St. Nicholas Choir Chanting Class 

This page includes instructional materials, music, and recordings for the St. Nicholas chanting class. 

general 

Core readings and hymns to know:

  • Orthros Six Psalms and Psalm 50: English
  • Resurrection Apolytikia in the eight modes: English | Greek

Byzantine chant instruction/guides:


Mode 3 (Class #2: 7 March 2018)

Homework

Practice/Study:

  • Pick one or two other Mode 3 stichera from the Octoechos book for Saturday Great Vespers.
  • Practice chanting the attached Vespers Psalms in Mode 3. 
  • Begin learning the Mode 3 special melody of "Awed by the Beauty." Use the music for this hymn distributed at class. Also refer to Page 14 of the Byzantine Prosomia Chanter's Companion.

Listen to:

  • Continue as much as possible to listen to the recordings recommended for the first class.
  • Accompanying recording for Page 14 from the Chanter’s Companion CD 1
  • Examples of "Awed by the Beauty"

At-Home Exercise/Application

With prosomia, the melodies stay the same (more or less) and may be applied to different hymns. Mastering special melodies requires memorizing the melodies and learning to fit different texts into them. To begin cultivating this skill, your at-home exercise is to try plugging the following hymn into the melody of "Awed by the Beauty."

English

Incomprehensible, uncircumscribable, * Him one in essence with Father and Comforter * have you in mystery held within your womb as God’s Virgin Mother. * Through your bringing forth, we learned * to give glory throughout the world * to the one and unconfused operation of the Trinity. * We therefore cry to you in thanksgiving: * Rejoice, O Full of Grace.

Greek

Τὸν ἀκατάληπτον καὶ ἀπερίγραπτον, τὸν ὁμοούσιον Πατρὶ καὶ Πνεύματι, ἐν τῇ γαστρί σου μυστικῶς, ἐχώρησας Θεομῆτορ, μίαν καὶ ἀσύγχυτον, τῆς Τριάδος ἐνέργειαν, ἔγνωμεν τῷ Τόκῳ σου, ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ, δοξάζεσθαι· διὸ καὶ εὐχαρίστως βοῶμέν σοι· Χαῖρε ἡ Κεχαριτωμένη.

About Prosomia:

Prosómia are a large, specific group of hymns of the Eastern Orthodox Church, which are used as models and paradigms for the composition of other hymns. In laymen’s terms, a prosómion (singular) is a “hymn-tune”. When its title, which is the first words of the hymn appears above other hymn-texts, it signifies that they are to be sung to the tune of that particular prosomion. A hymn is called a prosomion – meaning in Greek “similar to” – when hymns modeled after the Original Melody match it note for note, syllable for syllable, and accent for accent. (Source: Byzantine Prosomia: Chanter's Companion)


Mode 3 (Class #1: 31 January 2018)

Homework

Listen to:

Read:

Practice/Study

  • Dominant notes for Mode 3 heirmologic and sticheraric families (should memorize)
  • Your assigned sticheron from Vespers
  • Text of Mode 3 Orthros Praises -- practice on dominant notes or following Mode 3 melodic patterns