A History of Byzantine Music and Hymnography

By Egon Wellesz | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII
THE STRUCTURE OF BYZANTINE MELODIES

I. HIRMI AND STICHERA

BYZANTINE melodies, both Hirmi and Stichera, are built up from a number of melodic formulae which are linked together by short transitional passages. The discovery of this principle of composition in Byzantine music goes back to comparative studies into the form of Eastern ecclesiastical music, which began forty years ago.

Investigating the melodies of the Serbian Oktoëchos I found that they were composed of a number of musical phrases, repeated either exactly or with slight variations. Since the melodies of the Serbian Church derived from the Syrian--introduced into the Balkan countries along the pilgrim-routes which by-passed Constantinople--the occurrence of an identical principle of composition in both Syria and Serbia1 was explained, a principle to which Idelsohn had first drawn attention in his study of the technique of Arabic music2 and which had been confirmed by Dom Jeannin and Dom Puyade in their publications on Syrian music.3

The discovery of this principle of composition is of far greater importance than was at first thought. Further investigations have shown that it was not confined to the melodies of a few areas, but was the ruling principle of composition in Oriental music and, with the expansion of Christian music, spread over the whole Mediterranean basin.4

The transcription of the hymns collected in the Hirmologion and of a large number of those from the Sticherarion enables us to study the structure of Byzantine ecclesiastical music. The analysis of the hymns confirms our view, which has already been expressed in earlier studies on the subject, that here, too, the construction of the melody was based on the combination and

____________________
1
Cf. E. Wellesz, "'Die Struktur des serbischen Oktoēchos'", Z.M.W. ii ( 1919-20), 141-2, and the article on "'Eastern Church Music'" in the Supplementary Volume of Grove's Dictionary of Music ( 1940), pp. 181-2.
2
A. Z. Idelsohn, "'Die Maqamen der arabischen Musik'", S.I.M. xv. 1 sqq.
3
Jeannin et Puyade, 'L'Octoechos syrien', O.C., N.S. iii. 278.
4
I have examined some of these facts in detail in my book Eastern Elements in Western Chant, M.M.B., Amer. Ser. i.

-325-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
A History of Byzantine Music and Hymnography
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 474

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.