Egon Wellesz A History Of Byzantine Music And Hymnography ( 1961)

Опубликовано29.12.2018 в 09:45АвторMezibei






History of Byzantine Music and Hymnography

The following abstract comes from a 3rd century hymn dedicated to the Holy Triad. It was discovered in in Egypt on a papyrus written in ancient Greek notation. From the 4th to the 8th century Following the foundation of Constantinople AD and the establishment of Christianity as the formal religion AD , ecclesiastic music started to get organized and developed more freely than in the past.

This was a transitional period in the history of hymnography, for while new hymns were written, the melodies remained almost unchanged, following the rules of older times, the rhythmic prose and older melodies. Monasteries avoided the use of psalms during the liturgy, while in major urban centers of the East hymnography began to develop beyond the existing tradition of psalms.

28 May A History of Byzantine Music and Hymnography (Oxford University Press academic monograph reprints),author = Egon Wellesz,publisher.

There was a conservative attitude towards psalmody, the melody of certain hymns solidified and the anonymity of the composers continued to be supported.

However, some of the significant composers of that time are known to us, such as Cynesius of Kyrenia and Gregorios of Nazianzus died in Due to the development of psalmody, churches began appointing choristers for it was impossible for the whole congregation to memorize the new compositions. New melodies started to be released from the 5th century and several elements of world music influenced ecclesiastic music.

Due to pressure from the Fathers of the Church, priests began to compose not only lyrics but simple style melodies as well, avoiding world music infiltrations. New kinds of music were created in this time period, like odes, troparia, kontakia but the composition of melody remained relatively plain.

During this period, ecclesiastic music spread to Western Europe and gradually evolved to Gregorian chant. Some of the known melodists of that period are Saint Anatolios , Saint Romanos the Melodist 5th-6th century , Andreas the Cretan and the Patriarch of Constantinople Sergios 7th century.

The troparia were simple texts with psalm lines interferences and easy melodies. The kontakia consisted of an overture and similar verses houses. From the 8th to the 11th century Pict. This period is closely connected to a peak in several forms of art, literature and music. Monasteries became the centers of hymnology and monks embarked on hymn composition importing innovations to ecclesiastic psalmody.

Saint Ioannis of Damascus 7th-8th century, pict. He is also known for inventing the kanona rule.

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The Kanonas is a compilation of hymnscomprised of nine odes which have intertwined meaning. Every ode consists of a primary tropario the eirmos followed by three or four other troparia with different texts but similar meter and music. The nine eirmoi follow a different meter and thus the kanonas contains nine independent melodies. Saint Ioannis of Damascus promoted many of the basic characteristics of monophonic ecclesiastic music. He created a more melodic kind of psalms melismatiki , parallel to the existing monophonic and less melodic style and he invented a new kind of notation of verse and melody.

Thus, while up to the 8th century only the eirmologiko coherent- one symbol per syllable and the stichirarchikopapadiko style of priests which was the most elaborative and melodic of them all.

He also composed cherouvika, social, allelujaharia, kratimata, style chain of verse- a small melodic plot per syllable existed, Saint Ioannis of Damascus created the polyelaious etc. Since that time, the ecclesiastic music of Byzantium has known further development and music notation solidified.

Development continued even after the fall of Byzantium. It was revised in the 19th century and remains vivid to this day.

The following abstract comes from a 3rd century hymn dedicated to the Holy Triad. It was discovered in in Egypt on a papyrus written in ancient Greek notation.


A history of Byzantine music and hymnography. Wellesz, Egon xiv;...
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