Tones of the Divine Liturgy - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 18 Old 06-06-2011, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you know what tone is being used at Divine Liturgy? Is it listed somewhere or something? Is there some rule like tone 1 on Sundays that aren't feast days or something? Also how do you know what tone is being used in recorded chant ? For example I have a recording of the DL of St John Christostom by Costas Zorbas but it doesn't say what tone it is? Can you get one in each of the tones? 

 

Obviously I know nothing about Byzantine chant. I tried looking up on the net but couldn't understand. I'm not very musically inclined. I just want some recordings of the most commonly used tones of the DL so I can become more familiar with it. And I'd like to be able to identify what tone I already have. 

 

 

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#2 of 18 Old 06-07-2011, 06:45 AM
 
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Have you seen this page yet?   I know there are other good sources online...I'll look around and post some later, if Tradd doesn't get here first. wink1.gif

 

 

ETA:

OCA's site with music downloads

Liturgica - this site goes over my head, but it looks informative

 

I know I read something somewhere explaining the cycle of the tones, but I can't remember if it was online or in a book.  The tones for the liturgy are listed in our bulletin on Sundays.  I'm a terrible singer, though, so I sing very softly or just listen so I don't bother anyone. lol

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#3 of 18 Old 06-07-2011, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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No I haven't read those yet, thanks I'll check them out. Thanks. 

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#4 of 18 Old 06-07-2011, 06:48 PM
 
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reading chant notation is something altogether different from reading music :)  Its all Greek to me.  I am however slowly but surely picking up which tone is which so if it says "this tone in that way" I can feel it sometimes. (sometimes.)  The more I go to church the better I get at knowing which tone is which.  Bit I am a whole part learner. picking out the pieces from a the whole is how my brain works.  Trying to learn to read notation and apply it would never work for me.


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#5 of 18 Old 06-07-2011, 06:52 PM
 
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I was looking for an example of what I see in the books (words with squiggly lines and slant marks over it) and found this page.  You may find some good information here.  http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Index.html


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#6 of 18 Old 06-07-2011, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh yea I'm not even going to try and learn how to read it. I just would like to follow along decently with the liturgy and I have no idea when what tone or mode or whatever is used. For example, I have certain prayers where I can sing them in gregorian chant because I listened to them enough. I'd like to be able to do the same with byzantine chant except I'm confused by the whole tone/mode thing. I would like to be able to compare the tones for certain prayers and pick the one I like the best for personal use, but since none of the recordings I find tell you the tone I have no idea which one is being used.

 

 

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#7 of 18 Old 06-07-2011, 09:06 PM
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Our liturgy book explains which tones are used on different days, but I just listen for the cantor to announce it.  I suggest asking your cantor after liturgy next time -- they love to talk about it!


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#8 of 18 Old 06-09-2011, 05:04 PM
 
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The bulletin will have it - or the calendar you get from your church.

 

We start with Tone 1 on Pascha and then cycle through all 8 tones.

 

For Byzantine chant, some use Byzantine notation - very squiggly looking - and some use Western notation in English. Seems to depend on the chanter and the parish.

 

Fr. Seraphim Dedes of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has been working for some time on putting Byzantine chant into English and western notation.

 

http://www.goarch.org/chapel/chant

 

http://www.ematins.org/matins.htm

 

Just a note on regular Sundays:


There will be the hymns from the Octeochos (Book of the Eight Tones) for the Resurrection. You'll hear the troparion and Kkontakion of the week. Then there will be hymns for the saints commemorated that day, or a particular feast, if still in the time it's being celebrated (for instance, Ascension is on a Thursday, so on the Sunday after, you will hear the troparion and kontakion for Ascension in with the Resurrectional troparion and kontakion).

 

Note: I've been told the Slav liturgical tradition (OCA, Russian Orthodox Church, ROCOR, Serbians, Ukrainians) tend to use more kontakia at Divine Liturgy than the Greek liturgical tradition (Greek and Antiochian/Arab)

 

So, for this past Sunday in my OCA parish-

 

Seventh Sunday after Pascha - also the commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council and the after feast of Ascension

 

Sung in this order at Divine Liturgy:

 

Resurrectional troparion Tone 6

Ascension troparion Tone 4

Holy Fathers troparion Tone 8

Holy Fathers kontakion Tone 8

Ascension kontakion Tone 6

 

Big NOTE! :D

 

You need to remember there are two types of melodies under each tone.

 

Russian chant:

 

Sticherion Used at Vespers: "Lord, I call" - Aposticha; Matins: the Praises

Troparion: for the various troparia and kontakia

 

Byzantine chant:

Sticheraric - Used at Vespers: "Lord, I call" - Aposticha; Matins: the Praises

Irmologic - for the various troparia and kontakia

 

The tones used at the Divine Liturgy will be the irmologic tones in Byzantine chant. This is important when looking up music online. You don't want "Lord, I call" because that's sticheraric and is totally different from the irmologic used for troparia and kontakia.

 

I was a Matins chanter for 5 years at my previous Antiochian parish (western notation) and even went to a 3.5-day Byzantine chant class. I'm now a 3.5 year member of my OCA parish choir (and sing at a lot of different OCA events locally), in a choir that does all the great Russian liturgical music, including Bortniansky, Chesnokov, Archangelsky, and Kedrov Sr., but all in English. And lots of my favorite Znamenny chant, which is the ancient Russian church chant, very similar to Byzantine chant in some aspects. When you listen to and sing Znamenny chant, you can see how it was derived from Byzantine chant, which came to Kiev when the 'Rus were converted to Christianity in 988.

 

And believe it or not, YouTube is a great source for Orthodox liturgical chant to listen to and learn!

 

Also, at the Divine Liturgy, many things are not in any particular tone - they're just sung or chanted.

 

Things in a specific tone:

Troparia/kontakia

Prokeimenon (the Psalm verses before the Epistle reading - this word actually means "that which comes before")

 

In the Russian tradition, the alleluia before the Gospel will also be in a specific tone, usually the tone of the week. Not sure about the Greek tradition.

 

But the rest of the Liturgy - the Cherubic Hymn, the Anaphora, the litany responses, will just be chanted, or sung. Although from looking at YouTube, it appears there are Cherubic Hymns in at least several of the tones.

 

Just for fun, to compare the two traditions, side by side:

 

Bortniansky's Cherubic Hymn No. 7 (one of my faves!):

http://youtu.be/GDCwdreKpXI

 

Byzantine chant Cherubic Hymn

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fr4mAIibx50&feature=related

 

I'm a church music geek. :D I don't read music very well, but I'm at Vespers and Liturgy all the time (I rarely miss, unless I'm out of town or at a special event at a friend's parish), which has really helped.

 

 

 


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#9 of 18 Old 06-09-2011, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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acckkkkkkk\

 

ok that will keep me busy LOL

 

 

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#10 of 18 Old 06-09-2011, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wait. Different parts of the DL will be in different tones??????? Are the tones each week set across the jurisdiction or are they chosen on the parish level? Just wondering if maybe I could rely on a master source. 

 

The times I've gone to DL, I've never noticed a bulletin, but maybe I just didn't look in the right place? 

 

 

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#11 of 18 Old 06-09-2011, 05:20 PM
 
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Here's a parish bulletin I found online. I forgot Greek parishes will often use "apolytikon" in place of "troparion." Look in the lower left corner. The "tone of the week" is set by the Resurrectional troparion.

 

http://www.bulletin.goarch.org/ChurchBulletins/225/

 

And about the "plagal" thing. You have tones 1, 2, 3, 4. Tones 5, 6, 7, 8 are derived from 1 (5), 2 (6), 3 (7), 4 (8).

 

So, tone 6 is the plagal of tone 2. They sound very similar, except the melody for 6 will go off in a different direction than 2.

 

In Byzantine chant, Tone 7 is known as the "Grave" tone. Not sure why!

 

I think pretty much all Orthodox are on the same tone for the same week. This Greek parish was on Tone 6 last week, same as my OCA parish. It's because the tones are cycle from Pascha. Old Calendar/New Calendar don't have any affect on the tone of the week, since it depends on the Sunday, not a date of the month (May 15, for example).

 


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#12 of 18 Old 06-09-2011, 05:24 PM
 
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The Greek Archdiocese has a really nice iPhone/iPod Touch app (it's not sized bigger for the iPad) with the daily readings and saints, but it doesn't mention the tone, aside from special saint's troparion mentioned at the end of the reading on the saint.

 

The rubrics for each Sunday, Great Feast, and other important saints' days are governed by special liturgical books. Each national Orthodox Church publishes a rubrics book for each year, telling the priest, choir director, readers, chanters, what is what each week.

 

You can usually find the info online - or the most basic stuff.

 

Bulletins are often at the back/narthex, by the candle desk (where you buy your candles) or maybe elsewhere, depends on parish.


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#13 of 18 Old 06-09-2011, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If you had not given me that detailed info of where to look I would have had no idea. ok I see it! 

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#14 of 18 Old 06-09-2011, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tradd View Post

The Greek Archdiocese has a really nice iPhone/iPod Touch app (it's not sized bigger for the iPad) with the daily readings and saints, but it doesn't mention the tone, aside from special saint's troparion mentioned at the end of the reading on the saint.

 

The rubrics for each Sunday, Great Feast, and other important saints' days are governed by special liturgical books. Each national Orthodox Church publishes a rubrics book for each year, telling the priest, choir director, readers, chanters, what is what each week.

 

You can usually find the info online - or the most basic stuff.

 

Bulletins are often at the back/narthex, by the candle desk (where you buy your candles) or maybe elsewhere, depends on parish.



Oh I have that app, I find their fast listing confusing though. Like Friday says Fish and Oil allowed instead of saying what you can't have LOL. 

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#15 of 18 Old 06-09-2011, 09:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post





Oh I have that app, I find their fast listing confusing though. Like Friday says Fish and Oil allowed instead of saying what you can't have LOL. 



 

For Orthodox, standard fasting means *no* meat, dairy, eggs, fish, wine, and oil. Our calendars therefore note what you CAN have on what would otherwise be a normal fasting day. For example, on Wednesdays and Fridays during between Pascha and Pentecost (aside from Bright Week after Pascha which is totally fast-free), we can have wine and oil. So the calendars note it. Or on a feast of the Theotokos that falls on a Wednesday or Friday means we can have fish, wine, and oil. So the calendars will have a little fishy, such as this one.

 

http://www.goarch.org/chapel/calendar/

 

All Orthodox calendars are like that for the fasting days - listing what we CAN have.

 

For example, here's the online calendar (fasting thing noted in at the top) of a Russian (Moscow Patriarchate) parish in Baltimore.

 

http://www.holytrinityorthodox.com/  (forward to Friday if you're not already checking it on Friday)


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#16 of 18 Old 06-14-2011, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok back to the tones discussion, I found this podcast on the tones at AFR's Our Life in Christ. That made it easier to understand. Plus listened to some different ones on youtube that were the same song in different tones. 

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#17 of 18 Old 06-24-2011, 12:14 PM
 
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I know I am late to the discussion but I have had the most success understanding and hearing tones after listening to the podcast Glory To Thee: A Chanter's Workshop on ancient faith radio. Start from the beginning because a lot of good information is given and they are done in order. Even if you don't chant along you will easily learn to hear the different tones. 


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#18 of 18 Old 06-24-2011, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Xekomaya!

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