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Byzantine Chant

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Ideas of originality and free invention similar to those seen in later music probably never existed in early Byzantine times. The very notion of using traditional formulas (or melody-types) as a compositional technique shows an archaic concept in liturgical chant, and is quite the opposite of free, original creation. It seems evident that the chants of the Byzantine repertory found in musical manuscripts from the tenth century to the time of the [[Fourth Crusade]] (1204-1261), represent the final and only surviving stage of an evolution, the beginnings of which go back at least to the sixth century and possibly even to the chant of the [[Synagogue]]. What exact changes took place in the music during the formative stage is difficult to say; but certain chants in use even today exhibit characteristics which may throw light on the subject. These include recitation formulas, melody-types, and standard phrases that are clearly evident in the folk music and other traditional music of various cultures of the East, including the music of the Jews.
The second, less permanent, concept was that of ''koinonia'' or "communion." This was less permanent because, after the fourth century, when it was analyzed and integrated into a theological system, the bond and "oneness" that united the [[clergy]] and the [[laity|faithful]] in liturgical worship was less potent. It is, however, one of the key ideas for understanding a number of realities for which we now have different names. With regard to musical performance, this concept of koinonia may be applied to the primitive use of the word choros. It referred, not to a separate group within the congregation entrusted with musical responsibilities, but to the [[congregation ]] as a whole. St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote to the Church in Ephesus [http://www.ccel.org/ccel/richardson/fathers.vi.ii.iii.i.html] in the following way:
:"''You must every man of you join in a choir so that being harmonious and in concord and taking the keynote of God in unison, you may sing with one voice through [[Jesus Christ]] to the Father, so that He may hear you and through your good deeds recognize that you are parts of His Son.''"
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