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Learning the byzantine 8 tones


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#1 Laura W.

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 01:37 AM

I'm part of a small mission and we're struggling to get a very basic grasp of the 8 tones (in byzantine). On the advice of our priest, I wanted to choose a fixed song for each tone that I could hum to myself to remind me of the melody of the tone I need. I am working on learning the resurrectional troparia, but I wondered if I don't already know a song from each tone that might work well? I was told the troparia are the right "speed."

Here's what I've got (the first line of a song in each tone) - can you help me fill in the gaps with songs that are very common? Have I got the songs below in the right place?

Tone 1 - As Many as Have been baptized into Christ, Have put on christ, Alleluia!
Tone 2 - Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Tone 3 -
Tone 4 - From my Youth up, many passions have worn against me.
Tone 5 - Blessed are you, O Lord, Teach me your statutes.
Tone 6 -
Tone 7 -
Tone 8 -

Thanks for your help!

#2 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 11:32 AM

Dear Laura,
I try to do the same think at home for readers services, though I only know hymns for 1,2, and 8.

Tone 8 is I believe used for the Troparion of the Holy Fathers, I am not sure how common it is normally they are the patrons of our parish so we sing it every Liturgy but I believe the same one is used for every commemoration of an ecumenical council so you may know it.

In Christ.
Daniel,

#3 John S.

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 02:40 PM

Laura,

This website may help: http://www.byzantinechant.org/

- John

#4 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 03:05 PM

Tone 3- Today the Virgin (Nativity Kondak)
Tone 6- Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ (hymn sung after the Gospel at Matins and after the 6th Ode at Paschal Matins)
Tone 7- Thou wast Transfigured on the Mount O Christ God (Tropar of the feast of Transfiguration)
Tone 8- Blessed art thou O Christ our God (Tropar of Pentecost)

#5 Laura W.

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 05:52 PM

Thanks to all!

Fr. Raphael, I know most of those, so that is very helpful. Thanks!

#6 Father David Moser

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 06:11 PM

I am working on learning the resurrectional troparia, but I wondered if I don't already know a song from each tone that might work well? I was told the troparia are the right "speed."

Here's what I've got (the first line of a song in each tone) - can you help me fill in the gaps with songs that are very common? Have I got the songs below in the right place?

Tone 1 - As Many as Have been baptized into Christ, Have put on christ, Alleluia!
Tone 2 - Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Tone 3 -
Tone 4 - From my Youth up, many passions have worn against me.
Tone 5 - Blessed are you, O Lord, Teach me your statutes.
Tone 6 -
Tone 7 -
Tone 8 -


I'm looking at your examples and I'm not sure these are the tropar tones - it depends on how your parish sings them I guess. You might want to check more carefully.

Here's what I use:
Tone 1 - Troparion of the Cross (O Lord Save Thy People) or Theophany (When Thou was baptized in the Jordan..."
Tone 2 - Here I use the Kontakion of St Seraphim (but then he's the patron of our parish so I sing it frequently)
Tone 4 - Nativity Troparion - "Thy Nativity, O Christ our God"
Tone 5 - Here again I use a local favorite - the troparion of St John of San Francisco

Tone 3 - I use the actual resurrectional tropar (Let the heavens rejoice) since that is my favorite
Tone 6 - "Protection of Christians" (the "usual" final kontakion on Sundays in a temple dedicated to a saint)
Tone 7 - I always have to look this one up
Tone 8 - Pentecost Troparion - "Blessed art Thou O Christ our God, Who hast revealed the fishermen as extremely wise..."

Fr David Moser

#7 Laura W.

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 08:24 PM

Thank you, Fr. David. I will continue to modify my list. This made me smile.

Tone 7 - I always have to look this one up

Fr David Moser



#8 Joseph D.

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:57 PM

An entire online course by Dr. Stephen Kouri is available on the website of Ancient Faith Radio

http://ancientfaith....sts/glorytothee

#9 Monk Herman

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 11:02 PM

+ Laura:

Saint Anthony's monastery in AZ has several hundred pages of Byzantine chant in western notation, together with a little program that plays the music for you (albeit rather mechanically).

I've downloaded lots of this and use it every day.

http://www.stanthony...usic/Index.html

You can also get a CD from Holy Transfiguration Monastery that contains all the melodies for the prosomia on two disks.

http://www.thehtm.or...b3cb9b80afe33c9

H

#10 Matthew

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 07:48 PM

An entire online course by Dr. Stephen Kouri is available on the website of Ancient Faith Radio

http://ancientfaith....sts/glorytothee


Wow! What a great resource. I just put all of these MP3's on my car's player and will be learning to chant as I do my daily commute.
What a blessing for this Lent!

#11 Alexander Ignatiev

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 12:40 AM

My advice: switch to Kievan or Obikhod. ;)

I've been studying this stuff for years, and I still can only get six out of eight right on a good day. And forget Tone 7. Oy.

#12 Dcn Alexander Haig

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 06:17 AM

Grave mode - Transfiguration 'You were transfigured on the mount ...'

In Xp
Alexander

#13 Panayiotis Steele

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 01:33 PM

Yes... but Grave mode is not just from Ga and enharmonic (which is what the apolytikion of the Transfiguration is). It also comes in "Zo enharmonic" and "Zo diatonic" flavors. Grave mode is probably the hardest, which is why it is the last one learned in a traditional theoretical course.

I say "theoretical" because the only real way to learn how Byzantine chant is to study under a master, which includes the theoretical course but also includes attending services with him and following along.

#14 Panayiotis Steele

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 01:41 PM

Speaking of theoretical basis, this pdf covers the general notation (as opposed to specific to each tone, for which there is no such pdf yet :( ).

http://www.cs.virgin...Margaziotis.pdf

The book is written in Greek, but if you download the pdf (save as), there are English annotations about what each symbol does, and embedded mp3s that demonstrate how the exercises sound. I have found the pdf to be very helpful in teaching Byzantine chant. If anyone has any further questions about the pdf (how to use it, certain symbols, next steps, etc), feel free to respond, either on the thread or privately.




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