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Question: Do you prefer Byzantine Chant or Russian four-part singing. or something else?
Byzantine chant - 36 (48.6%)
Russian four-part singing - 12 (16.2%)
Russian chant - 7 (9.5%)
some other kind of chant - 15 (20.3%)
some other kind of singing - 4 (5.4%)
Total Voters: 74

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Author Topic: Poll: Byzantine Chant vs. Russian four-part Harmony  (Read 7088 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jurisdiction: Greek/Melkite Catholic
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« Reply #45 on: January 31, 2007, 12:46:00 AM »

My favorite is Byzantine Chant.  But much of the four-part Russian music of the past 200 years or so is truly beautiful.

By the way there are Byzantine Chant settings of the Liturgy in English.  My parish uses two of them; one's OK and the other one's a bit better.   If someone wants I could find out where it was made and give pointers to how you can find it.   I'd also imagine that others exist too, but not easily accessible on the web.  A trip to a seminary bookstore, or to Holy Transfiguration Monastery's website may be valuable.  Also, once you have an official translation of a text I'd imagine "making" your own music by (carefully!) setting the text to a traditional "tune" would not be difficult. 


[FYI, my parish uses Byzantine Chant - almost exclusively in English -  for every service.  Vespers, Orthros Divine Liturgy, Lenten services and all the rest]

O Lord although I desired to blot out
with my tears the handwriting of my many sins
And for the rest of my life to please Thee
through sincere repentance
Yet doth the enemy lead me astray as he wareth
against my sould with his cunning

O Lord before I utterly perish do Thou save me!
Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom!
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« Reply #46 on: February 01, 2007, 01:08:37 AM »


Here is the way i've understood the difference (someone correct me if i'm wrong). 

Standard Russian chant is.....exactly that.  Go to a Russian church, with all the Russian singing and you'll have Russian Chant.  (A lot of quick beats on the same note.. Wink)

If you want 4 part harmony attend a Serbian church with a choir.  that's 4 part harmony.  Mokranjac is the main composer of Serbian 4-part harmony.  Ask your choir director or your priest for an example of Mokranjac and you'll figure it out. 

Byzantine Chant is truly the most appealing to me.  The only reason I like Russian chanting is for maybe 1 or 2 tones...max.  Also because it used to be in Church Slavonic, which was a plus.  But its no longer that way.  The way the tones are really bug me.  All the single note intonations get REALLY REALLY annoying.  If you're going to say 2 sentences on the same note, what's the point?  Just intone the whole thing while you're at it?

Sorry...not trying to make anyone mad, just thought i'd be honest.   Grin

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« Reply #47 on: April 01, 2007, 01:24:32 AM »

Singing in the choir of an OCA (former Russian) parish, I'm most familiar with the Russian 4-part harmonies that the Romanov Tsars invited into the Imperial Chapel, particularly the Obikhod tradition often attributed to L'vov/Bakhmatev.  I will admit, though, that I don't like some of the Obikhod settings of the eight tones for their lack of any real melody--I find that Kievan 4-part settings make use of more interesting melodies.

When it comes to determining which musical traditions are more spiritual uplifting and conducive to worship, I like the more ancient chant traditions much better.  The two ancient Orthodox chant traditions with which I am most familiar are the Byzantine and Znamenny (used extensively throughout Russia prior to Tsar Peter the Great).  Both traditions are in fact very similar with the emphasis on one melodic line overlaying the drone of an ison, the big differences I've observed being that the Znamenny generally uses less ornamented melodies and more frequently moving isons.  Personally, my membership in a parish that inherited its music tradition from Russia has made me somewhat biased towards all things Russian in contrast to things Byzantine.  This leads me to conclude that the old Znamenny chant tradition is my favorite.
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« Reply #48 on: April 01, 2007, 10:29:25 PM »

Strictly speaking, there is no polyphonic chanting (modulo passing tones during the cadences).
What about Georgian chant?
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« Reply #49 on: April 02, 2007, 01:06:15 AM »

What about Georgian chant?

What about it?  I don't know - it is kind of its own beast.  Kinda sort polyphonic.
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« Reply #50 on: April 02, 2007, 02:34:07 PM »

I guess nobody saw/heard The Passion of The Christ according to St. Matthew a couple of days ago...composed by Bishop Hilarion Aleyev of Vienna

« Last Edit: April 02, 2007, 02:38:12 PM by Jakub » Logged

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« Reply #51 on: April 02, 2007, 04:19:31 PM »

I guess nobody saw/heard The Passion of The Christ according to St. Matthew a couple of days ago...composed by Bishop Hilarion Aleyev of Vienna

Yes, I saw only the last two parts of it.  It was a great combination of Orthodox hymns set to BAch inspired orchestral music.  If anyone knows how to get a recording of it or if it will be rebroadcast on EWTN in the near future, please let me know.

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Those who do not read  history are doomed to get their facts from Hollywood--Anonymous

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Vind'ber Selo

« Reply #52 on: April 02, 2007, 11:12:11 PM »


Subcarpathian Prostopinije in "Stara Slavanskoho", of coarse, and not that awful all English revised version that has been "mandated" in the Ruthenian Metropolia Wink!

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« Reply #53 on: April 03, 2007, 12:48:50 AM »

Gregorian chant---I am enraptured by it, and it deepens my prayer to unmeasurable levels. After that, sacred polyphony (Palestrina sends shivers down my spine) and Byzantine chant. I also have a special love for Anglican choral music, especially that heard in choral evensong.
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« Reply #54 on: April 03, 2007, 09:22:38 AM »

Byzantine Chant...performed by these gentlemen  Wink

[Right Click>Save Target As]

Alleluia of the Bridegroom Service (Mode Plagal of the 4rth), ancient Melos (Performed by the Greek Byzantine Choir)
Mode Plagal of the 4th.
Performed by the Greek Byzantine Choir.
Doxastikon of the Matins of Holy & Great Friday
Unknown Composer.
Mode Plagal of the 2nd.
Performed by G.Constantinou.
[Translation: "Glory to the Father & to the Son & to the Holy Spirit".
"They have stripped me of my garments
And clothed me in a scarlet robe.
They have set upon my head a crown of thorns
And have given me a reed in my right hand
That I might dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel"]
Idiomelon (Samoglasen) of Holy and Great Friday
Chanted at "Now & ever" of the Aposticha of the Matins of Holy and Great Friday (before the 12th Gospel).
Mode Plagal of the Fourth.
Composed by Iakovos the Protopsaltes (18th Century).
Performed by the Greek Byzantine Choir.
[Translation: "Now & Ever & unto Ages of Ages Amen".
"Already the pen of sentence is being dipped in ink by unjust judges
 and Jesus is being convicted and condemned to the Cross;
and creation, seeing its Lord on the Cross, is suffering.
But loving Lord, who for me suffer in your bodily nature, glory to you!"

Ἄνωθεν οἱ Προφῆται. Ἦχος Βαρύς.

St. John Papadopoulos "The Koukouzelis"
Tags: Byzantine Chant Prostopinije Gregorian chant Znammeny chant four-part harmony Western Rite music liturgical music 
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