Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 5

RECENT ADVANCES in ACOUSTICS & MUSIC

Several representative musical manuscripts in Byzantine and psaltic notation in the Rare books section at Central University Library in Iasi
IRINA ZAMFIRA DNIL Department of Musicology and Composition University of Arts George Enescu Iasi Str. Horia nr. 7-9, Iasi 700126 ROMANIA dzamfira@yahoo.com

Abstract: Within the Rare books section of the Central University Library Mihai Eminescu (BCUME) of Iai, there are around 70 musical manuscripts in psaltic and in Byzantine neumatic notation written between the 10th to 20th centuries. They are an important musical documentary resource as they illustrate almost all the stages of Byzantine notation: ecphonetic, medio-Byzantine, neo-Byzantine and Chrysantic. The present paper aims at briefly presenting the basic features of the above mentioned notations, as they can be seen in four valuable manuscripts at the BCUME: Ms. 160, call number IV 39 Lecionarul evanghelic of Iai / The Iai Gospel Lectionary- 9th 11th century, Ms. IV 34 Stikhirarion 13th century, Ms. I 26 Anthologion of Iai, 1545, and Ms. III 87, Stikhirarion or Doxastarion by Petru Lampadarie translated by Ghelasie Basarabeanu in 1840. Key words: byzantine musical notation, manuscript, lectionary, anthologhion, stikhirarion, doxastarion

1 Introduction
Byzantium fell under Ottoman occupation more than five hundred years ago, but the cultural, religious and artistic echoes of the great empire still reach us through the centuries, vibrating under the wonderful cathedral domes, in miracle-working icons or in the chants specific to the Orthodox rite, incessantly going on in churches. Musical notation is one of the main reasons that allowed Byzantine chanting to continue ever since the Middle Ages to our days. Ingeniously devised at the end of the Ancient Age by using the accents in Ancient Greek at that time a language of wide circulation and of the directing signs of protopsalts, this neumatic notation has gone through several evolutionary stages, starting with the Ecphonetic stage (centuries 7th to 13th). The next stage paleo-Byzantine (centuries 9th to 12th) presents itself as a superior stage to the Ecphonetic one, which can be described as more rudimentary, as it did not define the meaning of the notation signs. The medio-Byzantine notation evolved into the last stage of Byzantine semiography, known as neo-Byzantine, starting with the Fall of Constantinople (1453), while at the beginning of the 19th century (1814) it was replaced by the current psaltic notation, as instituted by the three reformers: Hrisant of Madyt, Protopsalt Grigorie and Hurmuz Hartofilax. In the Romanian principalities, continuous chanting of Byzantine music within the Liturgy

caused the above mentioned notations to be used, as can be seen from research done on the great funds of Byzantine musical and psaltic manuscripts in our country: the Library of the Academy, the Central University Library Mihai Eminescu of Iai (BCUME), the National Library of Romania. In this year (2010), when 150 years from the foundation of the Al. I. Cuza University are celebrated, and from the creation of what was previously the Music and Declamation School, we consider that a brief presentation of the most important Byzantine and psaltic manuscripts in BCUME is welcome, and they are proof that the spirit of Byzantium still lives on the territory of Romania, where it has been treasured and is still held in great respect through the important manuscripts that are representative for all stages of Byzantine notation. The Central University Library Mihai Eminescu of Iai (BCUME), a prestigious cultural institution created in 1853 as the Library of the Royal Academy, the oldest higher education institution in Iai, was founded and endowed with books by Prince Vasile Lupu in 1640. When the first university was founded in Romania (1860), the previous institution named the Michaelian Library became the University Library, a name that has been in use ever since, albeit various interruptions. Among the documents in the Rare manuscripts section within the Library, about 70 are musical manuscripts

ISSN: 1790-5095

87

ISBN: 978-960-474-192-2

RECENT ADVANCES in ACOUSTICS & MUSIC

in Byzantine and psaltic neumatic notation, dating from the 10th to 20th centuries, as standing proof of the Orthodox religious and musical culture on the territory of Romania.

groups of Ecphonetic signs known as incidences. In his opinion, each such incidences represents a fixed sound, related to the basic sound of the recitative Below, we present a fragment from the Monday Gospel pericope in the Holy Week, as transcribed by Grigore Paniru [4] (fig. 1): Fig. 1

2 Presentation of topic
The manuscripts at BCUME of Iai are part of a very important fund for research in Byzantinology, as they illustrate almost every stage of Byzantine notation: Ecphonetic, medioByzantine, neo-Byzantine and modern (Chrysantic); the only type missing are documents in the paleo-Byzantine neumatic notation.

3 Argumentation for the topic


The Old manuscript section of the BCUME keeps the oldest musical document in Romania, written in Greek, most likely in one of the Imperial courts in late 10th century or early 11th Byzantium. The codex, known as Lecionarul evanghelic de la Iai / The Iai Gospel Lectionary (inventory number Ms. 160, call-number IV-34), consists of rudiments of musical notation known as Ecphonetic notation within the evangelical pericopes. They are the first stage in the Byzantine notation, used in manuscripts starting with 6th century up to the 14th century with the aim of indicating the melodic line of the lithurgy recitative used in the solemn rendition of the Biblical texts. It is rooted in prosodic accents of ancient Greek drama attributed to Aritophanes of Byzantium [1]. The Ecphonetic notation system consists of red signs written above, below or in between the words of the text of the Liturgy. The signs that are used come in different shapes: as simple, double, straight, slanting, zig-zagging lines, curves, groups of three dots, all of them being written on the manuscript in groups of twos with a golden cross at the end of the phrase. Carsten Hoeg claims that each group of signs may indicate a short melody or melodic formula, and that there are fourteen melodic formulas in a pericope [2]. Starting from the shape of the signs, Egon Wellesz shows that this suggests the musical line of the recitative without specifically explaining the interval represented by each sign [3]. On studying the document Lecionarul evanghelic de la Iai / The Iai Gospel Lectionary (Ms. 160, call number IV34) and taking into account the opinion of the above quoted musicologists, the Romanian paleographist Grigorie Paniru succeeded in offering a new, more plausible explanation to the

The suggested interpretation of the meaning of the Ecphonetic signs was favourably received by various Byzantinologists; other researchers, such as Gheorghe Ciobanu, Milo Velimirovici and Egon Wellesz did not, however, agree to the solutions suggested by Grigore Paniru. The manuscript named Lecionar / Lectionary, about one thousand years old (10th 11th century), has roused the interest of musicologists and paleographists; one of them, Sandra Martani (Italia), has studied the manuscript and has recently published two papers in the journal CSBI [5]. As a final remark on Ecphonetic notation, we should mention that Iai (at the Museum of Romania Literature within the Pogor Memorial House) holds another Evangeliarion, Ms. 7030, probably written in the 12nd / 13th century, which is the only one existing in other cultural centres in Romania. It can therefore be said that Iai stores important documents where the Ecphonetic notation is used. The Evangeliarion, Ms. 7030, contains the same rudimentary musical symbols which, as we have stated in a previous study in the journal Acta Musicae Byzantinae [6], can be interpreted accordig to the method suggested by the great paleographist Grigore Paniru, his method thus proving its validity. His activity is worth mentioning at the anniversary of the University of Iai, not only for his achievements in Byzantinology, but also for his activity as a professor at the Pedagogical Seminar within the Al. I. Cuza University of Iai between 1931 and 1945, as well as for his activity as a conductor of a female students choir between 1935 and 1945 [7]. Related to the musical echoes of Byzantium to the modern age, other musical documents in medio-Byzantine notation can be

ISSN: 1790-5095

88

ISBN: 978-960-474-192-2

RECENT ADVANCES in ACOUSTICS & MUSIC

found in the Rare Books section within the BCUME, where a very important manuscript (call number Ms. IV-39) is kept; it is known to specialists as the Stikhirarion due to its musical content; it is also mentioned in the catalogue issued by the researcher Nicu Moldoveanu. There is only one other manuscript of this kind in Romania, also named Stikhirarion, in medio-Byzantine notation, Ms. gr. 953, at the Library of the Academy in Bucharest [8]. Medio-Byzantine notation evolved from the paleo-Byzantine, the main progress consisting of: the precise explanation of the significance of all diastematic signs (somata and pneumata), the introduction of martyria which had a role in checking up on the accuracy of melodic intonation, the validation of the Echoi, the introduction of the cheironomic signs and their classification into three large rhythmic, dynamic and expressive groups. Grigore Paniru was among the first Romanian researchers to emphasize the importance of the Ms. IV-39 and to study the notation it contains. A part of the chants in this manuscript has been transcribed and published by the Romanian paleographist in his capital work Notaia i ehurile muzicii bizantine / The notation and the Echoi of Byzantine music, which offers anyone interested the opportunity to read and transcribe such texts. [9] We present here the incipit of the first stichera of 26th of October Veselete-te ntru Domnul cetatea Tesalonic / Rejoice unto the Lord, City of Thessaloniki (fig. 2), as transcribed by G. Paniru [10], in order to illustrate the melodic simplicity of the Byzantine chanting of 13th century and the modal configuration of the scale of the first authentic echos:

Fig. 2

Stichera Rejoice unto the Lord, City of Thessaloniki - incipit

arts were taught and performed: calligraphy, painting, miniature, and music. This important centre for learning and creation was founded at the initiative of the Moldavian Prince Stephen the Great (1457 1504); the school was founded towards the final part of his reign, and reached its peak in the first three decades of the following century, then gradually falling into oblivion towards the end of the 16th century. We should show here that the Romanian researchers Gheorghe Ciobanu, Marin Ionescu i Titus Moisescu discovered ten more manuscripts from the musical school at Putna beside Ms. I 26 of Iai, which were spread in many important libraries in Romania and abroad. Another interesting discovery a twelfth manuscript from Putna was made by Gabriela Ocneanu, Traian Ocneanu and Archimandrite Clement Haralam [11]. The Koukouzelian notation used in Ms. I 26 is consistent with the general features of Byzantine notation: (1) the use of the interval signs somata and pnevmata; (2) of the approximately 40 cheironomic signs used during this stage of the Byzantine notation, only 32 appear in Ms. I 26, also used in the incomplete Propedia to be found at the beginning of the manuscript; (3) martyria are comparatively seldom marked; (4) apechemata only appear in a few pieces. The chants in the Antologhion of Iai belong to the Byzantine composers of the period, Ioan Cucuzel, Ioan Cladas, Kukumas, Gherasim, as well as to the main representatives of the musical school of Putna: Evstatie Protopsaltul and Dometian Vlahu, whose compositions can be found in most of the manuscripts from the Putna school [12]. Some of the chants belonging to these two important Romanian composers, such as The Hymn to Saint John the New of Suceava (by Evstatie) or The Chalice of Salvation (by Dometian Vlahu) have represented a source of inspiration for contemporary Romanian composers (Viorel Munteanu The Voices of Putna, or Miriam Marb The Time Found Again). Here are the incipits of these Byzantine hymns: Fig. 3

The scale of the first bzyantine authentic echos There are several manuscripts in neoByzantine (Koukouzelian) notation of varying dates at the BCUME. The oldest manuscript containing this notation, The Anthologion of Hieromonk Antonie (Ms. call number I 26), was written in 1545 at the Putna Monastery near Suceava, where a school ran in which Byzantine The Hymn to Saint John the New of Suceava incipit [13]

ISSN: 1790-5095

89

ISBN: 978-960-474-192-2

RECENT ADVANCES in ACOUSTICS & MUSIC

The Chalice of Salvation incipit, Ms. I 26, f. 127 [14] Other important manuscripts in Koukouzelian notation copied during the 17th century are Ms. III 86, Ms. III 96 [15], Ms. I 22 [16]. A large number of Greek musical manuscripts from the 18th century can be found, but only few in the Romanian language. Here are some of the Greek manuscripts: Ms. gr. III 85, ms. 88, Ms. III 87, Ms. gr. 89, Ms. I 24, Ms. III 93, Ms. III 95 [17]. A smaller number of manuscripts in Koukouzelian notation dating from the beginning of the 19th century are in store at the BCUME: Ms. III 94, Ms. III 95, Ms. IV-40, Ms. IV 71, Ms. IV 93 [18]. Towards the end of the period when neo-Byzantine notation was used (18th century and the beginning of the 19th century), dissenting opinions appeared: some musicians considered that the cheironomice signs should be improved and enriched, while others considered that they should be simplified, as in their exisiting form they made reading difficult, sometimes making chanting almost impossible. The latter tendency gained ground so, finally the Chrysantic reform emerged and was approved by the Patriarchy in Constantinople in 1814. For this reason, Romanian paleography considers that there is a period of transition from the Koukouzelian notation to the Chrysantic notation. Modern notation, also known as Chrysantic after the name of the main representative of the reform that took place in 1814, Hrysant of Madyt, retained the most important interval signs from the neo-Byzantine notation, somata and pnevmata (under the name of simple vocalic signs) and the combined signs, and reduced the rhythmic signs to four and the cheironomic signs to five; the latter were re-named consonant signs. The Chrysantic reform also resulted in a simplified and unified structure of cadences and of the formulas of intoning the voices. The entire repertoire of the previous period was transcribed according to the new system by its promotors, Hrisant of Madyt, Grigorie the Protopsalt and Hurmuz Hartofilax. In the Romanian Principalities, the new notation came in use as soon as it was approved by the Patriarchy of Constantinople; in 1817 a school of psaltic music was opened at the the church St Nicholas elari in Bucharest, where the Greek singer Petru Efesiu taught. His best pupils were Hieromonk Macarie and Anton Pann, who eventually became founders of the modern Romanian psaltic music. The former published in 1823 in Vienna a group of three books, Theoritikon, Anastasimatar and Catavasier, which are essential and indispensable to learn the new

notation and to apply church chanting according to the new semiography. The latter, Anton Pann, was also a man of letters, folklore researcher, composer, psalm singer, pedagogue and editor, a complex personality who contributed greatly to the promotion of the new repertoire by publishing in his own printing shop the main books necessary for the church chanting. Most of the manuscripts at BCUME are written in the new notation. Here are some of them: Ms. II 31, Canoanele Musichiei / The Musical Canons of Ghelasie Basarabeanul, Anastasimatar and Catavasier (1866), Ms. III 78, Stikhirarion or Doxastarion, by Petru Lampadarie, translated by Ghelasie Basarabeanul and others (1840), Ms. II157, Idioms and Praises of the Holy Week, by Protopsalt Constantin, Ms. III 84, Chants for the Ceasurile mprteti, Ms. III 15, Romanian Greek Antologhion (1828), Ms. III 36 Antologhion in Greek (1830-1842) [19] etc. We shall lay emphasis on Ms. III 78 mentioned above, since its puts forward a Romanian personality who is less known, Ghelasie Basarabeanu, protopsalt, who was active as psalm reader, transcriber and calligrapher, composer at Curtea de Arge. As a teacher of music at the Seminar, he transcribed all the books of the church repertoaire in the new system and created new musical versions that were at the same inspired and accessible. Unfortunately, since he was a monk, he failed to obtain the support to print his work during his lifetime. Ghelasies work remained in manuscript form and only few made their way to the public arena, published in several anthologies; the manuscripts he and his pupils copied and transcribed were discovered only recently. As a result of these discoveries, his personality has been rightfully restored to public recognition the Byzantinologist Sebastian Barbu Bucur and Priest Ion Isroiu published four volumes in both semiographies linear and psaltic comprising his creation in its most representative elements. His editors legitimately consider Ghelasie to be a classic of Romanian music of Byzantine tradition in the former half of the 19th century, along with Hieromonk Macarie and Anton Pann [20]. Below we present the incipit of a Stichera by Ghelasie Basarabeanu (in 4th plagal voice) [21]: Fig. 4

4 Conclusions

ISSN: 1790-5095

90

ISBN: 978-960-474-192-2

RECENT ADVANCES in ACOUSTICS & MUSIC

Among the approximately 70 musical manuscripts of the Rare Books section within the BCUME, there are invaluable unique manuscripts of national and international importance. The notations used in these manuscripts prove the continuity of Byzantine music on the territory of Romania and the constant concern for the preservation of Byzantine and psaltic monody in the Orthodox church, especially the Romanian church. Beside the manuscripts written in Greek in Moldavia during the 19th and the 20th centuries, other manuscripts were produced in the Romanian language in which the modern Chrysantic notation was used. This notation corresponds to a period in which the emerging national music schools became prominent. The main unifying characteristic of the 19th century musical schools of psaltic music is that they actually have the same source, from the period of the states organization to the end of the Middle Ages. A common set of features can be said to describe the modern music of all Orthodox churches. Our hope is that the data in the present paper have shed light on a part of the musical treasure stored at BCUME and have restored to the current arena issues related to Byzantine music and its specific notation from the 11th century to the 19th century.

References: [1] Carsten Hoeg, La notation ecphontique, Copenhaga, 1935, p. 15 and 137 [2] Carsten Hoeg, La notation ecphontique, Copenhaga, 1935, pp. 21-31. [3] Egon Wellesz, A History of Byzantine Music and Himnography, Second Edition, revised and enlarged, Oxford, At the Clarendon Press, 1961, pp. 252-254. [4] Grigore Paniru, Lecionarul evanghelic de la Iai, Bucureti, Ed. Muzical, 1982, p. 144. [5] Sandra Martani, Lvangliare de Iai et le systme ekphontique dans les manuscripts en majuscule, Acta Musicae Byzantinae, vol. IV, Iai, Centrul de Studii Bizantine, Editura Novum, 2001, pp. 20-25; Le manuscrit de Iai IV-34 et linterpretation de la notation ekphontique, Acta Musicae Byzantinae, vol. VII, Iai, Centrul de Studii Bizantine, Ed. Novum, 2004, pp. 7-12. [6] Zamfira Bucescu-Dnil, Manuscrisele 7030 i 4915-L de la Muzeul Literaturii Romne din Iai, Acta Musicae Byzantinae, vol. VII, Iai, Centrul de Studii Bizantine, Editura Novum, 2004, pp. 170179.

[7] Florin Bucescu, Un pasionat cercettor al muzicii medievale din Romnia: Grigore Paniru, Byzantion, vol I, Iai, Academia de Arte George Enescu, 1995, p. 93. [8] Titus Moisescu, Sisteme de notaie n muzica religioas de tradiie bizantin, Acta Musicae Bzyantinae, vol., nr. 1, Iai, Centrul de Studii Bizantine, Ed. Novum, p. 27. [9] Grigore Paniru, Notaia i ehurile muzicii bizantine, Bucureti, Editura Muzical, 1971, p. 6. [10] Grigore Paniru, Notaia i ehurile muzicii bizantine, Bucureti, Editura Muzical, p. 44. [11] Gabriela Ocneanu, Al XII-lea manuscris din coala de la Putna Manuscrisul de la Lvov, Acta Musicae Byzantinae, vol. VIII, Iai, Centrul de Studii Bizantine, Ed. Novum, 2005, pp. 80-93; Apartenena manuscrisului 1060 de la Lvov la coala de la Putna, Artes, vol. V, Iai, Ed. Artes, 2005, pp. 27-43. [12] Ciobanu, Gheorghe, Ionescu, Marin, Moisescu, Titus, coala muzical de la Putna. Manuscrisul nr. I-26/Iai Antologhion din Biblioteca Central Universitar Mihai Eminescu Iai, Bucureti, Ed. Muzical, 1981, pp. 54-55. [13] Grigore Paniru, Notaia i ehurile muzicii bizantine, Bucureti, Editura Muzical, 1971, p. 85. [14] Titus Moisescu, Muzica bizantin n spaiul cultural romnesc, Bucureti, Ed. Muzical a Uniiunii Compozitorilor i muzicologilor din Romnia, 1996, p. 333. [15] Nicu Moldoveanu, Izvoare ale cntrii psaltice n Biserica Ortodox Romn, Biserica Ortodox Romn, Buletin oficial al Patriarhiei Romne, Bucureti, 1974, nr. 1-2, p. 221. [16] Florin Bucescu, Documente importante de muzic bizantin i psaltic n bibliotecile din Iai, Acta Musicae Byzantinae, vol. I, nr. 1, Ed. Novum, 1999, p. 68. [17] Nicu Moldoveanu, Izvoare ale cntrii psaltice n Biserica Ortodox Romn, Biserica Ortodox Romn, Buletin oficial al Patriarhiei Romne, Bucureti, 1974, nr. 1-2, p. 221. [18] Florin Bucescu, Documente importante de muzic bizantin i psaltic n bibliotecile din Iai, Acta Musicae Byzantinae, vol. I, nr. 1, Iai, Centrul de Studii Bizantine, Ed. Novum, p. 69. [19] Florin Bucescu, Cntarea psaltic n manuscrisele moldoveneti din sec. XIX. Ghidul manuscriselor din Moldova sec. XIX, vol. I, Iai, Ed. Artes, 2009, pp. 65-67. [20] Ghelasie Basarabeanu, Doxastar. Triod. Penticostar, Bucureti, Ed. SemnE, 2007, p. III. [21] Ghelasie Basarabeanu, Doxastar. Triod. Penticostar, Bucureti, Ed. SemnE, 2007, p. 91.

ISSN: 1790-5095

91

ISBN: 978-960-474-192-2