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Byzantine Notation

jmbejdl

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Hi all,

Wasn't sure where best to post this so this will do for now. Someone can cheerfully move it if it seems to fit better in a different forum.

On Saturday evening after Vespers, our priest and deacon ganged up on me and press-ganged me into the choir (I am actually happy to do it, so this is a little tongue in cheek). I am rusty but can just about manage to read western notation but the Byzantine stuff might as well be Arabic. For most of our music, this is fine as it's written in both and so I coped OK on Sunday, but some of it is only in the Byzantine and it would be very helpful if I could read it. Does anyone know of any good resources for learning it? I'm sure that Fr. Constantine would be happy to help but I don't want to take up even more of his time if I can help it as he has a full time job as well as being a priest. Any help would be gratefully received. Thanks.

James
 

Anastasios

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A Guide to the Music of the Eastern Orthodox Church which is out of print but can be found in used book searches sometimes is helpful. I wish it would go back into print. Perhaps someone who knows Byz. notation can link us to a site that explains it in detail (I believe the Holy Cross Site had some of it) or we could make that a resource on our site. Any volunteers?

A.
 

chris

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This page describes the orthographic rules for Byzantine notation, and by working through it you can determine the qualitative symbols:

http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/ByzOrthography.pdf

I have not looked throughout the St. Gregory Palamas monastery website, but you will find both Western and Byzantine notation there.

I have the Guide book Anastasios refers to, but I don't have any method of scanning it into electronic format. I moved about half my books out of my dorm; hopefully I can find that book (as well as Savas J. Savas') and then scan them

Other people may be better able to help here than me...
 

SiviSokol

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There are several good sites on the internet. I would start at http://www.synaxis.info/psalom/notation/notation.html
with the work of the late David Melling. Once you have gotten familiar with the notation, I would move on to the resources in http://www.analogion.com/.. There is a fantastic amount of information on the Analogion site, although most of it is intended for the intermediate to advanced chanter. There are several texts in Analogion's 'library' that have notation associated with audio files in a practice-book form. These are very helpful.

When you are ready for a break, you can listen to some very good Byzantine chant in Romanian at http://www.resurse-ortodoxe.com/users/bumbacel/multimedia/audio/Cant%20bizantin.htm

Hope that helps!
 

jmbejdl

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Thank you very much everyone for the resources. It is much appreciated. Hopefully I will be able to contribute properly to the choir rather than quietly struggling along as best I can in the background.

James
 

chris

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SiviSokol,

Great links! Thanks!
 

SiviSokol

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You're welcome! There's others, but the two are the ones that I've found most helpful. Unfortunately, I'm still at a very basic level in my ability to read Byzantine notation (although my 'yphos' is getting more authentic 8))
 

serb1389

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OH GOD!!! **CHOKE** **CHOKE** Please don't anyone EVER put up that link again!!! The byzantine chant part for HC/HC was done who knows how many years ago by people who were not only FAR FROM BEING professionals, they couldn't even read byzantine notation, they did it from memory!!! Unless they've changed it DRASTICALLY since the last time i've checked it out...
 

prodromos

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Here are some more links, courtesy of my teacher at the School of Byzantine Music here in Sydney.

Analogion: by Dimitri Koubaroulis (my teacher)
www.analogion.com

Association of Constantinopolitan Psaltai
www.cmkon.org

Ieropsaltis: by Dimitri Houpas
www.ieropsaltis.com

The latter two are included for reference only as they are in Greek, but they have links pages which may take you to helpful resources.

I just managed to track down three pdf files that used to be at www.church-music.co.uk (now defunct) which were very helpful to me in the beginning. The site which linked to here, www.arimathea.co.uk , still exists. Go to http://www.synaxis.info/psalom/notation/notation.html and scroll down to "Reading Psalmodia - An introduction to modern Byzantine Notation - David J. Melling" to find links to parts 1, 2 and 3.

John.
 

DerekMK

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As an aside to this, I was wondering if James (or anyone for that matter) knows a good source (preferably online) to obtain Romanian church music. Conjugating verbs and memorizing vocabulary only goes so far... I'm looking for something a bit more interesting while I'm studying the language.

Mulțumesc!
 

jmbejdl

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Νεκτάριος said:
As an aside to this, I was wondering if James (or anyone for that matter) knows a good source (preferably online) to obtain Romanian church music.  Conjugating verbs and memorizing vocabulary only goes so far... I'm looking for something a bit more interesting while I'm studying the language. ÂÂ

MulÈ›umesc! ÂÂ
Do you mean written music or something to listen to? If you mean written, I'll see if our priest or deacon has any good sources online. If you just want to listen to some, then the last link from SiviSokol's first post above is great. There are a lot of different mp3 files of Romanian chant there and a whole section from Putna Monastery which is wonderful. I'm amazed I've never come across it before and grateful to SiviSokol for the link.

James
 

DerekMK

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Hmmm I somehow missed that link the first time I read through the thead! Thanks for pointing it out; it is precisely what I was looking for.
 

Timos

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http://www.sfgocm.org/music/Articles/HolyWeekBibliography.htm

Scroll down until you see an html website adress in blue. Click on it and it should give you byzantine music in byzantine notation and western notation for akathist hymn, presanctified liturgy, mega apodipno (great compline-don't ask me why it is called "big after dinner"-maybe cuz its supposed to be read after dinner...), holy week, lamentations.


http://www.ec-patr.net/

patriarchate chanters in greek

http://www.ec-patr.net/contents.htm

same as above but categorized chants for church year

http://www.mpa.gr/specials/patriarchate/

video of divine services @ St. George Patrairchal cathedral in the City.


 

augustin717

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As an aside to this, I was wondering if James (or anyone for that matter) knows a good source (preferably online) to obtain Romanian church music. Conjugating verbs and memorizing vocabulary only goes so far... I'm looking for something a bit more interesting while I'm studying the language.
Here you can listen to some Romanian Church Music, that is definitely not psaltic , except for "Paraclisul Maicii Domnului" (Parakleisis of the Mother of God), which is chanted in the so-called Moldavian (or Putna) psaltic style. The Liturgy is a 19th century harmonisation, while the other chants, especially those under the heading of "Cantari religioase" and "Penticostarul si Triodul" are sung in the traditional style of the (former now) Metropolia of Transylvania.
http://www.viatacrestina.org/cntrlg.fox?complex=
 
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