The Byzantine Forum
Newest Members
frcblizzard, Hoodoo, Protopsaltis PDX, choralgeek, Michael1
5418 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
3 registered members (ast82401, Fr. Al, jova), 47 guests, and 153 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Latest Photos
Russian Greek Catholic Global Congress
OL EuroEast II (2007) Group
Portable Icon Screen
Deacon Edward Kostraby elevation to Protodeacon
St. Thekla Vigil 2016 - Part Two (Dinine Liturgy)
Forum Statistics
Forums26
Topics34,341
Posts409,704
Members5,418
Most Online2,716
Jun 7th, 2012
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 12 of 12 1 2 10 11 12
#279397 - 02/19/08 07:58 PM Re: I guess they are right again [Re: Anna]  
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,564
Fr Serge Keleher Offline
Member
Fr Serge Keleher  Offline
Member

Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,564
Dublin
Well, "we offer" is the correct English translation of "prinosim". However, "prinosim" is a rather recent error which only occurs in some variations of the Church-Slavonic text - "prinosiashche" is the correct version (as one can confirm, for example, in the critical edition of the Liturgy of Saint Basil) and means "offering".

Fr. Serge

#279438 - 02/20/08 12:59 AM Re: I guess they are right again [Re: Fr Serge Keleher]  
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 706
indigo Offline
Member
indigo  Offline
Member

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 706
small blue planet
Jeff, thanks for your answer. I'm relieved. If anything else comes to mind I'll take you up on your offer and write you. Again, thanks
Peace,
Indigo

#279502 - 02/20/08 01:27 PM Re: I guess they are right again [Re: ByzKat]  
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,245
Administrator Offline
John
Administrator  Offline

John
Member

Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,245
Virginia!
Originally Posted by ByzKat
Originally Posted by indigo
Also, is it true that the music sections was really done at the whim of the person in charge? In other words, he didn't like a historically accurate melody and instead skipped a few centuries until he found one that appealed to him better. I truly hope that this is not true.

No, Indigo, it's not true. With one exception, the melodies used in the Green Book are the same melodies that were taught in the Seminary in the 1950's (we still have class notes from that era), and reprinted in a book that specifically ordered cantors and priests NOT to modify the melodies at their own pleasure (this book is still used every year at the Uniontown pilgrimage); or else were melodies that were ADDED in this country. The one exception is a festal Galician melody for which we used to sing a distorted version; that melody has been restored to its much more regular Galician form, basically matching the one in the new Ukrainian Catholic Anthology.

In some cases, the original Slavonic melodies were shortened or "tweaked" in the new settings to better serve the text; they were not simply used note for note - though it CAN seem so at first to those raised on the "dumbed down" rewritten melodies in English from the 1970's. There are actually rules in the chant tradition itself for how to make these modifications.

My brother, Jeff, ignores the whole pastoral dimension of liturgical chant with his post. His historical account is also rather incomplete.

Jeff’s words on the “distorted version” and “dumbed down” music do not take into account that the people have memorized these versions, and that they have been hurt in being forced to abandoned something they have sung for over 40 years. Think of the problem you would encounter if you walked into any parish of almost any Christian denomination in America on Christmas Eve, announced that the version of “Silent Night” they have sung all their lives was a “distorted” one, that it is now banned, and then pass out someone’s idea of an improved version. The revolt would be real and justified. If one really wanted to enact change the only way to do it is slowly, over generations, with the people freely embracing each element of the change.

Jeff’s words beg the question; just how many decades does the Church have to sing something from memory before the few who hold his position accept it as a legitimate variant? We can find Greeks who look at what the Slavs did with the chant and dismiss it as corrupt. We can look at Bokšaj and see that the chant is different from earlier collections. We can look at parishes in Europe and America that never sang chant exactly as it is notated in Bokšaj. We can look at the parish in Europe that produced Bokšaj and see that it no longer sings the chant exactly as it was notated in the 1906 book. All this is a sign that chant is living, that it changes over time, and that it is flexible enough to be adapted to different texts in different cultures.

To summarize the main problems with the new music:

1. It ignores what the people have memorized in English.
2. The Slavonic model it is based upon is very often different from what the people have memorized in Slavonic.
3. The application of the chant is done in a way in which proper accentuation of the English text is secondary to preservation of the Slavonic melody.

There is a lot of information in this sub-forum on these issues that addresses each of these problems, providing specific examples. I recommend anyone who is interested to take some time to read it.

The whole endeavor of the Revised Divine Liturgy – texts, rubrics, and music – is an opportunity lost. Hopefully the Revised Divine Liturgy will be rescinded soon, and the people can return to singing those texts and melodies they have embraced and loved. Someone’s idea of uncorrupted chant is not important enough to violently force by mandate an entire Church to wipe from its memory settings it has freely chosen to embrace with love.

In a recent post I noted that a priest told me that not long ago at a Sunday Divine Liturgy his cantor stumbled with the new “O Only-Begotten Son and Word of God” and stopped dead, unable to recover. The priest doesn’t know the new version so he started the old version. The congregation knew within a few notes the version he was singing, and they immediately joined in and “raised the roof” with their love in singing that setting. Someone’s idea of perfect chant is not justification for hurting an entire Church that can sing from memory chant that is perfectly good.

#279505 - 02/20/08 02:00 PM Re: I guess they are right again [Re: Administrator]  
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 856
ByzKat Offline
Member
ByzKat  Offline
Member

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 856
Pittsburgh, PA
John,

Indigo's question IS what I responded to - the claim that melodies were picked out of thin air somehow. Please don't accuse me of ignoring your issues when I'm responding to someone else's question!

Yours in Christ,

Jeff

P.S. Anyone who attended a funeral in English in the 1980's or 1990's knows that very often we haven't been able to simply "sing together" - and sadly, that even applies to groups of clergy who had the same "keep it simple" music in front of them. That's partly why Slavonic was so well received; cantors weren't trying to "correct" the chant in front of them on the fly, as was done for years in my parish (by other cantors, not me) when your music was used.

I'm not saying the new music is perfect - but I AM saying that you are misrepresenting the extent to which parishes used common repertoire, the extent to which the written music was followed, and the extent to which the new music actually DOES follow the text, when properly sung. Of course it can sound bad if you try to "correct" it on the fly rather than singing what's written - which is what many of your claims of "music not matching the text " amounts to.

#279507 - 02/20/08 02:08 PM Re: I guess they are right again [Re: ByzKat]  
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,245
Administrator Offline
John
Administrator  Offline

John
Member

Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,245
Virginia!
Originally Posted by ByzKat
John,

Indigo's question IS what I responded to - the claim that melodies were picked out of thin air somehow. Please don't accuse me of ignoring your issues when I'm responding to someone else's question!

Yours in Christ,

Jeff

Jeff,

It is because you have consistently ignored the pastoral dimension that I challenge you. Even here, where I point out that you again neglected this very important element of Liturgy (which most certainly does involve selecting the models used to set chant), you dismiss it by not addressing it. You come across as someone who does not care how many people are hurt in being forced to abandon music they have embraced after 40 years so long as you get settings that you consider pure. That is very sad.

Originally Posted by ByzKat
P.S. Anyone who attended a funeral in English in the 1980's or 1990's knows that very often we haven't been able to simply "sing together" - and sadly, that even applies to groups of clergy who had the same "keep it simple" music in front of them.

That has not been my experience. I have some recordings of the Parastas and Funeral Liturgies from the 1980s were the people sing very well indeed, even providing spontaneous harmonies.

Originally Posted by ByzKat
I'm not saying the new music is perfect - but I AM saying that you are misrepresenting the extent to which parishes used common repertoire, the extent to which the written music was followed, and the extent to which the new music actually DOES follow the text, when properly sung. Of course it can sound bad if you try to "correct" it on the fly rather than singing what's written - which is what many of your claims of "music not matching the text " amounts to.

I disagree. I have stated clearly that I am speaking mostly of the settings for the fixed texts of the Divine Liturgy, which have been embraced in all parishes and which have allowed the Church to come together to sing the Divine Liturgy very well. Remember that I have made clear that there is a hierarchy here. The Church should be very reluctant to allow changes to settings known and memorized everywhere (the fixed settings used at every Divine Liturgy). Slightly less reluctant in admitting changes to texts not used at every Divine Liturgy but used often (the 8 Resurrectional Troparia). And more and more open to admitting changes to texts not used that often. But always respecting the style that the people have accepted. The new music does not do that, and is so insistent upon a literal faithfulness to Bokšaj that it is very discourteous to proper accentuation of the English text. Nothing will make it acceptable. The books need to be discarded as an experiment that succeeded only in hurting people.

John

#279518 - 02/20/08 03:17 PM Re: I guess they are right again [Re: ByzKat]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,840
ajk Offline
Member
ajk  Offline
Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,840
MD
Originally Posted by ByzKat
The one exception is a festal Galician melody for which we used to sing a distorted version; that melody has been restored to its much more regular Galician form, basically matching the one in the new Ukrainian Catholic Anthology.


I find the characterization as "distorted" extreme. Variations on classical works, for example, are standard practice. The original Galician version is nice but maybe a bit too regular: it doesn't seen to flow as smoothly as the variation which I still find appealing in its simplicity.

Originally Posted by ByzKat
In some cases, the original Slavonic melodies were shortened or "tweaked" in the new settings to better serve the text; ...


But what happened with the Alleluia's, where it's not a matter of a different text. Was it that an oral tradition was followed?

Dn. Anthony

#279524 - 02/20/08 03:50 PM Re: I guess they are right again [Re: ajk]  
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 856
ByzKat Offline
Member
ByzKat  Offline
Member

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 856
Pittsburgh, PA
Dear Father Deacon,

The word was mis-chosen; I tried to go back and chance it when I could get a moment away from the task I was working on, but the article was no longer editable.

I did like the old "Only begotten Son" in some ways, but it had some real flaws: "who being" was almost always sung with a strong downbeat on "bee-YING"; the phrase break between "the Holy Mother of God (pause) and Ever-Virgin Mary" can sound very awkward, and similarly MANY congregations sang the later break as "and became man. (full stop) Without change you were also crucified, O Christ our God." That alone could have significant theological implications.... All three issues are resolved in the new setting.

The Alleluias follow Bokshai*, and are quite similar to the settings from the Advanced Cantor Institute - except that the Music Commission shortened a few phrases in a natural fashion, while maintaining the parallels between the alleluia and prokeimenon melodies in each tone. The 1970 settings, on the other hand, usually just omitted individual notes without a discernible pattern, leaving out different notes in the alleluia and prokeimenon settings. But from your question, it sounds like you're looking at something different, perhaps?

* The Alleluias ARE scored differently in English to the extent that there is a TENDENCY in English singing (more than in Slavonic) to accent the top of a melodic arc unless there is a strong counteracting influence, such as a fixed accent in a 3-note or 4-note pattern. While this is not an absolute rule, as some here have claimed, it's significant enough that, to make both the Alleluia and prokeimenon accents fall regularly, the LU of Alleluia ends up at the top of the arc more often than it did in Slavonic. The difference may also come from the historical 5-syllable pronunciation of Al-le-lu-i-a in Slavonic, which causes the individual syllable stresses to be less intense than in a 4-syllable pronunciation. The melodic LINE is kept in both cases, but the pronunciation of the new settings favors the English. Is that what you were asking about? (And yes, there was an extant oral tradition that pretty much matches what the IEMC did, when cantors sang the English ad libitum to the chant melody, and I've heard it in use.)

Jeff

#279544 - 02/20/08 09:38 PM Re: I guess they are right again [Re: ByzKat]  
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,245
Administrator Offline
John
Administrator  Offline

John
Member

Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,245
Virginia!
I disagree with my brother Jeff’s analysis of the commonly accepted “Only-Begotten Son and Word of God” #1. He speaks mostly of problems with execution and not with the arrangement. Certainly there was no need to abandon this setting.

The downbeat on “being” that he speaks of is not awkward at all. The “and” in the first line of the Thompson setting (“and to the Son”) in the new Green Pew Book has two notes and is at a ‘high point’ in the melody and is far more annoying than dropping a note on the second syllable of “being”. [The word “and” is not an important word here, but the emphasis of conjunctions in the Thompson music is common and very problematic.] If the drop on the second syllable of “being” was that bothersome (and it wasn’t) one could easily have adjusted the setting (quite possibly by keeping both syllables of the word “being” on the same note and dropping down on the “im” of “immortal”).

There is no problem with “Mother of God” and the continuation of “and ever Virgin Mary”. The issue is that in execution some cantors chose to give the word “God” in the phrase “Mother of God” a whole note instead of the written half note. Again, a matter of paying attention.

Likewise, there is no problem with “and became man without change”. I’ve not seen cantors who have sung it as Jeff describes but, it there are, the issue is one of singing it correctly (the word “man” in “and became man without change” is a half note, not a whole note).

Any cantor or congregation that might have the problems Jeff describes could correct them very easily. No need to prohibit the setting. I believe that Jeff’s earlier post that the hymn was prohibited because someone thought the melody to be too “distorted” is more accurate. Unfortunately the people are now deprived of a perfectly good setting that they had embraced after forty years.

I will noted again that Jeff continues to ignore the pastoral dimension, that a whole Church has been forced to abandon settings (mainly for the fixed texts of the Divine Liturgy) that they knew and loved after 40 years of singing. Liturgical chant serves the text and the people. It is not right to hurt people merely because a tiny number of people feel that the commonly accepted settings are not pure enough.

#279573 - 02/21/08 02:16 AM Re: I guess they are right again [Re: Administrator]  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,134
Etnick Offline
Member
Etnick  Offline
Member

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,134
West of Johnstown
Amen, John!

It isn't like there are millions of people singing prostopinije in the USA. The few thousand who are singing it want to sing it like they have been singing it all their lives, and they want to be left alone.

There was absolutely no need to fix what wasn't broken, contrary to the agenda of some rabble rousers.

#279595 - 02/21/08 08:37 AM Re: I guess they are right again [Re: Administrator]  
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 856
ByzKat Offline
Member
ByzKat  Offline
Member

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 856
Pittsburgh, PA
Glory to Jesus Christ for all things!

Originally Posted by Administrator
The downbeat on “being” that he speaks of is not awkward at all.


This may be an excellent example of hearing what you want to hear, John. The phrase begins with a monosyllabic foot: "WHO, BEing imMORtal." The music is strongly duple at this point: "ONE and TWO and". So the phrase ends up being "WHO be ING i--im" (eighth notes at the end. It could have easily been modified, as it was at the Advanced Cantor's School in the 80's, by singing "who" on the half note, moving "being" to two quarter notes; but in practice it was simply sung as written).

But is IS a bad accent - precisely because an accented syllable ("be-") falls on a weak note, immediately followed by an unaccented syllable ("-ing") on a strong note. Consecutive accents or consecutive non-accents don't cause the classic "bad accent"; the adjacency makes the difference.

Whereas...

Quote
The “and” in the first line of the Thompson setting (“and to the Son”) in the new Green Pew Book has two notes and is at a ‘high point’ in the melody and is far more annoying than dropping a note on the second syllable of “being”.[The word “and” is not an important word here, but the emphasis of conjunctions in the Thompson music is common and very problematic.]


Once again - in a four note duple pattern, the first and third notes are strong, and the second and fourth are customarily weak. In these traditional patterns, which occur throughout ALL kinds of chant, having a high note on 2 or 4 not only does NOT imply an accent, but often implies a NON-accent, or the second syllable of an accented word. Look, for example, at your setting of the prokeimenon for Flowery (Palm) Sunday, page 32 of your "Vespers for Sunday evenings during the Great Fast" booklet. Four quarter notes for "servants of the", with the fourth note being a D, the highest note in the piece and immediately preceding an accented high note. But the POSITION is weak, and "the" does not sound accented unless the cantor breaks the duple pattern.

(Unfortunately, we do have cantors who think that you have to "belt out" or "reach for" the high notes - one of the things a trained singer is early on taught NOT to do. But there I DO agree with you - fix the execution, not the music.)

Now in the example you've chosen (and I would quibble that it's a Music Commission setting, not a "Thompson setting" - many of our MCI materials which Professor Thompson DID do had to be adjusted when the IEMC set the same music), there is a duple pattern as well. In the Galician melody which was used, the music you are complaining about ALWAYS had a weak syllable in Slavonic on that second note, the high one used for "and" in "Son and Word of God". And the Ukrainian Catholic Anthology (page 105, Sunday and festal setting) uses the exact same pattern for those words - music accents on the first and third syllables, "Son" and "Word".

Your "high note makes an accent" postulate simply does not work for chant. So please don't claim that I "ignore bad accents" in accepting our traditional prostopinije chant motifs like SO-la-SO-fa-MI.

Quote
If the drop on the second syllable of “being” was that bothersome (and it wasn’t) one could easily have adjusted the setting (quite possibly by keeping both syllables of the word “being” on the same note and dropping down on the “im” of “immortal”).


Yes, you could reset the phrase to avoid the bad accent, but it wasn't widely done - largely because bad accents were accepted, or even exaggerated as "churchly". *shrug*

Quote
There is no problem with “Mother of God” and the continuation of “and ever Virgin Mary”. The issue is that in execution some cantors chose to give the word “God” in the phrase “Mother of God” a whole note instead of the written half note.


Indeed - but the fact that this hymn was sung in five different versions in the five parishes I served in as assistant cantor, suggests to me a broader problem - every parish sang SIMILAR music, but very few sang the 1965 settings as written. In this particular case, the pause after "Mother of God" was inserted because it came at the end of a continuous run of 17 beats on a breath - and in all five parishes, THAT's where the cantor took a breath. One advantage of the new setting (whether in the BCC book or the Ukrainian book) is that the musical phrases are divided a bit more evenly.

Quote
Any cantor or congregation that might have the problems Jeff describes could correct them very easily. No need to prohibit the setting.


I have never been in favor of prohibiting music - and in fact, based on the materials provided at the cantor school in late 2006 (including a draft copy of the foreword), there was no indication that ONLY the new version was to be used. That was added AFTER the musical proofreading of the entire book was complete.

I would be happy to discuss individual issues with the new settings with you, John - and back when you insisted that you would ONLY recommend changes to "official persons", and advised others not to respond to my requests that forum members point out problems they saw in the musical settings, other cantors submitted over forty recommendations that DID make it into the Music Commissions final version. It may be too late to do so for now, but rather than rely on invalid music theories like "the high note is always accented", you should consider learning to sing the new music AS WRITTEN, accents and all, THEN point out what you see as problems. When you hold such theories, and say "I see lots of problems, too many to point out and you wouldn't listen anyway", it's hard to know what you're really looking at.

Quote

I will noted again that Jeff continues to ignore the pastoral dimension, that a whole Church has been forced to abandon settings (mainly for the fixed texts of the Divine Liturgy) that they knew and loved after 40 years of singing.


No, I don't ignore the pastoral dimension, in spite of your claims, and I have no particular need to sing "pure" melodies. Father Deacon asked a musical question, and I attempted to answer it. I HAVE mentioned before that, in the process of arguing against the new texts, you tend to attribute specific views or emotions to others; in my case, at least, you're often quite wrong, but it's hardly seemed worthwhile to keep pointing that out.

Yours in Christ,
Jeff

#279599 - 02/21/08 10:03 AM Re: I guess they are right again [Re: ByzKat]  
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,245
Administrator Offline
John
Administrator  Offline

John
Member

Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,245
Virginia!
Jeff,

I think your opening paragraph underscores the correctness of what I wrote. You acknowledge that a potential bad accent “could have easily been modified”. Again, no need to throw away a perfectly good setting.

Originally Posted by ByzKat
I would be happy to discuss individual issues with the new settings with you, John - and back when you insisted that you would ONLY recommend changes to "official persons", and advised others not to respond to my requests that forum members point out problems they saw in the musical settings, …. It may be too late to do so for now….

Back in October 2006 someone took a copy of a liturgical book used by the MCI and put it on the internet. A big stink followed in Pittsburgh because those materials were not allowed to be seen outside the cantor school. Discussions of that music here on the Forum led to you offer to gather suggestions and present them to Mr. Thompson for consideration. Your offering to do so was a crock because we soon learned that the books were already printed, together with the recordings of the new chant that were to serve as examples. I do not know if you were misled or if you conspired with others to mislead people into thinking they could have their voices heard. I suspect that you were misled since Mr. Thompson could easily have sought critical input from experienced cantors, and instead chose to receive input mostly from his groupies. Either way it shows that that you are not really in a position to enact change. And that there was no serious effort to obtain input from experienced cantors across the country.

As far as your suggestion to sing the music the way it is written just a few posts ago you mentioned that you and other cantors spent a lot of time ‘correcting’ music ‘on the fly’. Why would you not expect other cantors to also ‘correct’ the new music ‘on the fly’? Here we are a year later after the promulgation and the Revised Divine Liturgy is more controversial now then it was a year ago. It looks more and more like the Thompson Pew Book is destined to be shelved. Perhaps when these new books are shelved the full, official Ruthenian Divine Liturgy will become normative and people can be allowed to sing music they know and love.

As far as you needing music that is “pure” I recommend that you read your earlier posts, in which you reference Bokšaj as “canonical” and defend bad settings like the now infamous change in accent in the first antiphon from "GLO-ri-ous" to "glo-RI-ous" and the “now-ow-ow-ow” in the “Holy God #1” as acceptable because they keep the ‘integrity’ of the Bokšaj melody.

The Ruthenian Church needs to put this fiasco behind it. Pray God it will soon do so. Too many people have been hurt and the Church should not be an instrument of hurt to its people.

John

#279611 - 02/21/08 12:49 PM Re: I guess they are right again [Re: Administrator]  
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,373
Ung-Certez Offline
Member
Ung-Certez  Offline
Member

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,373
Pittsburgh, PA
I'm hearing a rumor that St. John's Cathedral (Munhall) is no longer using the new RDL "green pew book", does anybody know if this is true? Maybe I'll have to attend liturgy there this Saturday?

Ung

#279615 - 02/21/08 01:04 PM Re: I guess they are right again [Re: Ung-Certez]  
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 644
Steve Petach Offline
Cantor
Steve Petach  Offline
Cantor
Member

Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 644
Reseda CA
Since you brought up the rumor, your assignment this Sunday is to go to Munhall for DL and report back to us. Simple.

#279617 - 02/21/08 01:07 PM Re: I guess they are right again [Re: Steve Petach]  
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,373
Ung-Certez Offline
Member
Ung-Certez  Offline
Member

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,373
Pittsburgh, PA
It will have to be Saturday. I'll be in Uniontown, hopefully on Sunday.

Ung

Page 12 of 12 1 2 10 11 12

Moderated by  Father Anthony 

The Byzantine Forum provides message boards for discussions focusing on Eastern Christianity (though discussions of other topics are welcome). The views expressed herein are those of the participants and may or may not reflect the teachings of the Byzantine Catholic or any other Church. The Byzantine Forum and the www.byzcath.org site exist to help build up the Church but are unofficial, have no connection with any Church entity, and should not be looked to as a source for official information for any Church. All posts become property of byzcath.org. Contents copyright - 1996-2017. All rights reserved.
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.019s Queries: 15 (0.007s) Memory: 1.8046 MB (Peak: 2.0341 MB) Zlib enabled. Server Time: 2017-07-27 04:48:23 UTC