeimenon & Alleluiarion - churches will not sing the authentic melodies???  (Read 943 times) Average Rating: 0
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Christopher McAvoy
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« on: November 28, 2012, 01:26:10 AM »


I am a bit frustrated that I am unable to find very easily an Orthodox Church that sings the full prokeimenon or Alleluia in the manner of the 12th century manuscripts with long melismas, in the manner that is historically part of the authentic tradition of byzantine chant.

Instead I find primarily 19th c. western influence styles and 20th century anglican influenced styles (greek churches with organs etc.)

See these for examples:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojeJGN3lybU
http://www.cappellaromana.org/index.php?page=scores

I know Simon Karas made available the Alleluias in the eight modes which are very beautiful and more authentic and they are used more often in greece. That is the type on the capella romana website.

Is there actual unwillingness to do these original chants, is there some specific reason why they are not done?
What are the arguments being made to avoid singing them to anything beyond simple tones.
I think it is disgraceful that they are falling into obscurity.

Otherwise without changing propers, much of the divine liturgy does not have that much variety on Sundays, which is ridiculous.

I've concerned myself primarily with western plainchant until now, so I only recently noticed these aberrations.
In some respects, gregorian chant when sung out of the "graduale romanum" as used by traditional roman catholics and WR orthodox and or others is more conservative than the typical useage of byzantine chant in byzantine rite parishes of today.

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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2012, 02:13:12 AM »

I think a lot of it is just lack of education- many parishes have chanters or choirs that haven't really attended classes and might have a choir practice once in a blue moon for Nativity or Pascha services. Lord knows I'd get fancy with the chanting if I knew how, but most of the time I'm happy if I just stay in tone.
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2012, 02:16:23 AM »


I am a bit frustrated that I am unable to find very easily an Orthodox Church that sings the full prokeimenon or Alleluia in the manner of the 12th century manuscripts with long melismas, in the manner that is historically part of the authentic tradition of byzantine chant.

Instead I find primarily 19th c. western influence styles and 20th century anglican influenced styles (greek churches with organs etc.)

Does the Church of Georgia sing what you're looking for in their Divine Liturgy?  No "19th c. western influence styles and 20th century anglican influenced styles" have affected the Church of Georgia, to my knowledge.
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Christopher McAvoy
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2012, 02:47:47 AM »

I have yet to attend a Georgian Church to find out the answer.

I only mean that most of the nearest churches next to me don't follow sing the prokeimenon or alleluia with the traditional (sometimes more difficult) byz. melody or variety that they are ment to.

I do believe that the Greek Cathedral in Washington, DC and one in Lancaster, PA do use Karas Alleluias (which would be enough).
The full Prokeimenon melody seems to be something impossible to find though.

I haven't yet fully explored all the options of different churches. I live in an area where, within a one hours drive is a wide range of choices for Orthodox Churches. I do have options of two Georgian Churches and one Georgian Monastery, about 7 greek ones  and too many others to name.

In time I will find what I am looking for as regards Byzantine rite parishes, but as I am with a Western rite mission, it's not really my concern to do too much Church exploration/hopping.  For me the byzantine rite parishes are moonlighting, and WR is full time.

I can say that the St John Chrysostom Antiochian Church in York, PA has one of the best choirs I've yet found. People who enter that church really do experience heaven on earth!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avRz7FqbGZ0&feature=plcp
They have several videos online, but they dont quite compare to visiting it in person, where in my experience you hear even higher caliber of sound and challenging pieces than that heard in some of their older videos.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 02:48:34 AM by Christopher McAvoy » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2012, 12:17:40 PM »

Just a comment, if you are going to stick with the WR, worry about that - don't grouse about things in the Eastern Churches.
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