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Byzantine Tones/Sound Samples

RaphaCam

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That's great for curiosity or general reference, but, as a side note for people who aren't trained in Byzantine: it's not enough. The scales used in Byzantine chant are perceivably different from the Western ones, specially in tones 1, 4, 5 and 8.

While we're at that, tones 5 to 8 should respectively be called 1st plagal, 2nd plagal, grave and 4th plagal when one's dealing with the Greek tradition (which includes Albanians and Levantines).
 

Dominika

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That's great for curiosity or general reference, but, as a side note for people who aren't trained in Byzantine: it's not enough. The scales used in Byzantine chant are perceivably different from the Western ones, specially in tones 1, 4, 5 and 8.

While we're at that, tones 5 to 8 should respectively be called 1st plagal, 2nd plagal, grave and 4th plagal when one's dealing with the Greek tradition (which includes Albanians and Levantines).
Levantines - I mean, at least Arabs - use names 5th, 6th etc. (la7n l 5amis for e xample, لحن خامس - the 5th tone), plus also some local names e.g for some types of the 6th tone maqam hijaz kar
 

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Levantines - I mean, at least Arabs - use names 5th, 6th etc. (la7n l 5amis for e xample, لحن خامس - the 5th tone), plus also some local names e.g for some types of the 6th tone maqam hijaz kar
Oh, I had learned otherwise. That's interesting. Do you know if it has always been that way?

I thought this website presented the tones with that numbers in analogy to other customs they might be more used to.
 

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Oh, I had learned otherwise. That's interesting. Do you know if it has always been that way?

I thought this website presented the tones with that numbers in analogy to other customs they might be more used to.
I don't know. I could go through some manuscripts, but frankly I don't have enough time for this now ;)
 

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While we're at that, tones 5 to 8 should respectively be called 1st plagal, 2nd plagal, grave and 4th plagal when one's dealing with the Greek tradition (which includes Albanians and Levantines).
I never really liked the whole "plagal" naming system, especially the discontinuity on 7 . Plus, there's the issue of tone 1 actually being the plagal of 5 ! Give me numbers any day.
 

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That's great for curiosity or general reference, but, as a side note for people who aren't trained in Byzantine: it's not enough. The scales used in Byzantine chant are perceivably different from the Western ones, specially in tones 1, 4, 5 and 8.

While we're at that, tones 5 to 8 should respectively be called 1st plagal, 2nd plagal, grave and 4th plagal when one's dealing with the Greek tradition (which includes Albanians and Levantines).
Do you have sound samples of those?
 

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Do you have sound samples of those?
I didn't give it much search, but you can definitely find more:

Tone 1

Tone 4

Tone 5

Tone 8

Properly adapting them to sheet music readable by someone without a background would be very confusing. Even with a background, some nuances are lost. Which is why neumes, ancient signs that appear in both of these videos, are still widely used.
 
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This is a sound/pitch analysis of the tuning of all 8 modes with instruments and cantors. Tone 2 is the most distinct tuning (soft chromatic which is unlike anything in Western music). The other tunings are diatonic which is like a Western scale with slightly flat E/mi and B/ti (as well as B flat when the melody descends), enharmonic which is identical to a Western scale, and Hard Chromatic (which is identical to the double harmonic minor scale but the major third and leading tone to the octave are semitonally sharper by 1/3rd of a half step)
 

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I never really liked the whole "plagal" naming system, especially the discontinuity on 7 . Plus, there's the issue of tone 1 actually being the plagal of 5 ! Give me numbers any day.
That is not at all true. When we distinguish mele as authentic or plagal, the fundamental question is whether the melos has a tendency to move downwards to "visit" its corresponding plagal (which would make its mode authentic) or whether it has a tendency to move upwards to visit its corresponding authentic (which would make its mode plagal).

I suspect that you are thinking of heirmologic mele when you say this, but the melodic contours of heirmologic mele are too narrow to establish a clear distinction between authentic and plagal based on contour, so that in these mele, the distinction is instead made by the melodic figures used in each mode. Here one must also understand that the choice of starting parallage is purely conventional. Plagal 1st heirmologic being based on ke doesn't imply that it should sit a fifth higher than 1st mode which sits on pa in heirmologic. In practice, most people do not use such a high basis for plagal 1st.

The authentic-plagal distinction by contour applies mostly to sticheraric mele, and the distinction is most clearly seen in old sticheraric mele (like the mele found in the sticherarion of Germanos or the sticherarion of Chrysaphes the Younger), though many traces of it are remain in new sticheraric mele (which have been in use since the late 18th century). In sticheraric, 1st mode has a clear tendency not to establish any sort of tonal center at the fifth above the basis (because 1st mode is already authentic), whereas 1st mode can (occasionally in new sticheraric and very frequently in old sticheraric) cadence at a fifth below its basis (which is the corresponding plagal). Plagal 1st, by contrast, very frequently establishes a tonal center a fifth above its basis (which is the corresponding authentic). 2nd and plagal 2nd also have a very clear authentic-plagal relationship in both new and old sticheraric. 3rd and grave only display a clear authentic-plagal relationship in old sticheraric (this is because in new sticheraric these modes are based almost entirely on heirmologic mele). 4th and plagal 4th have an authentic-plagal relationship which is obscured by the change of 4th mode's conventional basis from di to pa, but which is still clear in old sticheraric from 4th mode's tendency to cadence on low di (low di-pa being equivalent to ni-di). In new sticheraric, 4th mode has been heavily influenced by legetos, which further obscures the relationship, but one does still see occasional cadences on low di which in combination with the impossibility of cadencing on ke helps to establish 4th as an authentic mode.
 

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That is not at all true. When we distinguish mele as authentic or plagal, the fundamental question is whether the melos has a tendency to move downwards to "visit" its corresponding plagal (which would make its mode authentic) or whether it has a tendency to move upwards to visit its corresponding authentic (which would make its mode plagal).

I suspect that you are thinking of heirmologic mele when you say this, but the melodic contours of heirmologic mele are too narrow to establish a clear distinction between authentic and plagal based on contour, so that in these mele, the distinction is instead made by the melodic figures used in each mode. Here one must also understand that the choice of starting parallage is purely conventional. Plagal 1st heirmologic being based on ke doesn't imply that it should sit a fifth higher than 1st mode which sits on pa in heirmologic. In practice, most people do not use such a high basis for plagal 1st.

The authentic-plagal distinction by contour applies mostly to sticheraric mele, and the distinction is most clearly seen in old sticheraric mele (like the mele found in the sticherarion of Germanos or the sticherarion of Chrysaphes the Younger), though many traces of it are remain in new sticheraric mele (which have been in use since the late 18th century). In sticheraric, 1st mode has a clear tendency not to establish any sort of tonal center at the fifth above the basis (because 1st mode is already authentic), whereas 1st mode can (occasionally in new sticheraric and very frequently in old sticheraric) cadence at a fifth below its basis (which is the corresponding plagal). Plagal 1st, by contrast, very frequently establishes a tonal center a fifth above its basis (which is the corresponding authentic). 2nd and plagal 2nd also have a very clear authentic-plagal relationship in both new and old sticheraric. 3rd and grave only display a clear authentic-plagal relationship in old sticheraric (this is because in new sticheraric these modes are based almost entirely on heirmologic mele). 4th and plagal 4th have an authentic-plagal relationship which is obscured by the change of 4th mode's conventional basis from di to pa, but which is still clear in old sticheraric from 4th mode's tendency to cadence on low di (low di-pa being equivalent to ni-di). In new sticheraric, 4th mode has been heavily influenced by legetos, which further obscures the relationship, but one does still see occasional cadences on low di which in combination with the impossibility of cadencing on ke helps to establish 4th as an authentic mode.
I was taught that each of the tones is something of an "umbrella", and wildly different types of compositions were fit into the tonal system—either from other systems (eg, 24 tones), using various formulae (many of which are "new"), or just creating a "special melody" and hammering it into the tone somebody felt it matched best. I'm not sure when the current form of systemization you're speaking of occurred (I've only learned history second-hand—is that also from Chrysanthos?), but it is difficult for me to reconcile that with the fluidity which existed for well over a millennium. But even with the distinction you're proposing of moving upwards or downwards, I've always heard tone 5 used on a high basis, where plagal 5 (tone 1) has always been very low. And though sticheraric 5 often goes down to pa (in parish usage I rarely noted hiermologic 5 being based on pa), I've always understood this as it visiting *its* plagal. Further, it was taught to me that, whatever the starting note was, tone 5 was frequently sung by tenors (sometimes castrati, despite the canons)—more support for tone 1 being the plagal.

As for tone 4, the basis was very often bou rather than pa, but that may be a Kazan thing, IIRC. I just paged through some old (for me—no longer Antiochian) sheet music and didn't see the fifths between 2 and 6—I see a lot of fourths, however. As you noted, the relationship between 3 and 7 does not follow those patterns well, but in any case that doesn't explain the discontinuity in naming tone 7 specially (eg, why no counterpoint as a "heaven mode" or something?).
 

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That's great for curiosity or general reference, but, as a side note for people who aren't trained in Byzantine: it's not enough. The scales used in Byzantine chant are perceivably different from the Western ones, specially in tones 1, 4, 5 and 8.

While we're at that, tones 5 to 8 should respectively be called 1st plagal, 2nd plagal, grave and 4th plagal when one's dealing with the Greek tradition (which includes Albanians and Levantines).
In my experience, Arabic/Levantine tones are not exactly the same as the Greek/Bulgarian/Romanian ones, personally I have the impression that the Plagal of 2 especially, is "softer" than its Byzantine counterpart, the Levantine one is much more similar to the soft chromatic (2nd)
 
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