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ByzKat Offline OP
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Glory to Jesus Christ!

I see that the original topic was locked, and I agree with John - there is no way to tell why a cantor elsewhere would sing in a particular way, without asking him (or her). Dr. Eric, maybe you could ask your cantor?

But I'm wondering, for those cantors whose parishes make the Green Book available to the people:

1. How closely do you follow the written music?

2. If you don't follow the written music, is it because of difficulty in doing so, or because you choose to sing differently?

3. If you (or other cantors at your parish) have difficulty with the written music, is there any pattern to the problems with singing? What sorts of resources (if any) might help to sing the music as written?

4. If you choose to sing the music other than as it is written (note: I would expect slight rhythmic variations, and the addition of harmonies; I mean real differences to a particular melody from the way it is notated), why? Do you sing most or all of the melodies differently, or particular ones? Do you change a small part of a melody (if so, which part(s)?), or sing the whole thing differently? What provisions do you make for newcomers and others to follow the music?

Yours in Christ,
Jeff Mierzejewski

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My opinion worth two cents, but I think it is because it is monastic in nature, being organic, it varies slightly depending on the Church and also it's people, since it tends to fit itself to it's environment.

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Jim Offline
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Jeff asked:

"1. How closely do you follow the written music?

Given the fact that the written music serves as a guide for chanting the words themselves and is not usually strict in terms of meter and tempo, I'd say I followed it fairly closely for pitch and melodic lines.

2. If you don't follow the written music, is it because of difficulty in doing so, or because you choose to sing differently?

This hasn't occurred at St. Thomas yet, but could once the parish starts using the typica psalms and the setting of "In You O Woman Full of Grace". I suspect consideration should be given to using a different setting of the latter.

3. If you (or other cantors at your parish) have difficulty with the written music, is there any pattern to the problems with singing? What sorts of resources (if any) might help to sing the music as written?

Where there is insufficient knowledge or skill in reading music, cantors are sometimes more hesitant in their delivery using the new book. Unfortunately, the congregation can pick up on that, too, thinking the leader is incorrect or uncertain, and then opt not to sing or sing softer or less. Parishioners also get used to particular cantors, and follow some of them intuitively.

4. If you choose to sing the music other than as it is written (note: I would expect slight rhythmic variations, and the addition of harmonies; I mean real differences to a particular melody from the way it is notated), why?

Not applicable

Do you sing most or all of the melodies differently, or particular ones?

Not applicable.

Do you change a small part of a melody (if so, which part(s)?), or sing the whole thing differently?

Not applicable.

What provisions do you make for newcomers and others to follow the music?"

For everyone there has been a freestanding menu board where changeable items are listed with page numbers. Sometimes there is additional information provided in the weekly bulletin or by announcement from the kliros before Liturgy. No special provision with regard to music itself is made for newcomers, however. There is the usual greeter assistance with book navigation, but that was done with the red books as well.

Jim Sprinkle
(As of yesterday, I am no longer cantoring for St. Thomas, in Gilbert, AZ, but am returning home to my Orthodox parish. The return has nothing to do with the new book. PM only if you have questions.)

Last edited by Jim; 10/15/07 02:18 PM.
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"How come the Cantor doesn't quite follow the music as written?"

It's a secret.

Specifically, it's a secret canon of all the Eastern Churches (Eastern Catholic and Orthodox).

[ahem, throat clearing]

Quote
CANON X:
(not to be distributed to the unitiated)

"No parish, neither its cantor nor laity nor hierarch nor presbyter nor deacon, shall, under pain of excommunication, sing, chant, say or otherwise vocalize the Liturgy in such a way that 100% follows the printed text.

"This will enable the parish to distinguish outsiders (to be followed by the inevitable: Hi. Are you Orthodox?) and to keep members of the parish critically listening to what word, note or inflection the priest or cantor is using this week... "

The rest of the cannon has not been quoted, as it has to do with the prescriptions for coffee cake and baklava during coffee hour . . .

In jest, laugh

-- John



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Job Offline
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LOL!!! I always thought there was a canon on that!!!


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