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Terirem and types of chant (monody/poliphony)

Dominika

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What does it mean?
it is sound to prolong some hymns.
This name even appears in e.g Byzantine Christmas carols and some other para-liturgical songs if I remember correctly.

It's hard to think of it as anything other than a liturgical abuse. What would happen if an English composer began to put long strings of "fa la la" in the cherubic hymn? I don't think the bishop would be too happy if he heard of it.
I know, for some people it may be controversial, but terirems are usually to prolong hymns at (true) all night vigils (actually, it's one of their characteristics) and e.g koinonikions - Communion hymn, until e.g all priests commune.

You can also ask why Copts do prolong the vowels in their hymns ;) It's to make certain services and hymns more solemn, to prolong the prayers and/or to avoid silence at church.
 
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it is sound to prolong some hymns.
This name even appears in e.g Byzantine Christmas carols and some other para-liturgical songs if I remember correctly.


I know, for some people it may be controversial, but terirems are usually to prolong hymns at (true) all night vigils (actually, it's one of their characteristics) and e.g koinonikions - Communion hymn, until e.g all priests commune.

You can also ask why Copts do prolong the vowels in their hymns ;) It's to make certain services and hymns more solemn, to prolong the prayers and/or to avoid silence at church.
The lengthening of vowels in hymns to form a melisma is fine. Adding the equivalent of "fa la la" or other gibberish when it is not prescribed in the typikon is another.

The purpose of tererim is good (making beautiful ornate music), but I don't think it adds anything more meaningful to the service. It actually reduces the solemnity of the service by having several minutes of incoherent jabbering being unnaturally inserted into hymns of Divine theology.

Focus on word painting (making the melody illustrate the words) and ornamentation, not singing meaningless syllables.
 

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The lengthening of vowels in hymns to form a melisma is fine. Adding the equivalent of "fa la la" or other gibberish when it is not prescribed in the typikon is another.

The purpose of tererim is good (making beautiful ornate music), but I don't think it adds anything more meaningful to the service. It actually reduces the solemnity of the service by having several minutes of incoherent jabbering being unnaturally inserted into hymns of Divine theology.

Focus on word painting (making the melody illustrate the words) and ornamentation, not singing meaningless syllables.
I think kratemata need a certain context. They sometimes do serve a functional need. One time, for example, when I was chanting a liturgy with Metropolitan Joseph visiting, the cherubic hymn we picked (a standard "Sunday" cherubic hymn about 10-12 minutes long) was not long enough to cover everything until the great entrance. In this case, out of necessity, one must extend the last line, ὡς τὸν βασιλέα with a kratema (long cherubic hymns usually have one built in, but having exhausted that, one has to supplement with another kratema), since repeating the text of a through-composed cherubic hymn is neither feasible nor desirable. In other cases, kratemata are built into long papadic compositions and serve to connect different sections of the composition and to punctuate the long melismatic text with faster, more percussive sections.

The typikon does not prescribe kratemata, it is true, but at the same time, kratemata have been built-in features of the melismatic compositions which are prescribed by the typikon since at least the early 1300s, when the typikon was still being formalized, and the kratemata themselves were composed and interspersed in papadic compositions by the protopsaltai and lampadarioi of the Hagia Sophia, so I am not sure one could argue that the typikon prohibits them either.
 
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I think kratemata need a certain context. They sometimes do serve a functional need. One time, for example, when I was chanting a liturgy with Metropolitan Joseph visiting, the cherubic hymn we picked (a standard "Sunday" cherubic hymn about 10-12 minutes long) was not long enough to cover everything until the great entrance.
I understand the need to have an option to lengthen a piece in a context like a visiting bishop. I just don't think syllables are a very appropriate way of doing it when one could sing the words more melismatically.
In this case, out of necessity, one must extend the last line, ὡς τὸν βασιλέα with a kratema (long cherubic hymns usually have one built in, but having exhausted that, one has to supplement with another kratema), since repeating the text of a through-composed cherubic hymn is neither feasible nor desirable. In other cases, kratemata are built into long papadic compositions and serve to connect different sections of the composition and to punctuate the long melismatic text with faster, more percussive sections.
Why can't some text be repeated? At my Church, we repeat "now let us lay aside every earthly care.." etc several times if it is necessary to lengthen it. To be fair, we sing choral music during Divine Liturgy which is easier to repeat than Byzantine chant, but I don't see why a particular verse couldn't be redone.

It reminds me a bit of the Latin polyphony that sang multiple texts at the same time. It might sound nice but it's not coherent, and therefore not ideal for worship.
Better to understand one word with meaning than a thousand syllables that have no meaning.
 
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Better to understand one word with meaning than a thousand syllables that have no meaning.
I should note that "Byzantine music" isn't some monolithic thing, as the neo-Byzantine music me have in some places today—which is polyphonic, with innovations like the ison—would be considered serious aberration in an earlier time. When I led the Byzantine chant program at a parish some years ago, we were very careful not just to keep the pacing in check (which helps people follow along, keep step in processions, etc) but prevent any strange practices like "isoning", which destroy the monophonic character of the music whereby every single person can chant together—polyphony can really break down the integrity of the worshiping community, which is why it was practically unheard of until about the time of the Protestant Reformation. I'm grateful for some of the previous videos, but moreso as an example of the newer (century-wise) practices which I strenuously *avoided* and would not allow at the kliros because they did not capture the older spirit of the communal Orthodox chanting tradition.
 

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I understand the need to have an option to lengthen a piece in a context like a visiting bishop. I just don't think syllables are a very appropriate way of doing it when one could sing the words more melismatically.

Why can't some text be repeated? At my Church, we repeat "now let us lay aside every earthly care.." etc several times if it is necessary to lengthen it. To be fair, we sing choral music during Divine Liturgy which is easier to repeat than Byzantine chant, but I don't see why a particular verse couldn't be redone.

It reminds me a bit of the Latin polyphony that sang multiple texts at the same time. It might sound nice but it's not coherent, and therefore not ideal for worship.
Better to understand one word with meaning than a thousand syllables that have no meaning.
I know that this is a thing that people do with Russian polyphony, where cherubic hymns are often composed in a quasi-strophic structure, with the text divided into several parts that are set to nearly-identical music (like Bortniansky no. 5), but that's not how cherubic hymns in Byzantine music are structured. They are through-composed, and the way phrases flow into each other can be rather complicated so that it's not as easy as picking a spot in the music to rewind to and sing again. Doing so would wreck the coherence of the music. It's also just not done in our practice, our bishop, from what I recall, has expressed his desire for choirs not to repeat "let us lay aside" until the entrance.

You are, of course, free to dislike kratemata (St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain wasn't a fan either). However, since St. John Koukouzelis composed kratemata in his papadic pieces, I'm not sure they're this bogeyman of horrid irrationality that people make them out to be.
 

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I should note that "Byzantine music" isn't some monolithic thing, as the neo-Byzantine music me have in some places today
This is a tired trope. Byzantine music is homogenous in the sense that the received tradition is the only kind of Byzantine Music which is actually used in practice. Everything else is a kind of speculative reconstruction of how Byzantine music sounded in some earlier time, which while intellectually interesting is nevertheless not suited for use in church, precisely because we cannot be certain if these reconstructions are correct, whereas we do know that the received tradition is what exists in continuity with older forms of Byzantine music.

—which is polyphonic
To call ison polyphony is an abuse of terminology. Ison lacks the independence that the multiple voices of a polyphonic composition should have. Conceptually, it resembles organum more than any other concept from Western Music insofar as it is not independent and it is an optional part of the music.

with innovations like the ison—would be considered serious aberration in an earlier time.
This is all speculation on your part. It is impossible to know when ison arose because it was never notated in scores until the 20th century, even though we know for certain that the practice is older than that. It is even more impossible to know that some imagined earlier generation would have found it to be a serious aberration.

When I led the Byzantine chant program at a parish some years ago, we were very careful not just to keep the pacing in check (which helps people follow along, keep step in processions, etc) but prevent any strange practices like "isoning",
How can you call something which is completely normative a "strange practice"? Ison is used in every great center of Byzantine music, and has been well-documented for several centuries.

which destroy the monophonic character of the music whereby every single person can chant together
How exactly can every person in a church chant together to the text of an idiomelon which has a unique melody and is sung only once a year? It takes a trained group to sing such a hymn together, which is probably part of why the Synod of Laodicea prohibited congregational singing in its 15th canon.

polyphony can really break down the integrity of the worshiping community, which is why it was practically unheard of until about the time of the Protestant Reformation.
This is just factually not true. True polyphony in the West is conventionally regarded as beginning with the Notre Dame school and the ars antiqua, which began some three centuries before the Protestant Reformation.

I'm grateful for some of the previous videos, but moreso as an example of the newer (century-wise) practices which I strenuously *avoided* and would not allow at the kliros because they did not capture the older spirit of the communal Orthodox chanting tradition.
As I mentioned above, communal chanting is canonically prohibited by the 15th canon of Laodicea, a council which was implicitly approved by the Council of Chalcedon and was explicitly approved by Trullo.
 
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I should note that "Byzantine music" isn't some monolithic thing, as the neo-Byzantine music me have in some places today—which is polyphonic, with innovations like the ison—
As cavardossi said, ison is not polyphonic. It is not even introducing another "part". It is a enhancer to help the chanter keep the tonic.
When I led the Byzantine chant program at a parish some years ago, we were very careful not just to keep the pacing in check (which helps people follow along, keep step in processions, etc) but prevent any strange practices like "isoning",
I fail to see how it is strange when it has been ubiquitous for centuries...
which destroy the monophonic character of the music whereby every single person can chant together—polyphony can really break down the integrity of the worshiping community, which is why it was practically unheard of until about the time of the Protestant Reformation.
1. As noted,, it does not make it polyphonic but is an accompaniment of the tonic of the current tetrachord or dominant. Not another "part".
2. As Cavaradossi said, sacred polyphony proper in the West predates the Reformation by several hundred years. It actually began to decline after the Reformation with the beginning of the baroque period as well as the Reformation called for simplification of music.

However, we have treatises of organum from the 800s, implyint polyphony (or at least simple harmonized hymns) began closer to the time of St. Pope Gregory than the Ars Nova and Notre Dame schools. These treatises include both parallel harmonics of 4th, 5ths, and octaves, as well as a harmonic drone (line organum). It can hardly be argued that this was a liturgical abuse, given that in both East and West only the trained choir would sing. Further, take the instance of Georgian chant which is the oldest known polyphonic system. It has three parts which represent the persons of the Trinity and at the end of hymns the voices come into unison to show how the three are one. How does this diminish the integrity of the worshipping community?
I'm grateful for some of the previous videos, but moreso as an example of the newer (century-wise) practices which I strenuously *avoided* and would not allow at the kliros because they did not capture the older spirit of the communal Orthodox chanting tradition.
The oldest tradition is communal, that is true. But so was the sign of the cross originally preformed on the forehead. Without rejecting the proper place of congregational singing, the received tradition of the Church is to have a trained choir as established in the canons that Cavaradossi already cited.

This is one topic that proves irksome to me. Just because polyphony is from the West or can have abusive forms does not mean it is all bad. It is a sort of Byzantine music iconoclasm that demands all Orthodox musical traditions revert to plain chant. I do not think this is necessary. Choir music can be beautiful, reverent, easier to be trained in, and points to a Divine Harmonizer. That said, choir music should be ideally based on the ecclesiastical modes (as it originally was in the West prior to baroque - and for the most part Russian composers like Rachmaninoff followed suit with modulating znammeny melodies). There should not be operatic performances nor should the words be hard to understand. But aside from those minor corrections, why should polyphony or harmonized music be completely abolished in the name of communal chanting when we know the laity is not going to sing a 10 minute melismatic cherubikon anyway? The solution is to train and invest the laity in the various traditions of ecclesiastical music, not dumb down the music to a "older" practice that has not been received.
 
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It has three parts which represent the persons of the Trinity and at the end of hymns the voices come into unison to show how the three are one.
Do you have an example? I rarely listen to Gregorian chant so that is certainly a detail I have missed.
 
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Do you have an example? I rarely listen to Gregorian chant so that is certainly a detail I have missed.
It's Georgian chant (from the country of Georgia) not Gregorian. Similar names though.
Here is a Christ has risen:

I have two books of Georgian chant that are at my church. It's all in Georgian language but if you want an example of sheet music I can take a picture on Wednesday.
 

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This is a tired trope. Byzantine music is homogenous in the sense that the received tradition is the only kind of Byzantine Music which is actually used in practice. Everything else is a kind of speculative reconstruction of how Byzantine music sounded in some earlier time, which while intellectually interesting is nevertheless not suited for use in church, precisely because we cannot be certain if these reconstructions are correct, whereas we do know that the received tradition is what exists in continuity with older forms of Byzantine music.
I don't think it is necessary for reconstructions to be merely speculative, anymore than our reconstructions or translations of the Biblical texts prevent their use liturgically. And I don't suppose that any given composer's composition is the "definitive" form of chant, Byzantine or otherwise, so it really is not an insurmountable issue whether a certain melody is 100% preserved—the music is the setting for the theology, not the other way around. But the monophonic principles remain, and it is very simple to both use neo-Byzantine music in a more traditional way or to create new monophonic compositions according to the local musical customs (within reason and Orthodox tradition)—I'm fine with either approach.

To call ison polyphony is an abuse of terminology. Ison lacks the independence that the multiple voices of a polyphonic composition should have. Conceptually, it resembles organum more than any other concept from Western Music insofar as it is not independent and it is an optional part of the music.
I think that is a debatable definition, but you are correct to point out how it does differ from more blatant forms of polyphony. And that is probably part of the story of how it was, at least initially, seen to be of little concern and perhaps "snuck in" more places that it would have otherwise. But sometimes things of little concern show themselves to be harbingers of much bigger changes, and I prefer to be very careful "around the edges", which is usually where novelty creeps in.

This is all speculation on your part. It is impossible to know when ison arose because it was never notated in scores until the 20th century, even though we know for certain that the practice is older than that. It is even more impossible to know that some imagined earlier generation would have found it to be a serious aberration.
Oh, I haven't provided any precise date for the acceptance of the novel ison, other than to say that there was a definite explosion of polyphony in connection with the Reformation, which is where we really start hearing of it. But it is clear that isoning *did* arise at some point (else we wouldn't be talking about it), and that pretty much every early chant tradition we have was monophonic. So whenever and however you want to date it, it was a novel change—monophonic chant was the norm.

How can you call something which is completely normative a "strange practice"? Ison is used in every great center of Byzantine music, and has been well-documented for several centuries.
"Several centuries" is the problem.

How exactly can every person in a church chant together to the text of an idiomelon which has a unique melody and is sung only once a year? It takes a trained group to sing such a hymn together, which is probably part of why the Synod of Laodicea prohibited congregational singing in its 15th canon.
Not every person can chant everything—that is a red herring, because every chanter cannot chant everything, either! But those who can sing along are able to do so together, in monophonic unity, under the direction of the lead chanter. Organum is not as large an issue as modern polyphony, which gets into all sorts of weird questions regarding who is leading (and thus the liturgical hierarchy), but it really just muddles the music—this is apparent even on the most highly-acclaimed recordings above. Whether or not it has a certain "feel" or not that we're nostalgic for, it is an impediment to worship. There is no question that such techniques put the aesthetics of music above the theology of liturgy.

This is just factually not true. True polyphony in the West is conventionally regarded as beginning with the Notre Dame school and the ars antiqua, which began some three centuries before the Protestant Reformation.
I think the Frankish historical oddity (which is not the first such Frankish innovation) that is ars antiqua—and its suppression—is quite indicative of the normal attitude towards polyphony: "nope". Whether or not the legend regarding the Pope Marcellus Mass (which was very early Reformation) and the near-banning of polyphony by Trent is true, the wide circulation of that story suggests that the skepticism towards polyphony is as widespread and deep-rooted as I've said. That polyphony was accepted at all, in any form, is related to the Roman Catholic liturgical use of the organ, which is yet another innovation. In other words, that a Roman Catholic council and hierarchy which had already accepted organ music was simultaneously so skeptical of chant-based polyphony speaks volumes. In any case, the sparse non-monophonic examples we have from that and earlier periods were similarly suppressed, rejected, or simply neglected due to their utter unsuitability for traditional use.

As I mentioned above, communal chanting is canonically prohibited by the 15th canon of Laodicea, a council which was implicitly approved by the Council of Chalcedon and was explicitly approved by Trullo.
I really want to hit on this, since I do so much work with the canons. This is an interpretation of the canon I've heard before, but it does not make sense—is every local Church since Laodicea therefore noncanonical? Indeed, a number of the Laodicean canons are very vague, which doesn't really help things, so I can kind of sympathize with the confusion. But the immediate context here is reading from the ambo, for which a person must be (at least) tonsured and must use a "book" (ie, not merely from memory). Whether this is meant to compliment canon 16 (liturgical Scripture readings) or refers to leading chant from the ambo (much less likely), this canon *does not* preclude the entire congregation from participating. St Basil, a canonist himself, attests to this: "So that psalmody, bringing about choral singing, a bond, as it were, toward unity, and joining the people into a harmonious union of one choir, produces also the greatest of blessings, charity." (Homilies On Psalms: 1.2). I would not want to be an enemy of the "union of one choir", much less "charity", so I do not understand those who attack this greatly-blessed tradition of the Church and try to introduce excessive soloing, near-impossible compositions, and other devious devices with which to break up the unity of the congregation worshiping with one voice together in Christ. So let it be known: congregational singing is quite canonical.
 

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The oldest tradition is communal, that is true. But so was the sign of the cross originally preformed on the forehead.
Not to get too off-topic, but it still is practiced this way—along with the other forms.

Without rejecting the proper place of congregational singing, the received tradition of the Church is to have a trained choir as established in the canons that Cavaradossi already cited.
Already dealt with the canon.

This is one topic that proves irksome to me. Just because polyphony is from the West or can have abusive forms does not mean it is all bad. It is a sort of Byzantine music iconoclasm that demands all Orthodox musical traditions revert to plain chant. I do not think this is necessary. Choir music can be beautiful, reverent, easier to be trained in, and points to a Divine Harmonizer. That said, choir music should be ideally based on the ecclesiastical modes (as it originally was in the West prior to baroque - and for the most part Russian composers like Rachmaninoff followed suit with modulating znammeny melodies). There should not be operatic performances nor should the words be hard to understand. But aside from those minor corrections, why should polyphony or harmonized music be completely abolished in the name of communal chanting when we know the laity is not going to sing a 10 minute melismatic cherubikon anyway? The solution is to train and invest the laity in the various traditions of ecclesiastical music, not dumb down the music to a "older" practice that has not been received.
Oh, please do not misunderstand me. I use the terms Eastern and Western somewhat imprecisely (not sure there is a precise definition) for the sake of clarity, less so for any polemics. I'm no Romanidean. That a practice began in Rome or Russia or Raithu is not perfectly indicative of its Orthodoxy or heterodoxy. My issues with polyphony are theological, and they're largely restricted to liturgical issues—hence my giant collection of post-WWII pop from around the world. I don't propose "dumbing down" music. And I don't propose limiting ourselves to a certain period in history, certain cultural style, or any other such artificial limitation. But I do propose that monophonic, congregational chant is the norm in Orthodoxy—and I agree we need much more training, seriousness, and holiness surrounding our liturgical music tradition.
 
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That a practice began in Rome or Russia or Raithu is not perfectly indicative of its Orthodoxy or heterodoxy. My issues with polyphony are theological, and they're largely restricted to liturgical issues—hence my giant collection of post-WWII pop from around the world. I don't propose "dumbing down" music. And I don't propose limiting ourselves to a certain period in history, certain cultural style, or any other such artificial limitation. But I do propose that monophonic, congregational chant is the norm in Orthodoxy—and I agree we need much more training, seriousness, and holiness surrounding our liturgical music tradition.
What theological/liturgical issue would that be? I presume you think it detracts from the unity of the voices which have a symbolic quality? If we're talking full counterpuntal polyphonic music then I can see your argument (though I think I disagree), but the vast majority of the Russian choral tradition is heterophonic (chords, and not interdependent melodies), so I don't see how it obstructs the unity of the voices to any major sense. Furthermore, I posit that choral music shows forth Divine harmony in a symbolic sense just as much as monophonic chant. God was the one who designed beauty and music, and all the mathematically pleasing ratios that fit together into harmony. I don't view the different voices as somehow dividing the choir, rather they are all blending into one "rational worship" that points to the designer of musical logic.
 

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What theological/liturgical issue would that be? I presume you think it detracts from the unity of the voices which have a symbolic quality? If we're talking full counterpuntal polyphonic music then I can see your argument (though I think I disagree), but the vast majority of the Russian choral tradition is heterophonic (chords, and not interdependent melodies), so I don't see how it obstructs the unity of the voices to any major sense. Furthermore, I posit that choral music shows forth Divine harmony in a symbolic sense just as much as monophonic chant. God was the one who designed beauty and music, and all the mathematically pleasing ratios that fit together into harmony. I don't view the different voices as somehow dividing the choir, rather they are all blending into one "rational worship" that points to the designer of musical logic.
This is something I've just not seen a systematic treatment of, and I do not have one to give you of my own construction—I've got some leads and it is one of my (many) long-running projects but it just isn't ready. So most of my issues are currently ad hoc (many centered around unity, symbolism, and order, as you have correctly guessed), yet I'm not really able to get into much of a debate until I have a firmer foundation. Where I'm at, polyphony (and anything "heterophonic") is not used at all, though I'm not certain one way or the other whether this is a deal-breaking issue that needs to be dealt with in council or whether some polyphony is ok under some limited circumstances—again, there just aren't any good systematic treatments so I don't want to "break new ground" here either way. But I would caution against the idea that because something is beautiful that it belongs in liturgy. I have heard plenty of beautiful music—and seen plenty of beautiful things—that do not inherently distract me but belong nowhere near a Church building (canonically, due to scandalizing others, etc)—our perception of beauty is not the sole (or even primary, depending on we mean by beauty) criterion for determining what is and is not Orthodox.
 

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This is something I've just not seen a systematic treatment of, and I do not have one to give you of my own construction—I've got some leads and it is one of my (many) long-running projects but it just isn't ready. So most of my issues are currently ad hoc (many centered around unity, symbolism, and order, as you have correctly guessed), yet I'm not really able to get into much of a debate until I have a firmer foundation. Where I'm at, polyphony (and anything "heterophonic") is not used at all, though I'm not certain one way or the other whether this is a deal-breaking issue that needs to be dealt with in council or whether some polyphony is ok under some limited circumstances—again, there just aren't any good systematic treatments so I don't want to "break new ground" here either way. But I would caution against the idea that because something is beautiful that it belongs in liturgy. I have heard plenty of beautiful music—and seen plenty of beautiful things—that do not inherently distract me but belong nowhere near a Church building (canonically, due to scandalizing others, etc)—our perception of beauty is not the sole (or even primary, depending on we mean by beauty) criterion for determining what is and is not Orthodox.
Taken to its absurd conclusion, by this logic women and men should not even sing together in church since the natural tendency will be for them to sing with octave displacement, itself a form of parallel organum which above you classified as a kind of gateway drug to polyphony. I do not know what else can be said. It seems that you seek after a mythical kind of musical purity which never existed and it has led you to the rejection of the vast majority of the received tradition of Orthodox ecclesiastical music, for you would have to reject Russian music, Georgian music (which is of undoubtably antiquity), and the received tradition of Byzantine chant in this quest for monophonic purity.
 
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It's Georgian chant (from the country of Georgia) not Gregorian. Similar names though.
Here is a Christ has risen:

I have two books of Georgian chant that are at my church. It's all in Georgian language but if you want an example of sheet music I can take a picture on Wednesday.
My mistake, thank you. That would be interesting to see.
 
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Taken to its absurd conclusion, by this logic women and men should not even sing together in church since the natural tendency will be for them to sing with octave displacement, itself a form of parallel organum which above you classified as a kind of gateway drug to polyphony. I do not know what else can be said. It seems that you seek after a mythical kind of musical purity which never existed and it has led you to the rejection of the vast majority of the received tradition of Orthodox ecclesiastical music, for you would have to reject Russian music, Georgian music (which is of undoubtably antiquity), and the received tradition of Byzantine chant in this quest for monophonic purity.
Yes technically octave singing is not unison... it's a harmony. Interesting point.

@Bizzlebin
I think your arguments that polyphony was always treated with suspicion are not historically founded. 1. As I already mentioned, we have organum treatises 300 years before the ars antiqua school of polyphony. While the Notre Dame school clearly made advancements in developing polyphony, it wasn't exactly like they invented it. It's more likely it had existed long prior, and even the existence of the treatises in the 800s and 900s to me shows that the practice probably goes back to the 600s or even 500s. There was never any controversy about it.
2. I can't find any record for the ars antiqua being treated with suspicion. It seemed to be well known and popular. What I did find was a Jacob de Liege critiqued the Ars Nova (which was substantially different than Ars Antiqua) as being irreverent.
There are several possible reasons for that"
A. The melody was based on a secular tune (common sometimes in the Renaissance and a liturgical abuse that was eventually rooted out. The vast majority of Renaissance polyphonic music is based on the original plainchant melodies )
B. In a motet, the tenor or counter tenor would often sing a profane French text underneath a liturgical hymn.
C. Composers began composing secular music in general (for instance, Machaut with his love chansons)
D. The medieval ear was very particular to consonance, so if a hymn was harmonically discordant it would be seen as distracting or irreverent.
3. You keep on saying that Polyphony and the Reformation are connected, but this isn't the case. The reformation generally wanted to abolish counterpuntal polyphony because the words were harder to understand as well as among groups like the Reformed a general musical iconoclasm (they would only allow for psalm singing.) But this wasn't trying to revert the Church back to monophonic chant, for they kept harmonized hymns. Choral polyphony as we know it now really began in force in the 1450s and reached its zenith (meaning most developed techniques and realization of different musical schools) in about 1515, two years prior to the Reformation. After the Reformation/council of Trent era composers were generally conservative in preferring ornamentation of received plainchant melodies as well as broadly following the Italian school of polyphony which did not generally allow as much variation, except for a few Spanish composers who allowed for some chromatica. After 1600, polyphony started to decline in favor of baroque classical music although polyphony was still composed throughout.
4. You also mention the anecdotal vindication of polyphony at the Council of Trent.
A. This is an apocryphal story that is supposed to bolster the genius of Palestrina. There is no evidence it happened. Given we don't know when this story began to circulate, it's unlikely it shows any factual basis to think Rome would have been against polyphony but is only a legend about a composer.
B. If it was true it doesn't mean that Rome was about to go to only monophonic music. Likely, it was based on the Protestant critique of some polyphony that was too secular, decadent, or too hard to understand, and not a rejection of all harmonized music. After Trent we do find a priority in the Italian school to make the words more comprehensible, so that would reflect the counterreformation ideal, not going back to only Gregorian chant.

Also, IRRC in my history of the council of Florence that the Greek delegates were exposed to some polyphony (probably composed by Guillaume DuFay or some other Burgundian school composer living in Italy) and the Greeks complimented the Latins for it as "sweet and harmonious".
 
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3 part organum from Fulbert de Chartres, who is an unofficial saint in the Roman Catholic Church but died in 1028 right before the 1054 schism. Reformer and wrote hymns for the Nativity of the Virgin as well as preaching the importance of the Mother of God. Possibly could be considered an Orthodox saint in theory. Noting this was still a good 120 years before the Notre Dame school and ars antiqua.
 

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@Bizzlebin
I think your arguments that polyphony was always treated with suspicion are not historically founded. 1. As I already mentioned, we have organum treatises 300 years before the ars antiqua school of polyphony. While the Notre Dame school clearly made advancements in developing polyphony, it wasn't exactly like they invented it. It's more likely it had existed long prior, and even the existence of the treatises in the 800s and 900s to me shows that the practice probably goes back to the 600s or even 500s. There was never any controversy about it.
2. I can't find any record for the ars antiqua being treated with suspicion. It seemed to be well known and popular. What I did find was a Jacob de Liege critiqued the Ars Nova (which was substantially different than Ars Antiqua) as being irreverent.
There are several possible reasons for that"
A. The melody was based on a secular tune (common sometimes in the Renaissance and a liturgical abuse that was eventually rooted out. The vast majority of Renaissance polyphonic music is based on the original plainchant melodies )
B. In a motet, the tenor or counter tenor would often sing a profane French text underneath a liturgical hymn.
C. Composers began composing secular music in general (for instance, Machaut with his love chansons)
D. The medieval ear was very particular to consonance, so if a hymn was harmonically discordant it would be seen as distracting or irreverent.
3. You keep on saying that Polyphony and the Reformation are connected, but this isn't the case. The reformation generally wanted to abolish counterpuntal polyphony because the words were harder to understand as well as among groups like the Reformed a general musical iconoclasm (they would only allow for psalm singing.) But this wasn't trying to revert the Church back to monophonic chant, for they kept harmonized hymns. Choral polyphony as we know it now really began in force in the 1450s and reached its zenith (meaning most developed techniques and realization of different musical schools) in about 1515, two years prior to the Reformation. After the Reformation/council of Trent era composers were generally conservative in preferring ornamentation of received plainchant melodies as well as broadly following the Italian school of polyphony which did not generally allow as much variation, except for a few Spanish composers who allowed for some chromatica. After 1600, polyphony started to decline in favor of baroque classical music although polyphony was still composed throughout.
4. You also mention the anecdotal vindication of polyphony at the Council of Trent.
A. This is an apocryphal story that is supposed to bolster the genius of Palestrina. There is no evidence it happened. Given we don't know when this story began to circulate, it's unlikely it shows any factual basis to think Rome would have been against polyphony but is only a legend about a composer.
B. If it was true it doesn't mean that Rome was about to go to only monophonic music. Likely, it was based on the Protestant critique of some polyphony that was too secular, decadent, or too hard to understand, and not a rejection of all harmonized music. After Trent we do find a priority in the Italian school to make the words more comprehensible, so that would reflect the counterreformation ideal, not going back to only Gregorian chant.

Also, IRRC in my history of the council of Florence that the Greek delegates were exposed to some polyphony (probably composed by Guillaume DuFay or some other Burgundian school composer living in Italy) and the Greeks complimented the Latins for it as "sweet and harmonious".
These are all really good points. Ultimately, in my opinion, the influence of the Protestant revolution and the Renaissance Humanism caused both sides to shift the primary emphasis to the comprehensibility of the text. We see the effects of this shift of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation in explosion of homophonic chorales in the German countries and sacred monodies in Italy and Spain.

I do question how "authentic" this primary emphasis on the comprehensibility of text is. We already know from the Gregorian repertory that melismatic chants must have been quite old, and as you mention, nobody really objected to the Ars Antiqua of the High Middle Ages, which featured music which was similarly melismatic and difficult to comprehend (if our modern reconstructions of pieces from that time period are reasonably correct). Clearly, the ancients were not uncomfortable sacrificing some intelligibility for the sake of musical beauty.
 

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It's hard to think of it as anything other than a liturgical abuse. What would happen if an English composer began to put long strings of "fa la la" in the cherubic hymn? I don't think the bishop would be too happy if he heard of it.
Why? If one had to prolong the service, either because a gazillion of people are communing or because it's a major feast with many celebrating priests, why not use fa la la, or la la la, or what ever? I don't think that either is disrespectful. God is not going to "get mad" because we're enjoying the service and prolong it with a melisma! Do you find the following disrespectful?
(They're dancing in the church, they're using instruments, oh the horror, THE HORROR!!)
 

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Hi people

This post is low-content and not related to the topic. Please read the forum rules. Next time you will get points.
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Back from my post-Meeting vacation!

Yes technically octave singing is not unison... it's a harmony. Interesting point.
Pitch and note are different. This has been true even since pagan Greek times. Not sure how the use of a single monophonic note in unison means that other pitches cannot be used for those who are biologically more suited to other octaves—regardless of gender.

I think your arguments that polyphony was always treated with suspicion are not historically founded. 1. As I already mentioned, we have organum treatises 300 years before the ars antiqua school of polyphony. While the Notre Dame school clearly made advancements in developing polyphony, it wasn't exactly like they invented it. It's more likely it had existed long prior, and even the existence of the treatises in the 800s and 900s to me shows that the practice probably goes back to the 600s or even 500s. There was never any controversy about it.
Most of the organum is secular. The stuff from St Fulbert was a good counterexample. If you can find me 2 or 3 more examples of composers in good standing, ideally pre-Schism but not from the same region or order or "line", that would be fairly conclusive for me—enough for me to go back and recheck with some of my highly-placed Antiochian teachers and sources (US East Coast) who have written papers on the history of Byzantine chant. I'm trying to follow the scholarship here (this is not my primary field of study, though I've led monophonic chant from multiple traditions in parish after parish across jurisdictions—I'm surprised that this seems abnormal to you), but if they do not represent the best scholarship then I'd certainly like to know.

2. I can't find any record for the ars antiqua being treated with suspicion. It seemed to be well known and popular. What I did find was a Jacob de Liege critiqued the Ars Nova (which was substantially different than Ars Antiqua) as being irreverent.
There are several possible reasons for that"
A. The melody was based on a secular tune (common sometimes in the Renaissance and a liturgical abuse that was eventually rooted out. The vast majority of Renaissance polyphonic music is based on the original plainchant melodies )
B. In a motet, the tenor or counter tenor would often sing a profane French text underneath a liturgical hymn.
C. Composers began composing secular music in general (for instance, Machaut with his love chansons)
D. The medieval ear was very particular to consonance, so if a hymn was harmonically discordant it would be seen as distracting or irreverent.
Not very worried about the arguments regarding the wildly profane stuff—I don't think anyone here is using that as justification one way or the other.

3. You keep on saying that Polyphony and the Reformation are connected, but this isn't the case. The reformation generally wanted to abolish counterpuntal polyphony because the words were harder to understand as well as among groups like the Reformed a general musical iconoclasm (they would only allow for psalm singing.) But this wasn't trying to revert the Church back to monophonic chant, for they kept harmonized hymns. Choral polyphony as we know it now really began in force in the 1450s and reached its zenith (meaning most developed techniques and realization of different musical schools) in about 1515, two years prior to the Reformation. After the Reformation/council of Trent era composers were generally conservative in preferring ornamentation of received plainchant melodies as well as broadly following the Italian school of polyphony which did not generally allow as much variation, except for a few Spanish composers who allowed for some chromatica. After 1600, polyphony started to decline in favor of baroque classical music although polyphony was still composed throughout.
The timing is very close, based on what I have been taught by numerous other chanters, including some who set music of the Antiochian Archdiocese. Again, it is possible they are incorrect here—I will follow the evidence. I do not think that Protestantism itself *caused* polyphony (nor is that their claim, IIRC), but I wonder if there are some common causes for their explosion at nearly the same time.

4. You also mention the anecdotal vindication of polyphony at the Council of Trent.
A. This is an apocryphal story that is supposed to bolster the genius of Palestrina. There is no evidence it happened. Given we don't know when this story began to circulate, it's unlikely it shows any factual basis to think Rome would have been against polyphony but is only a legend about a composer.
B. If it was true it doesn't mean that Rome was about to go to only monophonic music. Likely, it was based on the Protestant critique of some polyphony that was too secular, decadent, or too hard to understand, and not a rejection of all harmonized music. After Trent we do find a priority in the Italian school to make the words more comprehensible, so that would reflect the counterreformation ideal, not going back to only Gregorian chant.
Of course it is apocryphal—I noted that. But the fact that it took hold so readily is intriguing indirect evidence that polyphony was not widely accepted. For example, if somebody created an equally apocryphal story about elephants being banned from processions, we can generally assume there are such things as elephants, there are such things as processions, and the combination is either so absurd (because it would never happen) or it's banning is so believable (because it *should* never happen) that the story was able to take hold. In regards to the polyphony story, we've got similar pieces: the story was so retellable because either polyphony was absurd in a liturgical context or it's banning would be well within the realm of belief. In either case, that demonstrates a cultural attitude towards polyphony that isn't exactly rosy.

Also, IRRC in my history of the council of Florence that the Greek delegates were exposed to some polyphony (probably composed by Guillaume DuFay or some other Burgundian school composer living in Italy) and the Greeks complimented the Latins for it as "sweet and harmonious".
If you can source it here in English, I'll read it.
 
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Back from my post-Meeting vacation!



Pitch and note are different. This has been true even since pagan Greek times. Not sure how the use of a single monophonic note in unison means that other pitches cannot be used for those who are biologically more suited to other octaves—regardless of gender.

An octave is still a type of harmony. Organum developed specifically because boys and men in the choir sang at different octaves, and at some point it developed into 4ths and 5ths as other consonants. This was later called cantus planus binatem



Most of the organum is secular. The stuff from St Fulbert was a good counterexample. If you can find me 2 or 3 more examples of composers in good standing, ideally pre-Schism but not from the same region or order or "line", that would be fairly conclusive for me—enough for me to go back and recheck with some of my highly-placed Antiochian teachers and sources (US East Coast) who have written papers on the history of Byzantine chant.
The earliest, organum, by definition, was not secular. Organum, as developed in particular by the Notre Dame school, took a plainchant melody as the cantus firmus and then added in two or three other voices on top of it as ornamentations. The earlier firms of organum were as I noted as are parellel organum or line organum based on Gregorian chant. Composers: Leonin, Perotin, whoever wrote the Musica Enchiridis and Scholia Enchiriadis which is attributed (possibly falsely) to Hucbald of St. Amand, Albertus Parisiensis (wrote some music in the codex callixtus). These all draw on Gregorian chant, not secular music.

The timing is very close, based on what I have been taught by numerous other chanters, including some who set music of the Antiochian Archdiocese. Again, it is possible they are incorrect here—I will follow the evidence. I do not think that Protestantism itself *caused* polyphony (nor is that their claim, IIRC), but I wonder if there are some common causes for their explosion at nearly the same time.
I guess if you think 1430-1450 is close enough to make a correlation to 1517. The reason polyphony as we know it really took off is because of the discovery of counterpoint and the development of new harmonic principles. It was already around long before, it just sounded different. Again though, Protestantism wanted to abolish polyphony to make the words easy to understand, not to abolish harmonized music.

Of course it is apocryphal—I noted that. But the fact that it took hold so readily is intriguing indirect evidence that polyphony was not widely accepted. For example, if somebody created an equally apocryphal story about elephants being banned from processions, we can generally assume there are such things as elephants, there are such things as processions, and the combination is either so absurd (because it would never happen) or it's banning is so believable (because it *should* never happen) that the story was able to take hold. In regards to the polyphony story, we've got similar pieces: the story was so retellable because either polyphony was absurd in a liturgical context or it's banning would be well within the realm of belief. In either case, that demonstrates a cultural attitude towards polyphony that isn't exactly rosy.
You missed my point. If the Vatican wanted to abolish polyphony, it would be abolishing true, counterpuntal, polyphony, that would be harder to understand and replace it with chord singing and simpler harmonized music i.e by your definition, still polyphony.

If you can source it here in English, I'll read it.
I cannot find the source of this quote as I encountered it 3 years ago. It might have been in Ivan N. Ostroumoff's History of the Council of Florence but I do not know where to find it. However I have found these sources:



Sylvester Syropoulos, an anti-union histographer, writes a description of the rites practiced by the Latins, which according to him were "harmonious, but incomprehensible" but does not critique them. Manuel Chrysaphes, called the " New Koukouzeles" and lampadarios of the Byzantine court, wrote some Byzantine music using organum harmonies. This was done by another lampadarios Manuel Gazes as well (Capella Romana has some recordings).


We know for a fact the schola cantorum sang at Florence, and so it would have had compositions by the Burgundian school like DuFay who wrote for the papal choir. It's interesting to note that St. Mark of Ephesus, who was exposed to the Latin choirs, was very critical in his anti-union homilies of certain Latin practices. I.e against unleavened bread in the Eucharist, the shaving of the priests, and other customs. He does not mention polyphony as one of his objections.
 
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Noting on Sylvester's comment that the Latin music is "incomprehensible", that is not per se a pejorative statement. It is a statement of simple observation, since this is when the choir could be singing two texts at once and therefore the words are literally incomprehensible. For instance, Dufay's hymn Nuper Rosarum Flores has the upper two voices singing a hymn about the church and city of Florence, and the two lower voices are singing "terribilis locut iste" (how terrible/wonderful is this place) which is the introit chant for the consecration of a church. However, this would not be any less comprehensible than than the kalophonic Byzantine compositions.
 

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An octave is still a type of harmony. Organum developed specifically because boys and men in the choir sang at different octaves, and at some point it developed into 4ths and 5ths as other consonants. This was later called cantus planus binatem
Depends on the definition of harmony. If we want to get really technical, the differences in voice between even twins is subtly different and their different overtones could be said to harmonize. But this is not the traditional definition of harmony, nor does it have anything to do with the traditional definition of notes, which is what the Fathers based their music theory on.

The earliest, organum, by definition, was not secular. Organum, as developed in particular by the Notre Dame school, took a plainchant melody as the cantus firmus and then added in two or three other voices on top of it as ornamentations. The earlier firms of organum were as I noted as are parellel organum or line organum based on Gregorian chant. Composers: Leonin, Perotin, whoever wrote the Musica Enchiridis and Scholia Enchiriadis which is attributed (possibly falsely) to Hucbald of St. Amand, Albertus Parisiensis (wrote some music in the codex callixtus). These all draw on Gregorian chant, not secular music.
I'm not certain enough about the definition of organum to say whether it was originally secular or religious or both, but there is clear mixing of secular and pagan religious material in the Musica Enchiriadis. So regardless of definition of organum, I don't see the harmonizing as a normal (or specifically Christian) process in the development of the music. And the sources are ones that do not fit what I was looking for, as they're pretty much the definition of a single lineage: they're nearly all Franks, from the same area (even the very same cathedral!), and from the same general time—that is classic local aberration, not catholic acceptance.

I guess if you think 1430-1450 is close enough to make a correlation to 1517. The reason polyphony as we know it really took off is because of the discovery of counterpoint and the development of new harmonic principles. It was already around long before, it just sounded different. Again though, Protestantism wanted to abolish polyphony to make the words easy to understand, not to abolish harmonized music.
Harmony was around from before recorded history and certainly played into ancient musical traditions—we hear this in primitive cultures the world over. Percussion, harmony, and the rest are not new, nor did they require any Renaissance philosophical principles, whether or not there were some theoretical advances made slightly pre-Reformation. What was new, as far as I have been taught, was the integration of those musical practices into liturgical music, which were very specifically excluded from orthodox liturgical music for over a millennium—that's the innovation I'm questioning, not non-liturgical development.

You missed my point. If the Vatican wanted to abolish polyphony, it would be abolishing true, counterpuntal, polyphony, that would be harder to understand and replace it with chord singing and simpler harmonized music i.e by your definition, still polyphony.
I think that begs the question, and gets to the other question of whether organum is polyphony. I'm not sure there is any period source (even secular source!) who would say organum is monophonic. Do you have a source?

Sylvester Syropoulos, an anti-union histographer, writes a description of the rites practiced by the Latins, which according to him were "harmonious, but incomprehensible" but does not critique them. Manuel Chrysaphes, called the " New Koukouzeles" and lampadarios of the Byzantine court, wrote some Byzantine music using organum harmonies. This was done by another lampadarios Manuel Gazes as well (Capella Romana has some recordings).
Well, at the very least this provides some evidence of late pre-Reformation polyphony that can be used to trace its spread, though that leaves open the question of how such changes in worship were connected to the Reformation's rise and rapid radiation—I'd like to read more about the acceptance or not of these court songs.
 
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Depends on the definition of harmony. If we want to get really technical, the differences in voice between even twins is subtly different and their different overtones could be said to harmonize. But this is not the traditional definition of harmony, nor does it have anything to do with the traditional definition of notes, which is what the Fathers based their music theory on.
Octaves aren't on the same note. They are a consonant harmony.



[I'm not certain enough about the definition of organum to say whether it was originally secular or religious or both, but there is clear mixing of secular and pagan religious material in the Musica Enchiriadis.
You mean the use of ancient Greek musical theory, just like Byzantine chant uses (although the Latin reception differs)?

So regardless of definition of organum, I don't see the harmonizing as a normal (or specifically Christian) process in the development of the music.
The development of harmony and polyphony in the West was not *onlu* religious, but primarily religious. It was not developed by some kind of folk singing, but according to the discoveries of composers who primarily wrote religious music/

And the sources are ones that do not fit what I was looking for, as they're pretty much the definition of a single lineage: they're nearly all Franks, from the same area (even the very same cathedral!), and from the same general time—that is classic local aberration, not catholic acceptance.
Their music theory spread throughout Europe. Hence, one of those French composers wrote the Codex Calinxtus but this codex was in the Cathedral of St James in Spain.


Harmony was around from before recorded history and certainly played into ancient musical traditions—we hear this in primitive cultures the world over.
So is monophonic music.

Percussion, harmony, and the rest are not new, nor did they require any Renaissance philosophical principles, whether or not there were some theoretical advances made slightly pre-Reformation. What was new, as far as I have been taught, was the integration of those musical practices into liturgical music, which were very specifically excluded from orthodox liturgical music for over a millennium—that's the innovation I'm questioning, not non-liturgical development.
The polyphony developed in Europe in the middle ages was not the same as village singing. It was an intentional development of technique and music theory.



I think that begs the question, and gets to the other question of whether organum is polyphony. I'm not sure there is any period source (even secular source!) who would say organum is monophonic. Do you have a source?
Organum is not monophonic. It is polyphonic, because it involves multiple independent lines. Harmonized hymns like those used of the Protestants are not polyphonic because the lines are not independent, but not monophonic either. The burden of proof is on you to prove that this apocryphal story about abolishing polyphony really was about Rome wanting to revert to go to only monophonic chant when we know the criticism of polyphony at the time was based on the difficulty of understanding the text and not harmonized music overall.



Well, at the very least this provides some evidence of late pre-Reformation polyphony that can be used to trace its spread, though that leaves open the question of how such changes in worship were connected to the Reformation's rise and rapid radiation—I'd like to read more about the acceptance or not of these court songs.
we know that pre-Reformation polyphony existed for 500 years prior to the Reformation. The only difference in the later music was the development of counterpoint and the change in harmonization techniques.

It proves that the Byzantine musicians and delegates to Florence did not have a problem with polyphonic music. These were not court songs, they were liturgical pieces (like the hymn for great compline by Manuel Gazes). They are in a manuscript found on Mt. Athos.
 

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it is sound to prolong some hymns.
This name even appears in e.g Byzantine Christmas carols and some other para-liturgical songs if I remember correctly.


I know, for some people it may be controversial, but terirems are usually to prolong hymns at (true) all night vigils (actually, it's one of their characteristics) and e.g koinonikions - Communion hymn, until e.g all priests commune.

You can also ask why Copts do prolong the vowels in their hymns ;) It's to make certain services and hymns more solemn, to prolong the prayers and/or to avoid silence at church.
Actually, the prolonged vowels was a characteristic of the pagan Ancient Egyptian hymns.
 

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Actually, the prolonged vowels was a characteristic of the pagan Ancient Egyptian hymns.
I know, as also it's known taht Copt re-arranged some Pagan old Egyptian hymns to be Christian ones ;)
 

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Depends on the definition of harmony. If we want to get really technical, the differences in voice between even twins is subtly different and their different overtones could be said to harmonize. But this is not the traditional definition of harmony, nor does it have anything to do with the traditional definition of notes, which is what the Fathers based their music theory on.
This isn’t really true. The music theory of the Greek East was based on notes arranged in repeating fifths (the trochos or ‘wheel’ in English), such that in the diatonic scale there were only four notes named ananes, neanes, nana, and agia in ascent and neagie, aanes, neheanes, and aneanes in descent (for example, if one were to ascend up a fifth starting from ananes, he would sing neanes, nana, agia, ananes, and if he were to descend from there down a fifth he would sing neagie, aanes, neheanes, aneanes). In other words, they understood notes as being equivalent at the fifth and not at the octave. You have to make certain non-universal assumptions about music (which you likely take for granted because of your exposure to Western Music) to make the argument you are making.

And the sources are ones that do not fit what I was looking for, as they're pretty much the definition of a single lineage: they're nearly all Franks, from the same area (even the very same cathedral!), and from the same general time—that is classic local aberration, not catholic acceptance.
That seems to be hardly a good argument. Those practices may have originated in one place, but the widespread distribution of theoretical materials from France indicates that musicians were learning the art of music there and returning to their native lands with these ideas in hand. For example, most of what we know about the music theory of the Ars Antiqua comes from a theoretical treatise which was found in England, a book presumably written by a student who studied in Paris and returned to England.

Harmony was around from before recorded history and certainly played into ancient musical traditions—we hear this in primitive cultures the world over. Percussion, harmony, and the rest are not new, nor did they require any Renaissance philosophical principles, whether or not there were some theoretical advances made slightly pre-Reformation. What was new, as far as I have been taught, was the integration of those musical practices into liturgical music, which were very specifically excluded from orthodox liturgical music for over a millennium—that's the innovation I'm questioning, not non-liturgical development.
How do you explain Georgian chant then? Is the chant tradition used since time immemorial in a country which has been Christian since the 4th century also something you would be so quick as to dismiss as “an aberration”?

I think that begs the question, and gets to the other question of whether organum is polyphony. I'm not sure there is any period source (even secular source!) who would say organum is monophonic. Do you have a source?
I don’t think it begs any question. From the cultural milieu of the 16th century, we know that there was an increasing emphasis on the comprehensibility of text and that this was largely a result of Renaissance Humanism. The very resolution of the apocryphal story (Palestrina composing a polyphonic mass which had great ease of comprehension) shows exactly what kind of concerns motivated people who wished to reform music in the 16th century.

Well, at the very least this provides some evidence of late pre-Reformation polyphony that can be used to trace its spread, though that leaves open the question of how such changes in worship were connected to the Reformation's rise and rapid radiation—I'd like to read more about the acceptance or not of these court songs.
I still cannot concede to you this idea that multiple voices in music somehow had a causal link to the Reformation. Again, the use of multiple voices in music predated the Reformation by centuries.
 

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Octaves aren't on the same note. They are a consonant harmony.
They are indeed the same note, as notes were defined by traditional musical systems and as currently defined today (even the most technical sense where the octave is also given, eg C4 vs C5: the letter is the same).

You mean the use of ancient Greek musical theory, just like Byzantine chant uses (although the Latin reception differs)?
No, I mean the inclusion of the legend of Orpheus. It is one thing to make use of scientific knowledge, even if it comes from an immediately non-Christian source—all truth is ultimately from Jesus Christ, so the question is a bit of a red herring. It is something quite different to promote pagan mythology.

The development of harmony and polyphony in the West was not *onlu* religious, but primarily religious. It was not developed by some kind of folk singing, but according to the discoveries of composers who primarily wrote religious music/
Religious in the sense that Pythagoras and his system was religious, people singing together for a folk festival are inherently religious, and so on? Sure—in some sense, everything is religious. But I still fail to see any *Christian* rationale given for this development—polyphony was not new, but it was new in Christian liturgics.

Their music theory spread throughout Europe. Hence, one of those French composers wrote the Codex Calinxtus but this codex was in the Cathedral of St James in Spain.
Agreed that the system eventually spread, but that is not in question.

The polyphony developed in Europe in the middle ages was not the same as village singing. It was an intentional development of technique and music theory.
Yes there were new attempts at music theory, and new compositions based on that theory. This has happened again and again throughout history, and is in part connected with the continuous development of new musical "schools". But that some music theory was made by a Christian does not logically lead to it being acceptable liturgically.

Organum is not monophonic. It is polyphonic, because it involves multiple independent lines. Harmonized hymns like those used of the Protestants are not polyphonic because the lines are not independent, but not monophonic either. The burden of proof is on you to prove that this apocryphal story about abolishing polyphony really was about Rome wanting to revert to go to only monophonic chant when we know the criticism of polyphony at the time was based on the difficulty of understanding the text and not harmonized music overall.
I mean we could get really technical and talk about homophony, but I think we're in agreement that organum does not count as traditional monophony. I'm not sure what you mean about shifting the burden of proof back around—you can listen to renditions of the Pope Marcellus Mass today on YouTube (and some earlier organum). The words are as clear as monophonic papadic chant, so the "difficulty of understanding" argument doesn't seem to especially hold here vs other compositions (though I agree it is important to understand)—what else, then, could the issue of the time be but the problem of deviating from monophony?

we know that pre-Reformation polyphony existed for 500 years prior to the Reformation. The only difference in the later music was the development of counterpoint and the change in harmonization techniques.

It proves that the Byzantine musicians and delegates to Florence did not have a problem with polyphonic music. These were not court songs, they were liturgical pieces (like the hymn for great compline by Manuel Gazes). They are in a manuscript found on Mt. Athos.
In some small Frankish aberration, sure. I have not contested that. How that figured into the later Reformation is something that is not well studied, AFAIK, given the dramatic shifts in consciousness that occurred and which made the questions basically unaskable.

In any case, I do not think the limited Byzantine court statements prove they accepted the music. It might have been unfamiliar enough that a theological argument was not immediately available against it (indeed, we don't have great systemic arguments for or against it even to this day, as I noted numerous posts ago—we have to follow over a millennium of Church tradition on faith (closer to 1.5 millennia if we go East!)). But it was not the focus of the gathering, and the lack of praise is as clear as the lack of sustained critique.
 

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This isn’t really true. The music theory of the Greek East was based on notes arranged in repeating fifths (the trochos or ‘wheel’ in English), such that in the diatonic scale there were only four notes named ananes, neanes, nana, and agia in ascent and neagie, aanes, neheanes, and aneanes in descent (for example, if one were to ascend up a fifth starting from ananes, he would sing neanes, nana, agia, ananes, and if he were to descend from there down a fifth he would sing neagie, aanes, neheanes, aneanes). In other words, they understood notes as being equivalent at the fifth and not at the octave. You have to make certain non-universal assumptions about music (which you likely take for granted because of your exposure to Western Music) to make the argument you are making.
If you're referring to the use of tetrachords and other systems to organize and even compose music, sure. But that doesn't change the definition of octave, which goes back as far as Pythagoras. The modes (eg, Mixolydian to Hypodorian) are octave-aware—and they're even older than him. The Byzantine names of the notes (ni, pa, etc—not sure the date on those) are 8 in number—an octave. So the use of certain compository techniques in no way negates the understanding of the octave.

How do you explain Georgian chant then? Is the chant tradition used since time immemorial in a country which has been Christian since the 4th century also something you would be so quick as to dismiss as “an aberration”?
I have very little knowledge of Georgian chant, other than the fact that I've been told repeatedly (including by someone from Georgia) that the current form of it is not very old at all. Could you kindly provide some sources that show or describe pre-Schism Georgian music? Ideally ones where this non-monophonic character is evident?

I don’t think it begs any question. From the cultural milieu of the 16th century, we know that there was an increasing emphasis on the comprehensibility of text and that this was largely a result of Renaissance Humanism. The very resolution of the apocryphal story (Palestrina composing a polyphonic mass which had great ease of comprehension) shows exactly what kind of concerns motivated people who wished to reform music in the 16th century.
Comprehensibility goes back to at least St Paul, with his emphasis on understanding tongues, order in liturgy, and holistic edification (eg, 1 Corinthians: 14.19)—this theology was "baked into" Christian liturgical music from the beginning, which is probably a good part of why monophony was used since the beginning.

I still cannot concede to you this idea that multiple voices in music somehow had a causal link to the Reformation. Again, the use of multiple voices in music predated the Reformation by centuries.
No worries—it is what I've been taught, but I'm open to alternative theories. Since the (US) Antiochians had no particular nationalistic basis for their perspective, I did not feel I needed to question the teaching I got from them as deeply. But whether the link is causal or a mere correlation, I'd be happy to read some more material that explores any connections between Renaissance music and Reformation—we already have a good idea that the Renaissance more generally had a *dramatic* impact on readying the ground for Protestantism.
 

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If you're referring to the use of tetrachords and other systems to organize and even compose music, sure. But that doesn't change the definition of octave, which goes back as far as Pythagoras. The modes (eg, Mixolydian to Hypodorian) are octave-aware—and they're even older than him. The Byzantine names of the notes (ni, pa, etc—not sure the date on those) are 8 in number—an octave. So the use of certain compository techniques in no way negates the understanding of the octave.
Nobody is arguing about the definition of an octave. Everybody agrees that an octave (or more precisely, a perfect octave) is the interval obtained by halving the length of string on a monochord or by doubling the fundamental frequency of a sound. I question your assertion that one can universally generalize octave equivalence. You claim that the modes of ancient Greek music are octave-aware (though I'm not sure what that means), but the systema teleion of classical Greek music encompassed two octaves so that all the modes could fit within it. If the Ancient Greeks had the concept of octave equivalence as we understand it today, the systema teleion would have been an unnecessary construction.

The "Byzantine names of the notes" you mention are the parallage according to the new method, created in 1814. The original diatonic system of parallage had but four notes, each with a name corresponding to an ascent to that note and another name corresponding to descending to that note (as I described in my previous post). Furthermore, even though the parallage of the new method is constructed on an octave basis, the underlying tuning does not work on an octave basis. For example, in plagal first mode, the interval between vou (the second scale degree) and high vou' (the 9th scale degree) is typically larger than an octave, because the interval between pa-vou is a lesser tone (ἐλάσσων τόνος), but the interval between high pa and high vou is usually rendered as a greater tone (μείζων τόνος) in order to preserve the perfect fifth between ke and high vou. The chromatic genus (which is probably a late-medieval introduction into Byzantine Music), takes this to the extreme so that no notes are a perfect octave apart (all are either a diminished or augmented octave apart), but all notes have a note which is a perfect fifth above and a perfect fifth below.
 
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