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Author Topic: Changing tones from a Litany to "God is the Lord" on the Amen  (Read 345 times) Average Rating: 0
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scamandrius
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« on: November 10, 2013, 05:22:22 PM »

OK, I'm probably not going to phrase this very intelligently because even though I'm a musical person (western music, that it is), I'm really not very familiar with the classical byzantine chant terminology to phrase what I'm asking correctly, so please here me out.

For all you chanters on OC.net who use (neo)Byzantine chant, we chant our Great Litany at Orthros in plagal fourth tone with its final on "Ni."  Then we proceed into "God is the Lord" which, of course, varies from in tone from week to week or if there is a feast.  Rather than simply chant "Amen" on Ni and then have to repitch for "God is the Lord" in whatever tone it may be, we chant the A on Ni and then, if it is first tone, we chant -men on Pa which moves in nicely.  For tones 3, Varys and hiermologic plagal four, we chant A on Ni and then move up a fourth to Ga for -men.  Again, we do this so we don't have to repitch; I'd actually like to do this for all litanies that move into chants with different tones like after the Little Litany at Vespers proceeding into O Lord, I have cried.  The biggest issues is how to do this for the litany in plagal tone four moving into tones 2, 4 and plagal 2 hiermologic.  If anyone has a good way to do it without using too many notes, I'd love to hear it.

Again, my apologies if my explanation of what I am asking is too inexact.
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2013, 01:39:04 AM »

You have two options when transitioning from a litany to a hymn:
1. Do the Amen on Ni, then a monosyllabic apechema. This tends to disrupt the flow, so better to reserve it for "big hymns" like the Cherubikon or Let Every Breath.
2. Build the apechema into the Amen, as you were describing. This keeps the service flowing better.


Probably the easiest, if not commonest, ways to do it using the Amen as the apechema are as follows, for each mode:

Mode I--chant A-men as Ni-Pa ("Niiiiiiiiiiiiiii-Paaaaaaaaaaaaa")

Mode Plagal I--same thing, but go up to Pa quicker ("Ni-Paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"). For heirmologic, A-men = Di-Ke, but if this is too difficult or too high for you, transpose the mode to Di: A-men = Ga-Di.

Mode II (or heirmologic Plagal II)--chant A-men as Ga-Di

Mode Plagal II (or heirmologic II)--chant A-men as Ni-Pa

Mode III--A-men = Ni-Ga

Barys enharmonic--do the whole Amen on Ga, with the antikenoma (Ga-Di-Ga-Bou-Gaaaaaaaaa)
Barys diatonic--Ni-Pa like 1st Mode, then drop down to Ni and Zo

Mode IV (sticheraric)--A-men = Ni-Paaaaaaaaaaaaa, or just do Amen on Ni and then start the hymn without any audible apechema. You really can't win here, so there's no point in trying to get cute.
    Legetos--too tricky, so just do Amen on Ni and then say the apechema "Legetos"
    Agia--always do the apechema "Agia." It is often even built into the beginning of the chant.
    For Nenano (Joseph was Amazed)--A-men = Di-Di

Mode Plagal IV--You're already on Ni. For tetraphonos, A-men = Ni-Ga
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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2013, 04:05:13 PM »

2. Build the apechema into the Amen, as you were describing. This keeps the service flowing better.

My thoughts exactly.  It also helps if the priest (with the litanies after the great litany) leads rather than responds; that is to say, if he intones the petitions in the mode to come rather than the mode immediately preceding.  This is my preferred MO, even though I don't get to do it as often as I want to.
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2013, 04:08:02 PM »


LOL!  I enjoy when our choir director literally takes about 10-15 seconds giving the tone, and pointing at various people....and you would anticipate some great masterpiece to follow....and all you get is....Aaaaaaameeeeen.
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« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2013, 04:15:52 PM »


LOL!  I enjoy when our choir director literally takes about 10-15 seconds giving the tone, and pointing at various people....and you would anticipate some great masterpiece to follow....and all you get is....Aaaaaaameeeeen.

+1. 
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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2013, 04:40:12 PM »


LOL!  I enjoy when our choir director literally takes about 10-15 seconds giving the tone, and pointing at various people....and you would anticipate some great masterpiece to follow....and all you get is....Aaaaaaameeeeen.

Good choir directors should be able to re-pitch the choir in no more than 5 seconds.
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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2013, 04:46:58 PM »


LOL!  I enjoy when our choir director literally takes about 10-15 seconds giving the tone, and pointing at various people....and you would anticipate some great masterpiece to follow....and all you get is....Aaaaaaameeeeen.

Good choir directors should be able to re-pitch the choir in no more than 5 seconds.

Sometimes that still seems like an eternity, especially when either your deacon or priest - or both - are tone deaf. Even when the choir director or cantor can pick up the pitch, sometimes changing the tone is difficult for the choir members or other singers to follow - especially since in many parishes they function on auto-pilot.

And 'good choir directors' is the key here, they seem to be harder and harder to find.
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« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2013, 07:30:56 PM »

You have two options when transitioning from a litany to a hymn:
1. Do the Amen on Ni, then a monosyllabic apechema. This tends to disrupt the flow, so better to reserve it for "big hymns" like the Cherubikon or Let Every Breath.
2. Build the apechema into the Amen, as you were describing. This keeps the service flowing better.


Probably the easiest, if not commonest, ways to do it using the Amen as the apechema are as follows, for each mode:

Mode I--chant A-men as Ni-Pa ("Niiiiiiiiiiiiiii-Paaaaaaaaaaaaa")

Mode Plagal I--same thing, but go up to Pa quicker ("Ni-Paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"). For heirmologic, A-men = Di-Ke, but if this is too difficult or too high for you, transpose the mode to Di: A-men = Ga-Di.

Mode II (or heirmologic Plagal II)--chant A-men as Ga-Di

Mode Plagal II (or heirmologic II)--chant A-men as Ni-Pa

Mode III--A-men = Ni-Ga

Barys enharmonic--do the whole Amen on Ga, with the antikenoma (Ga-Di-Ga-Bou-Gaaaaaaaaa)
Barys diatonic--Ni-Pa like 1st Mode, then drop down to Ni and Zo

Mode IV (sticheraric)--A-men = Ni-Paaaaaaaaaaaaa, or just do Amen on Ni and then start the hymn without any audible apechema. You really can't win here, so there's no point in trying to get cute.
    Legetos--too tricky, so just do Amen on Ni and then say the apechema "Legetos"
    Agia--always do the apechema "Agia." It is often even built into the beginning of the chant.
    For Nenano (Joseph was Amazed)--A-men = Di-Di

Mode Plagal IV--You're already on Ni. For tetraphonos, A-men = Ni-Ga

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« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2013, 07:56:15 PM »


LOL!  I enjoy when our choir director literally takes about 10-15 seconds giving the tone, and pointing at various people....and you would anticipate some great masterpiece to follow....and all you get is....Aaaaaaameeeeen.

Good choir directors should be able to re-pitch the choir in no more than 5 seconds.

Sometimes that still seems like an eternity, especially when either your deacon or priest - or both - are tone deaf. Even when the choir director or cantor can pick up the pitch, sometimes changing the tone is difficult for the choir members or other singers to follow - especially since in many parishes they function on auto-pilot.

And 'good choir directors' is the key here, they seem to be harder and harder to find.

Indeed.  Our's has an ABD in Historical Music from UCLA and is well travelled throughout Russia and the Eastern Bloc (a few visits to the mid-east too).  He knows his Orthodox and Catholic rubrics like the back of his hand.  The auto-pilot members need to not be auto-pilot.  That's called complacency and mediocrity.
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scamandrius
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« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2013, 03:23:22 AM »

You have two options when transitioning from a litany to a hymn:
1. Do the Amen on Ni, then a monosyllabic apechema. This tends to disrupt the flow, so better to reserve it for "big hymns" like the Cherubikon or Let Every Breath.
2. Build the apechema into the Amen, as you were describing. This keeps the service flowing better.


Probably the easiest, if not commonest, ways to do it using the Amen as the apechema are as follows, for each mode:

Mode I--chant A-men as Ni-Pa ("Niiiiiiiiiiiiiii-Paaaaaaaaaaaaa")

Mode Plagal I--same thing, but go up to Pa quicker ("Ni-Paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"). For heirmologic, A-men = Di-Ke, but if this is too difficult or too high for you, transpose the mode to Di: A-men = Ga-Di.

Mode II (or heirmologic Plagal II)--chant A-men as Ga-Di

Mode Plagal II (or heirmologic II)--chant A-men as Ni-Pa

Mode III--A-men = Ni-Ga

Barys enharmonic--do the whole Amen on Ga, with the antikenoma (Ga-Di-Ga-Bou-Gaaaaaaaaa)
Barys diatonic--Ni-Pa like 1st Mode, then drop down to Ni and Zo

Mode IV (sticheraric)--A-men = Ni-Paaaaaaaaaaaaa, or just do Amen on Ni and then start the hymn without any audible apechema. You really can't win here, so there's no point in trying to get cute.
    Legetos--too tricky, so just do Amen on Ni and then say the apechema "Legetos"
    Agia--always do the apechema "Agia." It is often even built into the beginning of the chant.
    For Nenano (Joseph was Amazed)--A-men = Di-Di

Mode Plagal IV--You're already on Ni. For tetraphonos, A-men = Ni-Ga

Rufus,

Thanks.  a lot of that was along the lines I was thinking.  Thanks for clarifying. You're right:  The biggest issue will be going from plagal four on Ni to God is the Lord in tone 4 "legetos."  Tell me what you think of this:  Ni-Ga-Vou as vou will be the ison for the legetos God is the Lord.  (We only have 8 God is the Lord settings so we'll never have to worry about agia or a stichiaric species of the tone).
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What earthly joy remains untouched by grief?--St. John Damascene
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