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Catechism

The purpose of the Catechism course is to help students “grow in their love for God and the Church through deeper knowledge of Theology, Scripture, Saints, History, and Spirituality.” Although Catechism only meets one day per week, students will receive assignments which invite them to spend time during the week in prayer, writing, and study. 

Levels 6 and 7 Byzantine Chant Course - 2017/2018 Full Year Course

SaturdayCommunionHymn - small.jpg
SaturdayCommunionHymn - small.jpg
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Levels 6 and 7 Byzantine Chant Course - 2017/2018 Full Year Course

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Meets Mondays and Fridays, 1:15-2:10 pm CST

Class Dates

  • Fall 2017: September 5 - December 15
  • Spring 2018: January 15 to May 4
  • Breaks: Thanksgiving (Nov. 23-24), Holy Week and Bright Monday (April 2-9)

 

Books are not included in the course fee.

Recommended for 9th grade students and above

Payment Option:
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Instructor: Mr. Gabriel Cremeens

 

SEMESTER 1:

Introduction to Byzantine Ecclesiastical Music

Topics:

·         Theology of Church Music

·         Hagiography and Church Music: Important Figures

·         Brief Historical Overview of the New Method of Analytical Notation

·         Reading Neume Notation

·         Introduction to Modal Theory (The Diatonic Genus)

·         Resurrectional Hymns of Saturday Vespers and Sunday Orthros (Plagal of the 4th Mode)

 

SEMESTER 2

The Diatonic Genus, Continued: 1st and Plagal 1st Modes
The Divine Services: The Lifeblood of the Church

Topics:

·         Orthography: Proper “Spelling” in Byzantine Music

·         Theseis: The Concept of “Formulae” or Melodic Patterns in Byzantine Music

·         Modal theory of 1st and Plagal 1st Modes

·         Resurrectional Hymns in the 1st and Plagal 1st Modes

·         Introduction to Liturgics; Structure of Vespers and Orthros


 

SEMESTER 3
Introduction to the Enharmonic Genus: 3rd and Grave Modes
The Diatonic Genus, Continued: 4th Mode

From the Early Church to the Present: A Historical Overview of Church Music

Topics:

·         Modal Theory of the Enharmonic Genus: 3rd and Grave Modes

·         Resurrectional Hymns in the 3rd and Grave Modes

·         Modal Theory and Resurrectional Hymns of 4th Mode

·         History of Byzantine Music and Hymnography

 

SEMESTER 4
The Chromatic Genus: 2nd and Plagal 2nd Modes
Secondary topic to be determined

Topics:

·         Modal Theory of the Chromatic Genus: 2nd and Plagal 2nd Modes

·         Resurrectional Hymns in the 2nd and Plagal 2nd Modes

 

The other topic of study in this semester will be determined based on the interests of the students and their overall progress. Possibilities include:

·         The Art of Byzantine Music Composition

·         Music for the Divine Liturgy

·         Model Melodies (Prosomia) for Vespers and Orthros

·         Core Byzantine Chant repertoire in the Greek language

 

MAIN OBJECTIVE
Successful completion of this course will give students the ability to chant all the essential Octoëchos hymns of the Saturday Vespers and Sunday Orthros services in Byzantine chant in English, offer basic background in the liturgical structure of those services, and provide the proper theological and historical context in which to study, learn, and appreciate Byzantine music, hymnography, and liturgics.
 

SUMMARY: Byzantine Chant: Context, Theory, Practice, Prayer
This introductory course in Byzantine chant at the Saint Raphael School will serve two distinct purposes. First, it will function as a course in Byzantine musical notation and the 8-mode system (“the 8 tones”). Beginning in the first semester, students will be introduced to the Byzantine notational system and will begin studying the Plagal of the 4th Mode. New modes will be added semester by semester, and the concept of theseis (formulae) will be introduced early on as the basis for mastering each mode. By the end of the course, students will have learned and become proficient in all 8 modes through their study of the Resurrectional Hymns of Vespers and Orthros (that is, the Anastasimatarion).

Equal time will also be dedicated to the second purpose of the course: providing the theological, historical, theoretical, and liturgical context in which Church music in general, and Byzantine chant specifically, must be understood. In order to achieve this goal, students will learn about the history and theology of Church music, and the important Saints and other historical figures who influenced the development of hymnography, Church music, and liturgics. A basic introduction to Vespers and Orthros - the liturgical context for the musical material learned - will also be incorporated.

Finally, in the 4th and last semester, the class as a whole will select an area of further study that may not have been covered in depth in earlier semesters. Potential topics include automela hymns ("model melodies"), an introduction to Byzantine chant composition, music for the Divine Liturgy, or other topics relevant to the interests of the class as a whole.

 

COURSE MATERIALS (basic list--subject to change and revision)

Byzantine Chant, by Constantine Cavarnos

All other course materials will be provided in electronic format by the instructor.

 

CLASS EXPECTATIONS
From the beginning of the course, students will be required to learn and master short notation-reading exercises and, later, entire hymns in the modes that they are studying. Students will demonstrate their mastery of the exercises by completing each week’s assigned homework, which will include making recordings of these exercises. Mastery of these small exercises and hymns is essential for making progress in Byzantine chant.

Students will also be expected to complete all short readings as provided and assigned by the instructor, as these readings will be indispensable for establishing the proper theological/historical/liturgical context for the music being learned.