Continuity and advent in Byzantine music Cover Image

Continuitate şi primenire în muzica de cult bizantină
Continuity and advent in Byzantine music

Author(s): Violina Galaicu
Subject(s): Music
Published by: Institutul Patrimoniului Cultural al Academiei de Științe a Moldovei
Keywords: Byzantine cult music; continuity and advent; typical compositional and interpretive characteristic; historical and regional fuctuations; intrinsic and extrinsic elements;

Summary/Abstract: Anyone who has ever got involved in Byzantine cult music has confronted with the issue of permanence and change, stable and mobile elements, tradition and innovation in this art. In the permanence-change equation, permanence is the one that definitely takes precedence. It is the consequence or the cumulative effect of several essential parameters of sacred Byzantine singing: ecclesiality, canonicality, adherence to the Christian imperative of ascesis. Besides the stability of the typical compositional and interpretative characteristic of the Byzantine liturgical music, the historical stability of some particular songs (”Kontakion of the Nativity”, ”The Appeals” of Philotheus the Monk, Ioan Glykys’s ”Eothinals”) is also noted. Of the two components of liturgical music, the text is more rigid and the melody is more flexible. It is natural for the literary part to have a greater resistance, because it concentrates the notional theology, defined and thus limited in its possible variations. Melody, as a non-notional theology, has more freedom, which is mirrored in its historical and regional fuctuations. The other binomial constituent (advent) reveals that the Byzantine liturgical music has undergone changes over time and within its range as well. It is important that the changes have occurred gradually, have emerged as a result of evolutions, not leaps, breaks or “revolutions”. In all cases, by accepting some external suggestions, incorporating certain extrinsic elements, the Eastern liturgical chant revalorizes them, by christening them, bringing them to church, and loading them with Orthodox relevance.

  • Issue Year: XXVI/2017
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 7-10
  • Page Count: 4
  • Language: Romanian