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Elements for a connected history of Eastern Orthodoxy, 14th-19th c.

Tradition: Politics of cultural heritage, Stanbulite Greeks, and the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the late nineteenth century

Politiques d’héritage culturel, Grecs Stambouliotes et le Patriarcat de Constantinople à la fin du xixe s.
Merih Erol

Résumés

Cet article explore les notions de tradition et d’innovation comme elles étaient perçues et employées dans le discours des Grecs orthodoxes d’Istanbul à propos de leur musique rituelle dans la deuxième moitié du xixe s. Sur un plan plus général, en se focalisant sur la musique sacrée de l’Église orthodoxe grecque à la fin du xixe s., l’article met en avant les frontières brouillées ente tradition et invention (ou innovation). En explorant les discours sur la tradition prononcés par les chefs spirituels, de musiciens et de musicologues européens, il aborde les manifestations d’identités ethniques et religieuses chez le groupe minoritaire non-musulman le plus nombreux dans un empire multiethnique et multiconfessionnel. Parmi les sujets les plus importants qui ont préoccupé les patriarches, les chantres et les participants aux commandes musicales à Istanbul figurent l’amélioration du chant choral, la notation des chants ecclésiastiques et les problèmes d’intonation. Cet article explore les intentions et les actes réformistes des chantres, des érudits et des patriarches stambouliotes, au vu des assertions de leur identité culturelle, des discours sur l’Occident auxquels ils souscrivaient, ainsi que de leurs réponses individuelles à certaines convictions d’érudits occidentaux sur les origines et la continuité de la tradition musicale grecque. En outre, en offrant des exemples tirés de la longue histoire de la musique de l’Église orthodoxe de l’Est, l’article contribue à la compréhension des processus de construction des mythes et des traditions dans la culture grecque contemporaine.

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Texte intégral

  • 1 Shils 1981, pp. 88‑89.
  • 2 Exertzoglou 2007, p. 50.
  • 3 Lind 2012, p. 19.

1Since the long ago published book of Edward Shils, the understanding of “tradition” and “invention” (or innovation) as polar opposites has greatly been revised. Shils demonstrated that while the ideal of or belief in constant innovation could become a tradition in itself, every innovation depended on a previously existing tradition of knowledge1. Along its more specific meanings referring to the know-how and the conventions related to a particular art or craft, the notion of tradition in modern Greek consciousness is a force which binds the individual to his ancestors, connecting various moments in history in order to come to terms with one’s present existence. Contrary to how any recourse to tradition has generally been perceived, in fact the use of tradition by its supporters is a stance situated more in the present than in the past. Echoing this view, examining the Greek Orthodox community of Istanbul in the nineteenth century, Haris Exertzoglou noted that “the concept of tradition was used as a kind of metaphor when dealing with novel issues associated with a changing social and cultural environment”2. He further claimed that the use of tradition was not a conservative reaction to change; rather the use of the tradition-metaphor was a facet of the modernist discourse. Blurring further the artificial separation between tradition(s) and modernity, a researcher of the recent revival of Byzantine chant at Mount Athos wrote: “Traditions exist right in the middle of modern worlds – sacred music revivals are modern manifestations like other types of musical revival, such as folk music revivals, early music revivals, and so forth” 3.

  • 4 As examples of selective appropriation, Makrides has mentioned the Church’s response to theater an (...)
  • 5 See Taft 1992, p. 19; Lingas 2007. Lingas has argued for the perpetuation of the Constantinopolita (...)

2In conventional modern Greek national historiography, the Church has been viewed as the protector and the preserver of the national lore, mores, and traditions. Apart from establishing a particular relationship between religion and the nation, this conviction has also implied the stability and the resilience of the Church. The biggest challenge for the Church in Greece in the nineteenth century was to produce a version of Hellenism that would support the historical and cultural continuity of the nation. Ever practical, as Vasilios N. Makrides has noted, the Church readjusted to Hellenic tradition in many domains, appropriated this tradition selectively though conditionally and within some limits, and promoted the historical synthesis of Hellenism and Orthodox Christianity4. Change and innovation in the form of selective appropriation of elements from the past or from available contemporary traditions, however, was not something new in the long history of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Examples can be found in its liturgical history. Several studies which examined the codification of monastic repertories and their transformative impact on the cathedral rite of the Great Church in late Byzantine Empire, suggest that modification and change were usual as far as ritual celebration was concerned5.

3The present article will examine the attempts of Stanbulite Greek cantors, scholars, and patriarchs to reform the Greek Orthodox liturgical singing in the late nineteenth century. It will explore these reformist intentions and acts in sight of Stanbulite Greeks’ perceptions of their own cultural identity, the discourses of the West that they subscribed to, and their individual responses to certain Western European scholars’ convictions on the origins and the continuity of the Greek musical tradition, as well as to their suggestions regarding the reform of music. Furthermore, the article will demonstrate the power struggle of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to maintain a position of authority and to control the tradition, while it will delineate the character, motivation, and outlook of the particular patriarchs’ – Joachim III’s and Constantine V’s – attempts to reform the liturgy and music of the church.

“They have guild mentality”: the transcription of liturgical chants and the discourse of tradition

  • 6 In Turkey, an adapted form of the western staff notation began to be used in the transcription of (...)
  • 7 In the 1930s, the transcriptions published by the institution ‘Monumenta Musicae Byzantinae’ of me (...)
  • 8 A printed copy of Paspales’ letter is in the Library of the Theological Seminary of Chalki in a bi (...)
  • 9 Kıltzanıdes (of Bursa) 1879.
  • 10 Paspales’ letter, p. 5: “[…] these are due to ignorance, human sickness and squalor. Fanaticism, o (...)
  • 11 Behar 1987, pp. 27‑31.

4In 1877, the Music Committee of the Greek Literary Society (Ελληνικός Φιλολογικός Σύλλογος) in Istanbul decided to transcribe Greek Orthodox liturgical chants into Western staff notation. This initiative was soon stopped by certain Stanbulite cantors who objected to the transcription of the ecclesiastical chants. The introduction of Western notation into the music of the Ottoman East was within the framework of a broader program of ‘westernization’ which is considered to have begun with the Tanzimat era. The use of Western notation as it was or in a modified form, was on the agenda of the Ottoman musicians for the most part of the nineteenth century6. The issue of transcription continued to occupy both the Western scholars of Byzantine music and the practitioners of the psaltiki well into the twentieth century7. Two published contemporary sources, a pamphlet and a collection of newspaper articles, allow us to locate the main actors of the controversy over the transcription of the hymns. A Stanbulite banker, Dimitrios Paspales, published a pamphlet, rather a vindication letter, dated 15 December 1879, explaining why the Music Committee had to stop its project of transcription, accusing cantors who stood in the way of reform8. The second source is the collection of musicological articles which first appeared in the newspaper Νεολόγος in 1879, and then published by a cantor named Panagiotis Kiltzanides under the title Διατριβαί περί της Ελληνικής Εκκλησιαστικής Μουσικής (Treatises on Greek Ecclesiastical Music) in the same year9. Dimitrios Paspales was an influential member of the Greek Orthodox financial elite of Istanbul – he was the business partner of Christakis Zografos, the sponsor of the Zografeion high school in Pera – who also had considerable musical knowledge. Panagiotis Kiltzanides was a well-known cantor who was coming from Bursa in Asia Minor and the publisher of chant collections and music books. In his letter D. Paspales wrote that the cantors stood in the way of the music reform, more precisely, the introduction of Western staff notation, with their “guild mentality” afraid of losing their jobs to the ones equipped with modern knowledge10. Interestingly, this fits nicely with the assessment of the twentieth-century Turkish musicological scholarship regarding the production, instruction, transmission, and performance of music in the Ottoman Empire, more or less, as a craft guild11. The reason why P. Kiltzanides published the recent articles of two cantors and an article of D. Paspales on tone intervals and similar musicological issues together with his response to all of them was that the newspaper Νεολόγος had refused to publish his article on the grounds that it was too technical for its readers. Concerning the debate on the transcription of the liturgical chants into Western notation, the arguments vying for attention and acceptance can be summarized as follows.

5An inherently contradictory rhetoric which was adopted by various revivalisms throughout the nineteenth century was the legitimation of novelty with a search for authenticity. This rhetoric was easily accommodated within the discourses of Greek cultural identity that saw the ancient Greek culture as the source of Western civilization. Thus, in support of using Western staff notation in transcribing ecclesiastical hymns, D. Paspales claimed that besides being the most perfect notation in use, the European notation evolved from the first form of the ancient Greek musical notation.

  • 12 “European music always had the same notation, which the Europeans by developing it brought it to i (...)
  • 13 See Exertzoglou 2007, p. 44.

6In opposition to Paspales who advocated the use of Western notation in the transcription of the ecclesiastical hymns, cantor Kiltzanides attributed uniqueness to the Western musical experience, hence undermining the universality of the Western model, and also indirectly empowered tradition in the Greek context. He argued that the Western notation had its own course of development and could not be adapted for the use of the ecclesiastical chants of the Eastern Church12. Kiltzanides’ rejection of the transcription of ecclesiastical music into Western staff notation on the grounds that this would corrupt traditional chants, and the implication of his remark that the music of the Eastern Church was essentially different from the liturgical music of the Western Church which had instruments and polyphony, resonated closely with the Eastern Orthodox Church’s criticism of Western Christianity and its rite. It also echoed a widely shared suspicion in the Ottoman society of his time about the West, and reflected fear of its potential for corrupting other cultures13.

  • 14 Kiltzanides 1879, p. 3.
  • 15 This was argued by Evstratios Papadopoulos, the Protopsaltis of the Church of Panagia in Pera. To (...)

7Kiltzanides believed that the early church chant was a continuation from the modes and species (or genera) of ancient Greek music. He wrote: “…ancient Greeks had their own eight modes (ihos) like we have, only their names are different; Dorian, Lydian, Phrygian, Myxolydian, Hypo Dorian, Hypo Lydian, Hypo Phrygian, Hypo Myxolydian corresponding to our α’, β’, γ’, δ’, πλ. α’, πλ. β’, βαρύς, πλ. δ’”14. His vision of reform would not compromise the microtonal intervals of the traditional chant which he considered to be inherited from the ancient musical modes. In his writings, he defended the authenticity and the continuous existence of the enharmonic species, the minor tone (elasson), and the one-third and quarter tones in the Greek musical tradition, against others in the contemporary debate who expounded the view that the enharmonic species of the ancients had fallen into oblivion by the fourth century BC15.

  • 16 Konton 1751.
  • 17 Bourgault-Ducoudray 1878, p. 9: “Que leur engouement pour le progrès n’aille pas jusqu’à l’abandon (...)

8European experts’ views on the continuity and the authenticity of the musical heritage of the modern Greeks were well appreciated by the Greek educated society who participated in the discussions on music. In the previous centuries, music – either as part of the local folklore or as an elaborate court music – often drew the attention of European travellers to the Ottoman lands, who sometimes left detailed descriptions of it16. During the nineteenth century, a more informed opinion on Eastern music was increasingly expressed not by simple travellers or dragomans of foreign states like Fonton, but by expert musicians. In the 1870s, the French musician Louis A. Bourgault-Ducoudray was well known both in Greece and in Ottoman Istanbul for his research on Greek music and his collection of songs from Greece – Athens, Izmir and Istanbul – which earned him sympathy among the Stanbulite Rum. At that time, similar to other “young” nations, modern Greeks, too, given the fact that their musical cultures had remained outside the influence of the musical developments that had taken place in Western Europe, e.g. antiphonal singing, contrapuntal music writing, temperament of the intervals of the diatonic scale and polyphony, wished to acquire a modern music to be able to join the civilized nations. In his Souvenirs d’une mission musicale en Grèce et en Orient, the French musician defended the view that on the way to progress, the non-Western nations should not abandon the specific qualities of their own music which reflected the genius and the temperament of their nations17. This view, which was outside the most imperialist expressions of Orientalist thought, was still an equally essentialist view. Unlike European music, which was “weary of an excessive development”, he saw Eastern music, hence contemporary Greek music, as ‘stagnant’. Actually, according to this polarized view of Western and Eastern music, ‘authenticity’ – which was sometimes fused with ‘spontaneity’ – appears as a quality of Eastern music, while ‘change’ and ‘modernity’ are seen as features of Western music.

  • 18 Bourgault-Ducoudray 1877, p. 69: “Comment expliquer l’usage, universellement répandu dans les prov (...)
  • 19 Νεολόγος, 8, 15, 16 October 1879.

9In his Études sur la musique, Ducoudray further claimed that the chromatic modes in contemporary Greek music did not actually belong to their own musical temperament, but were elements of Turkish or Arabic influence, and tried to convince his readers that Greeks should only use diatonic modes like in most of their popular songs18. This view was taken up by the Stanbulite cantor, Evstratios Papadopoulos, the first-cantor of the Church of Panagia in Beyoğlu/Pera, who called for a return to what he called the ‘original’ form of the ecclesiastical music, which was based on the seven diatonic modes of the ancient Greeks19. Papadopoulos expounded such views in his public lectures at the Club Mnemosyne and at the Greek Literary Society. Besides, whether meant by Papadopoulos himself or not, the elimination of the chromatic modes and tones lesser than the half-tone would facilitate the introduction and the adaptation of ‘polyphony’ to ecclesiastical music.

10The French musician also wrote that the existing state of Greek music isolated Greece from the consort of the European nations. He therefore advised the contemporary Greek musicians to use polyphony and Western staff notation in their music. There is, however, an obvious contradiction in this discourse of modernization and westernization. Modern Greeks had to have a distance from the Western model and maintain the variety of musical scales which made their music richer in comparison to the Western one that had only two (major and minor) scales, while they had to eliminate the chromatic and the enharmonic modes which were, in fact, the very source of that difference.

  • 20 Exertzoglou 2007, p. 52.
  • 21 This was paraphrased by Ch.‑Emile Ruelle in his essay which he read at the Association for the Enc (...)
  • 22 Skopetea 1992.
  • 23 Paspales’ letter, p. 9. In the original: “επί των τιμαλφεστέρων ημών εθνικών και εσωτερικών συμφερ (...)

11The notion of authenticity was very powerful and significant in Western representations and constructions of the East. In addition to this, the universality of the Western model was undermined by the specifically local task that the nationalist discourse assigned to the Greek nation: ‘the regeneration of the East’20. Furthermore, in the eyes of both the local agents, who searched for authenticity and tradition, and of European scholars, for this rehabilitation to happen, the Greek tradition had to be restored. In this respect, the following paraphrase from Ducoudray’s Etudes is revealing: “This music [of contemporary Greeks] constitutes a national patrimony and represents a tradition which is at the same time religious and social (politique). In the case that it is reformed and ameliorated, it can serve as a starting point for the creation of a musical language that is genuine and proper to the peoples of the East”21. Hence, by maintaining its ancient tradition and at the same time by reforming it with precise and scientific means such as the use of Western staff notation, Greeks would set a model with their modernized yet genuine music for the Eastern peoples to follow. Interestingly, we recognize this excerpt, translated in Greek, in D. Paspales’ vindication letter, probably inserted with the intention to empower his own suggestions about music reform by referring to the opinion of a European expert. As the late Elli Skopetea taught us, however, largely shaped by the international political situation in the Balkans in the late nineteenth century, generally speaking the Greek attitude towards the West was rather ambivalent22. Thus, Paspales esteemed the Western civilization as the most perfect, developed one, yet he also wrote demagogically, as corollary to the excerpt mentioned, “…I consider it a shame for us, Orthodox Greeks, to be taught what to do by Europeans about our most valuable national and inner interests…”23

  • 24 Lingas 2003, p. 65. The term ‘performance practice’ in the title of Lingas’ article draws on the r (...)

12Another example of a similar attitude of ambivalence towards Western scholarship was yet to be manifested in the twentieth century. As mentioned before, in the 1930s, the attempt of three European Byzantine hymnologists to issue the transcriptions of Byzantine chants in staff notation initiated a long debate among those scholars and the Greek scholars and cantors, which would last for decades to come. As Alexander Lingas observed in his article on this controversy, the Greek cantors complained that the transcribers imposed modern Western notions of temperament and rhythm on medieval Byzantine chants, and insisted that scholars who wished to recover the interpretive context for the realization of Byzantine repertories should turn to Greek cantors who possessed practical knowledge due to the continuity of their monophonic art with the past24.

  • 25 Exertzoglou 2007, p. 52.
  • 26 Both Lingas in his article “Performance practice” and Alexander Konrad Khalil in his dissertation (...)
  • 27 Kıltzanıdes 1879, pp. 33‑34.
  • 28 See Tsoukalas 2002.

13The peculiarity of the discourse of tradition was that the notion of ‘tradition’ included the absence and the presence of tradition at the same time25. Interestingly, the Greek Westernizers who opted for a westernized liturgical singing and the European scholars alike who wished to revive the Byzantine chant without showing interest in the “contemporaneous practice of psaltiki”26 both defended their positions with the argument that the contemporaneous tradition had considerable Arab and Turkish influence due to the fall of Constantinople to Ottoman Turks27. Such views used the metaphor of ‘decline’ (denoting tradition both as absent and present) which referred both to the music itself and the aesthetic conventions regarding music held by the members of the ethnic-national group. A more specific notion of ‘decline’ that we see in the discourse of the Stanbulite cantors, however, seems to be somewhat different from the previously mentioned notion of ‘decline’ which referred to a ‘gap’ that we locate in modern Greek discourses of the self – which is usually the product of the Western Orientalist discourse – that has a double reference, which alludes to a gap both with the contemporary West, and also with the ancient Greek ancestors28.

  • 29 Shelemay 1998, p. 26.
  • 30 For an ethnographic description of yphos, see Khalil 2009, pp. 4‑12.
  • 31 Khalil 2009, pp. 20‑21.
  • 32 For more on the discourse of yphos, see Erol 2009, pp. 169‑181.

14This specific metaphor of ‘decline’ concerned essentially the moment of the performance of liturgical singing. In her study on the pizmon tradition of the Syrian Jewish diaspora, ethnomusicologist Kay Kaufman Shelemay observed the strong connections among performance, collective memory, and the dominance of the present in the act of performance. She wrote: “Collective memories of the past and realities of the present are further welded together in the transmission process itself. Within musical domains, with transmission vested largely, although not exclusively, within the act of performance, the present tends to predominate.”29 In the Greek Orthodox community of Istanbul, the sense of decline in their musical tradition was connected to a feeling of loss of touch in the present with the collective wisdom or knowledge of the community in its past. A vital concept in the musical transmission of the Greek Orthodox liturgical chant is yphos, whose actual content is almost impossible to define, a musical material that travels alongside actual performance and is communicated from one person to another30. The ethnographic study of Alexander Konrad Khalil conducted with the psaltes of the Ecumenical Patriarchate has offered a rather original theoretical insight into the understanding and experience of yphos by cantors themselves. His study has revealed that yphos is linked to a kind of memorial accumulation which allowed Khalil to develop his theory of the palimpsest. As Khalil observed, “the act of chanting calls to mind multiple layers of remembered realizations, some of which are associated with particular psaltes and some simply with the tradition”31. Contrary to what Khalil argues, however, I would say that the notion of yphos did not come to the attention of the Stanbulite cantors as late as the beginning of the twentieth century. From the mid-nineteenth century on, the Patriarchate of Constantinople engaged in a conscious politics of promoting what it called the yphos of the Great Church as part of its strategy to present itself as the preserver and protector of the authentic musical tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church32.

Orthodoxy, the making of traditions, and founding fathers

  • 33 Gazı 2004.

15The creation of a genealogy for ecclesiastical music was a gradual process in which certain biographical details and narratives were organized into a cohesive whole that was given a new meaning, and commemorative practices were established which connected the present with the past. Such making‑of-traditions and new practices of remembrance were characteristic of a period in which the diverse elements of modern Greek identity were negotiated and the national narrative was restructured into a coherent whole. Effi Gazi’s study on the feast of the Three Hierarchs – identified with the fourth-century Cappadocian Church fathers – which became the celebration of the Greek Orthodox education (paideia), demonstrates the discursive field in the late nineteenth-century in which Hellenic culture was reconciliated with Christian ethics33. It is in this interpretive framework that I see the ‘rediscovery’ of St. John of Damascus in the nineteenth-century and his commemoration as the founder of the eight-mode music system of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

  • 34 Pelikan 1994, pp. 154‑55.
  • 35 Brubaker and Haldon 2011, p. 186. Also for more on St. John of Damascus, see Brubaker and Haldon 2 (...)

16The history of Byzantine liturgical poetry suggests that homiletic – composing homilies on key themes of Orthodox theology – and hymnography had a close relationship in the eighth century. Hymnographers such as Andrew the Metropolitan bishop of Crete, John of Damascus, later Michael Sygkellos and many others dealt with problems of heterodoxy and heresy in their homilies and liturgical poetry. The period was marked by the political and cultural effects of Arab conquests into Byzantine lands, disputes between different Christological views, and the debates on the theology of the images which has been referred to as the ‘iconoclastic controversy’ which was more complicated than a theological dispute. To put it simply, it divided the imperial authority and the Church and resulted in the persecution of the patriarchs and the churchmen. At the end of the controversy, as Jaroslav Pelikan observed, a diarchy of the emperor and the patriarch emerged, which meant that the Church could define its orthodoxy conforming to the Scripture and the apostolic tradition34. The traditional Church history has given a place of honor to St. John of Damascus due to his role in the iconoclastic controversy. St. John wrote three polemical sermons against iconoclasts, in which he expounded a novel approach to the theology of images and to the Trinity35.

  • 36 Ανατολικός Αστήρ, 17 February 1882.
  • 37 Ανατολικός Αστήρ, 16 December 1881.

17The Greek Musical Society in Istanbul celebrated annually its foundation on December 4, the day of commemoration for St. John of Damascus. The members of the Society acknowledged and celebrated the eighth-century monk as the ‘founder’ of their ecclesiastical music. They held public lectures on St. John of Damascus’ life and work. They used the image of St. John as the seal of the Society’s educational committee (the regular seal of the Society had the mythical figure of Orpheus). I think that there is a close link between St. John’s prominent role in the iconoclastic controversy as the defender of Orthodox worship and his canonization in the nineteenth century, as the ‘founder’ of the ecclesiastical music of the Eastern Orthodox Church. At the annual celebration of the Musical Society, Spyridon Mavrogenis, an influential Rum of Istanbul, evoked the monk’s theological writings and his position against the iconoclasts during his speech, which focused on the Western scholarship on St. John’s work, and referred to him as the “teacher and founder of our ecclesiastical music”36. Moreover, St. John’s rejection of the reversal of tradition and his rescue of the worshipping tradition of the Eastern Church had probably struck a chord with the nineteenth-century Stanbulite Rums who strived to protect their ecclesiastical music from what they saw as the ‘sensuous’ music of the Western church on the one hand, and aspired to weed out profane and lay music idioms, which they saw as later insertions due to their political, hence cultural colonization by Ottoman Turks on the other. Perhaps in this spirit, Georgios Papadopoulos, the chairman of the Greek Musical Society, championed St. John of Damascus as the formalizer and reformer of the liturgical music who purged it from pagan and profane intrusions that were inappropriate for devotional purposes. He said that St. John of Damascus protected the ecclesiastical music from the ignorance and arbitrariness of the musicians who employed theatrical music in their chants, and that with his Oktoihos he rendered ecclesiastical chant, unity and sentiments befitting Christian worship37.

  • 38 Stokes 1994, p. 7.

18The notion of ‘authenticity’ in the context of music, as Martin Stokes observed, is a discursive trope of great persuasive power, which focuses on “a way of talking about music, a way of saying to outsiders and insiders alike ‘this is what is really significant about this music’, ‘this is the music that makes us different from other people’”38. Talking about authenticity and ‘otherness’, we should remember that St. John of Damascus, to whom the foundership of ecclesiastical music was attributed, had lived at the geographical and textual borders of Christian Orthodoxy with Islam and the Judaic tradition. Thus, in his incorporation into the Greek nationalist discourse by those who wished to anchor their religious identity to a symbolically powerful authentic source, we should not underestimate the significance of his being a frontier figure who defended the theology of Christian Orthodoxy against Islamic and Jewish encroachments.

  • 39 Hagioreitou 2005, p. 608. The narrative is the same in the first edition, see p. 331.
  • 40 See Makres, pp. 742‑745; Zelepos 2007, pp. 192‑194. On the Kollyvades and Nicodemus, see the artic (...)

19Commemorations served for the collective affirmation that tradition as a spiritual guide was not lost with the onset of rapid change, and that the community still preserved its ties to its authentic self. More often than not, in the creation of religious-liturgical canons, the authentic source of tradition becomes what it is by receiving divine sanction. In the first edition of The Book of Saints (Συναξαριστής) published in 1819 in Venice – written by the Athonite monk Nikodemus Hagioreitis (d. 1809) –, John of Damascus is trained in the ascetic life by an Elder at Saint Savvas Monastery in Jerusalem, who commands him never to chant, and not at all in the style of chanting he has been familiar with. Keeping the command of his master, John does not chant for years until one night Virgin Mary appears to the Elder in his dream, and tells him to encourage his disciple John to compose hymns to exalt her son and herself39. This narrative of divine sanctioning confirms two things at the same time; first, St. John’s place within the long‑list of hymnographers as a turning point in the history of the Byzantine liturgy, marking him as a reference point for the authentic tradition. Secondly, it confirms the authenticity of the sacred music of the Christian Orthodox Church as directly inspired by the Divine. We should also note that the author of the Book of Saints Nicodemus Hagioreitis is actually an important link with the ‘invention’ of traditions that we see in the nineteenth century. The Athonite monk was in the forefront of an influential revivalist/reform movement in the eighteenth-century, the Kollyvades, which strived to return to the roots of Orthodoxy and create the ground for a new spirituality40.

  • 41 Levy 1998, p. 4.
  • 42 Hagioreitou 2005, pp. 109‑110.

20Interestingly, the legend about St. John reminds a familiar myth in the context of Gregorian chant; an image showing the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, communicating music to Gregory the Great’s ear, to whom the origins of the eponymous chant were traced41. Similar to these myths, a medieval Byzantine narrative recounts how the sixth-century hymnographer Romanos the Melodist was bestowed the ‘gift’ of musicality (or good voice) by Theotokos (Mary). On a Christmas Eve, as Romanos falls asleep in the church of Panagia at Vlachernai in Constantinople, Virgin Mary appears to him in his dream, and commands him to swallow a scroll. After he awakes, Romanos goes up to the pulpit and sings the first of his famous kontakia which are, as implied by the narrative, by divine inspiration42. I do not claim that these myths and attributions appeared suddenly in the nineteenth century. What I want to suggest is that they were ‘inventions’ and new traditions in the sense that older narratives and symbols were put together to resonate with new sensibilities and became parts of a discourse about an authentic religious tradition.

Innovation to save the tradition: Patriarch Joachim III and the psalterion

  • 43 Patriarchal letter (A 49 062 no. 1247) 7 April 1878, Archive of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Con (...)
  • 44 Lingas 2003, p. 69; Romanou 1996, p. 46.

21Beginning from the early 1860s, a knotty reform process altered the hierarchies within the Rum milleti and imposed new rules regarding the administration of the Greek Orthodox populations of the empire. A major change was the empowerment of the lay elite in the decision making processes regarding the affairs of the community at the expense of the high clergy. Regarding its rite and liturgical music, being one of the traditional patrons of Eastern Orthodox chant in the post-Byzantine era, the Patriarchate of Constantinople faced new challenges in the nineteenth century that came about with Ottoman reforms and the subsequent shifts in the hierarchies within the Greek Orthodox community. The wealthy segments of the Greek Orthodox urban populations who engaged in commerce and hence had close relations with Europe tended to favour and demand a westernized liturgical music instead of the traditional monophonic chant. First in European cities such as Vienna, London, Marseilles, then in Athens variants of polyphonic music began to be used in the churches. In April 1878, when the board of the Church of Eisodion in Pera in Istanbul demanded from the first-cantor of their parish church to implement a polyphonic choir, the Patriarchate was alarmed and banned the choir immediately43. Furthermore, in Athens, the ecclesiastical music teacher Ioannis Th. Sakellarides shocked the Athenian traditionalist cantors by teaching ecclesiastical chant with the aid of the piano; he even made arrangements of chants with piano accompaniments for three voices44.

  • 45 See Anastassiadis 2010.
  • 46 Στοιχειώδης Διδασκαλία της Εκκλησιαστικής Μουσικής εκπονηθείσα επι τη βάσει του Ψαλτηρίου (Basic I (...)

22Looking at the institutional history of the Orthodox Church in Greece in the twentieth century, Tassos Anastassiadis has shown that church reformers who wished to modernize the Church often denied the fact that they were innovating, and proclaimed their attachment to tradition while they simultaneously subscribed to a vehement discourse by which they pointed to menacing outsiders45. The subsequent decision of Patriarch Joachim III (1878‑1884) to convene a committee for the reform of church music can be seen as a response to the Greek Orthodox middle classes’ assertive initiatives which endangered an age‑old tradition. The reformers who employed a discourse of tradition, either to empower themselves or as a way of dealing with rapid and unpredictable social and cultural change, believed that tradition could be restored by using modern (and ‘scientific’) means. I would like to refer to the construction of the musical instrument psalterion (organ) based on the intervallic values of the received tradition, determined by the consensus of a number of Stanbulite cantors. The Patriarchal Music Committee appointed by Patriarch Joachim III disguised what was in fact an innovation, through using the discourse of a scientific approach to music, and claimed attachment to tradition while pointing to a perceived threat coming from the spread of Western culture (“the invasion of European music”). Hence, by basing its innovative attempt on the received tradition, the committee carefully struck a balance between innovation and adaptation. This organ, which was constructed by the Music Council convened by the order of Patriarch Joachim III, began to be used in the instruction of ecclesiastical chant in the early 1880s46.

  • 47 Stroggylıs 2008, pp. 138‑141.

23This particular attempt both to restore and modernize ecclesiastical music stayed in the confines of the instruction of chant, though its logical conclusion was the use of the musical instrument in the church service as well. It is well known that the church canons forbid the use of any musical instrument in the execution of the liturgy. The attitude of authorities in Greece regarding the introduction of practices of Western origins to the church liturgy seems to be more lenient in comparison with the strict approach of the Patriarchal authorities. A letter dated 1st February 1894, 1894 by the Metropolitan of Athens Germanos Kalligas prohibited Ioannis Th. Sakellarides, who was then the teacher of Byzantine music at the Ecclesiastical School Rizareios, from chanting in the churches, due to his polyphonic choir and use of musical instruments in liturgical music. Kalligas furthermore demanded that Sakellarides be deported from his position at the School. From the evidence which shows that Sakellarides requested from the Board of Rizareios in 1899 the purchase of a harmonium for the use of students, we can conclude that the ban on his activities as cantor and music teacher did not last long. Interestingly, in his letter to Sakellarides, the Ecclesiastical School’s director Nektarios Kephalas (later St. Nektarios of Pentapolis) opposed the provision of the harmonium – and by extension Sakellarides’ big polyphonic choirs – primarily for practical reasons, such as the impossibility to establish big choirs in province parishes, which could execute the musical compositions of Sakellarides. Kephalas did not, however, fail to present the real reason for his rejection as the unfavourable comments that the particular innovation could cause within the body of the official Church47.

24The search for an accurate musical instrument which could execute the tonal intervals used in the ecclesiastical chant continued well into the twentieth century. During Constantine V’s patriarchate, in 1898, the psalterion was repaired and its range was expanded.

Patriarch Constantine V’s reform of liturgy, ideology, and power politics

  • 48 Raptarhes 1860, p. 27.

25During the nineteenth century, contemporaries often complained that the church services were too long, and subsequently they discouraged the people from going to church and caused low attendance at communal worship. An interesting essay attributed the extreme length of the services to the greed of the church elders who prolonged the liturgy, in expectation of more people to gather during the service which meant the collection of more contributions48. Such sarcastic and humorous accounts aside, the lengthiness of the church services was more possibly the result of gradual changes in the practice of the ritual, such as changes in the prescribed order of the religious ceremony and the slackening in tempo of the liturgical chants sung in the services, which came about with the passage of time.

  • 49 Constantine V (1833‑1914) or Constantine Valiades, the Metropolitan of Mytilene and Ephesus, was e (...)
  • 50 See Erol 2009, pp. 271‑274. Also see Erol 2015. For similar discussions on rhythm in Gregorian cha (...)

26Responding to this issue, Patriarch Constantine V49 demanded the modification of the tempo of the slow and long chants. In the publications of the Ecclesiastical Music Society, the musicological essays that deal with the question of rhythm and the proper tempo used to perform the medieval and post-Byzantine chant repertory are not few50. Due to the silence of the written sources and the difficulty in interpreting the relevant signs in medieval Byzantine notation, the rhythm and the tempo of chants were hotly debated topics by the musicians and cantors of the day. Consensus was hard to reach also due to the fact that their musicological investigation was often informed by a normative approach towards sacred music which was shaped by a modern understanding of religion and ritual that set forth a distinction between rhythms which are used in worldly tunes and others that are appropriate for sacred music.

  • 51 Gazı 2011, pp. 16‑28.
  • 52 “Η Εν Κοντοσκαλίω της Κωνσταντινουπόλεως Θρησκευτική Κίνησις” (Religious movement in Kontoskali in (...)
  • 53 Εκκλησιαστική Αλήθεια, no. 54, 4 December 1898.

27In order to grasp the larger context of Constantine’s liturgical reform and to be able to situate it within the politics of piety that informed his vision as the head of the Rum milleti and the religious leader of the Christian Orthodox of the East, a systematic research is necessary. Even though I will not attempt such a thorough analysis here, I would like to offer some guidelines for an examination of the overlap of the religious authorities’ attempts to reform the church liturgy on the one hand, and the increased collective interest in the promotion of Orthodox Christian values, models, and teachings at the turn of the century on the other. Effi Gazi’s study has demonstrated that a program of moral formation prevailed in Greece at the beginning of the twentieth century in connection with certain transnational ideologies and the reaction to concrete reforms and changes which threatened social and political foundations and institutions. In the repertoire of conservatism, she observed, there were unsurprising constants like ethical behavior, social control of the individual, family, religion, and of course tradition51. My intention is not to project the context and the discourses of what Gazi referred to as ‘moral panic’ in Greece to the Greek Orthodox community of Istanbul. Yet, haphazard evidence on the religious life and worship of Stanbulite Greeks during the patriarchate of Constantine V demonstrates signs of lay piety which are similar to what Gazi mentioned regarding the Athenian voluntary religious-ethical groups. According to a report in the Athenian periodical Ανάπλασις, in 1897 in Kontoskali/Kumkapi of Istanbul nearly four hundred Christians who attended the Sunday school lessons, submitted a petition with five hundred signatures to the Patriarch. In their petition, which was accepted, they demanded from the Great Church the appointment of learned priests (“theologians” in the original text) to teach them the divine word (theios logos) on Sundays in their parish churches52. Further evidence supports the renewed interest in religious teaching, independent of the question whether or not the patriarch himself initiated the attempt to make religious teaching available to the lay public. Yet, it seems that Constantine V welcomed such demands coming from community members and supervised such efforts. The official publication of the Patriarchate, Εκκλησιαστική Αλήθεια, announced on 4 December 1898 that evening religion lessons started in the building of the Greek Literary Society with the approval and permission of the Patriarch53. The lessons were offered by the Bishop of Harioupolis Germanos, who was also the chairman of the Association ‘St. John the Evangelist’ (Ευαγγελιστής Ιωάννης) in Pera.

  • 54 See Alexandru 2008, p. 294. Alexandru notes that in Bereketes’ work, sometimes the kratima is thre (...)
  • 55 “Θεοτόκε Παρθένε Πενταπλούν”, Εκκλησιαστική Αλήθεια, no. 27, 26 June 1898.
  • 56 Hatzigiakoumis 1999, p. 186.

28The reform of the existing liturgical singing, which was a constant parameter on the agenda of the patriarchs, cantors, and scholars during the nineteenth century, was underpinned by highly ideological assumptions. During Constantine’s patriarchate, the Ecclesiastical Music Society which he actively supported founded a school for the education of cantors. Most of the musical societies founded in the previous decades, which aimed at the improvement of the existing church choirs, initiated the systematic instruction of chanting by establishing ecclesiastical music schools. Patriarch Constantine’s reformist vision, however, was not limited to amelioration in style, sound, ornamentation, intonation, and to the achievement of uniform choral singing; he also attempted to revize and reform the repertoire, the hymns. For instance, in 1898, he assigned the Protopsaltis of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Georgios Violakes to alter the kratima parts of the well‑known late seventeenth-century chant ‘O Virgin, Mother of God’ (Θεοτόκε Παρθένε) of Petros Bereketes54. Kratima is a melody with meaningless syllables, i.e. terirem, terrere, tititi etc. which serves to protract, to ‘hold’ the canonical melody of a chant, and is similar to what is called terennüm in the Ottoman art song. The Patriarch ordained Violakes to replace “the meaningless syllables or the so called teretismous” with words from the text, “without making the smallest change or damaging the original tune”55. A recent scholar has noted that the kratima(ta), by conveying intense sentiments and elements of popular musical taste, witness – more than any other type of ecclesiastical tune – the dominant impact of Ottoman rule on Greek Orthodox liturgical chant56. This particular attempt to purge ‘Oriental’ elements from ecclesiastical chant, attests to the predominant mood of and the general motivation for the reform which was manifested in many similar measures taken by the authorities and expressed in countless spoken and written statements of the contemporaries. Thus, it can be argued that the reform of the ecclesiastical music was essentially an ideological project which aimed at rescuing the chant tradition from ‘Oriental’, and more precisely Arab and Turkish musical idioms and materials.

  • 57 Depending on the context, ‘Dytiki Ekklisia’ (Western Church) may refer to both the Catholic Church (...)
  • 58 Monochord: The single stringed instrument used by the Greek mathematician Pythagoras in order to d (...)
  • 59 Ανατολικός Αστήρ, 17 February 1882.

29We may obtain an understanding of Constantine’s thoughts on the westernization of the Orthodox liturgical music and his reformist stance by referring to a speech he had given at the Greek Musical Society in Istanbul more than fifteen years before becoming patriarch. At the annual celebration of the Greek Musical Society on 4 December 1881, as the Metropolitan of Mytilene and also the honorary vice‑president of the Society, Constantine had criticized the Orthodox Christians of his day who embraced the fruits of the Western civilization too enthusiastically. Particularly about the church liturgy, he asserted that the liturgical music of the Western Church57 was not appropriate for the veneration of God. He said: “The vehement and irresistible stream of the new civilization and our uncontrollable tendency to praise any new thing coming from Europe, threatens our systems that survived […] Our [Musical] Society will show proceeding from Pythagoras’ monochord58 that our music is the only appropriate music for praising God, not the aural polyphony”59. Hence, Constantine encouraged a reform of the liturgical music with access to and use of its ‘own’ resources.

  • 60 Εκκλησιαστική Αλήθεια, no. 54, 4 December 1898. The EMS elected a committee composed of seven memb (...)
  • 61 “Συνεδρίασις ΝΓ’ (53rd Meeting)”, 16 December 1899, EMS1, p. 20.

30The reform of the liturgical chant with the use of its own resources as envisioned by the ecumenical patriarchs such as Joachim III and Constantine V included a thorough studying of the pre-Chrysanthine notation whose knowledge was accessible only to few cantors who claimed to have learned it from the old masters of the psaltiki. As in every process of recovery, specialized knowledge created hierarchies and power struggles. In December 1898, the Ecclesiastical Music Society in Istanbul decided to publish the late cantor Panagiotis Kiltzanides’ unpublished manuscript entitled Κλεις της αρχαίας γραφικής μεθόδου (Key to the ancient notation method) which was the product of the prominent cantor’s thirty years’ work. The members of the EMS believed that Kiltzanides’ musical treatise could serve “as the only guide in the study of the older notations and could lead to a deeper appreciation of the wealth of Byzantine music”60. The following incidents demonstrate the politics of power involved in the negotiations concerning the publication of the manuscript. According to the journal of the Ecclesiastical Music Society, in 1899, the Society members asked Gregory (Grigorios) Marasles, a prominent banker from Odessa, if he could sponsor the publication of Kiltzanides’ treatise. G. Marasles sponsored the translation of contemporary works on Greek history and culture, from European languages to modern Greek, the series which was known as the ‘Library Marasles’. The condition of sponsorship, however, was that the book was to be printed in Athens where books sponsored by Marasles were being printed. The cantors in the EMS insisted that the book should be printed at the Patriarchal press. Later, they agreed to its being printed in Athens with the condition that the manuscript would be edited by the editorial committee elected by the EMS. From the tone of the account in the journal, which is our only source so far concerning this incident, it is evident that the Stanbulite cantors did not consider that the cantors and musicians in Athens possessed the knowledge of the old notation, hence, in their opinion, the latter were not qualified to edit the manuscript of Kiltzanides61. Eventually, since the conflict between the cantors in the EMS and Marasles could not be resolved, the former decided to publish the treatise with their own means, and instead, asked, unsuccessfully, Marasles for financial aid regarding the renovation of the Society’s building.

Epilogue

  • 62 See “Ανακοινωθέν Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου επί του θέματος της εκκλησιαστικής μουσικής (The Ecumen (...)

31The execution and teaching of the Greek Orthodox liturgical chant remains a significant domain of power politics. The ecclesiastical music was still debated in the 2010s. The statement of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 29 March 2012 on the issue of ecclesiastical music, based on the report (23 March, 2012) of the Patriarchal and Synodical Committee for Divine Worship, reveals the relevance of what I have discussed in this article for today’s power politics where the Ecumenical Patriarchate continues to assert its historical authority (not its jurisdiction anymore) on issues of Greek Orthodox cultural heritage. The decision of the Holy and Sacred Synod in 2012 to denounce the Athenian cantor Simon Karas’ book Methodos tis Ellinikis Mousikis – Theoritikon (The Method of Greek Music-Theory) (publ. in 1982) seems to be a relatively recent manifestation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s endeavor to impose its authority and power regarding issues of tradition. It particularly indicates the Patriarchate’s efforts to check any attempt to teach and disseminate knowledge on the musical system of the ecclesiastical music which does not comply with the method in use since the early nineteenth century that was recognized and approved by the Patriarchate62.

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Bibliographie

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Anastassiadis 2010 = Anastassios Anastassiadis, “An Intriguing True‑False Paradox: The Entanglement of Modernization and Intolerance in the Orthodox Church of Greece”, in Victor Roudometof and Vasilios N. Makrides (eds), Orthodox Christianity in 21st Century Greece, Aldershot, Ashgate, 2010, pp. 39‑60.

Behar 1987 = Cem Behar, Klasik Türk Musikisi Üzerine Denemeler (Essays on Classical Turkish Music), Istanbul, Baglam, 1987.

Bergeron 1998 = Katherine Bergeron, Decadent Enchantments. The Revival of Gregorian Chant at Solesmes, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1998.

Bourgault-Ducoudray 1877 = Louis A. Bourgault-Ducoudray, Études sur la musique ecclésiastique grecque. Mission musicale en Grèce et en Orient. Janvier‑mai 1875, Paris, Librairie Hachette, 1877.

Bourgault-Ducoudray 1878 [1876] = Louis A. Bourgault-Ducoudray, Souvenirs d’une mission musicale en Grèce et en Orient, 2e édition, Paris, Hachette, 1878 [1876].

Brubaker and Haldon 2001 = Leslie Brubaker and John Haldon, Byzantium in the iconoclast era: the sources: an annotated survey, Aldershot, Ashgate, 2001.

Brubaker and Haldon 2011 = Leslie Brubaker and John Haldon, Byzantium in the iconoclast era: a history, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Erol 2009 = Merih Erol, Cultural Identifications of the Greek Orthodox Elite of Constantinople: Discourse on Music in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries, Ph.D. diss., History Department, Bogazici University, 2009.

Erol 2015 = Merih Erol, Greek Orthodox Music in Ottoman Istanbul: Nation and Community in the Era of Reform, Bloomington and Indianapolis, Indiana University Press, 2015.

Exertzoglou 2007 = Haris Exertzoglou, “Metaphors of Change: ‘Tradition’ and the East/West discourse in the late Ottoman Empire”, in Anna Frangoudaki and Çağlar Keyder (eds), Ways to Modernity in Greece and Turkey: encounters with Europe 1850‑1950, London, I. B. Tauris, 2007, pp. 43‑59.

Fonton 1751 = Charles Fonton, Essai sur la musique orientale, Constantinople, 1751 (translated and prepared for publication by Cem Behar, 18. Yüzyılda Türk Müziği. Charles Fonton, Istanbul, Pan Yayıncılık, 1987).

Gazi 2004 = Effi Gazi, Ο Δεύτερος Βίος των Τριών Ιεραρχών. Μια Γενεαλογία του Ελληνοχριστιανικού Πολιτισμού, (The second life of the Three Hierarchs. A Geneaology of “Hellenochristian civilisation”), Athens, Nefeli, 2004.

Gazi 2011 = Effi Gazi, Πάτρις, Θρησκεία, Οικογένεια. Ιστορία ενός συνθήματος 1880‑1930 (Fatherland, Religion, Family. History of a Slogan, 1880-1930), Αthens, Polis, 2011.

Hagıoreitou 2005 = Hagiou Nikodemou Hagıoreitou, Συναξαριστής των δώδεκα μηνών του ενιαυτού (Book of Saints of Twelve Months), t. A’, First publ., Venice, 1819, Athens, Domos, 2005.

Hatzigiakoumis 1999 = Manolis K. Hatzigiakoumis, Η Εκκλησιαστική Μουσική του Ελληνισμού μετά την Άλωση (1453‑1820) (The Ecclesiastical Music of Hellenism after the Fall of Constantinople), Athens, Kentron Erefnon kai Ekdoseon, 1999.

Khalil 2009 = Alexander Konrad Khalil, Echoes of Constantinople: Oral and Written Tradition of the Psaltes of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, Ph.D. diss., University of California, San Diego, 2009.

Kıltzanıdes 1879 = P. G. Kıltzanıdes (of Bursa), Διατριβαί περί της Ελληνικής Εκκλησιαστικής Μουσικής (Treatises on Greek Ecclesiastical Music), Constantinople, Anatolikos Astir, 1879.

Levy 1998 = Kenneth Levy, Gregorian chant and the Carolingians, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1998.

Lind 2012 = Tore Tvarno Lind, The Past is Always Present. The Revival of the Byzantine Musical Tradition at Mount Athos, Lanham, The Scarecrow Press, 2012.

Lingas 2003 = Alexander Lingas, “Performance practice, and the politics of transcribing Byzantine chant”, Acta Musicae Byzantinae, (6) 2003, pp. 56‑76.

Lingas 2007 = Alexander Lingas, “How musical was the ‘Sung Office’? Some observations on the ethos of the Late Byzantine cathedral rite”, in The Traditions of Orthodox Music. Proceedings of the First International Conference on Orthodox Church Music, University of Joensuu, 2007, pp. 217‑234.

Makres = Spyridon Makres, “Κολλυβάδες”, in Θρησκευτική και Ηθική Εγκυκλοπαίδεια (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics), Athens, Martinos, pp. 742‑745.

Makrides 2009 = Vasilios N. Makrides, Hellenic Temples and Christian Churches, New York, New York University Press, 2009.

Pelikan 1994 = Jaroslav Pelikan, L’Esprit du Christianisme Oriental 600‑1700, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 1994.

Raptarhes 1860 = Ioannis M. Raptarhes, Πικρά η αλήθεια: ή Η καταντίθεσιν της οσημέραι εν τοις ιεροίς ναοίς αυξανομένης εξωτερικής πολυτελείας και μεγαλοπρεπείας ελάττωσις του θείου εσωτερικού διακόσμου (The truth is bitter: the contrast of the increased external luxury and the magnificence of the holy churches to the decline of their internal divine décor), Constantinople, O Vizas, 1860.

Romanou 1996 = Kaiti Romanou, Eθνικής Μουσικής Περιήγησις 1901‑1912 (Wandering in the National Music 1901‑1912), Athens, Koultoura, 1996.

Ruelle 1878 = Ch.‑Emile Ruelle, “Quelques mots sur la musique des Grecs anciens et modernes”, Revue des études Grecques, Paris, 1878, pp. 238‑246.

Shelemay 1998 = Kay Kaufman Shelemay, Let jasmin rain down: song and remembrance among Syrian Jews, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1998.

Shils 1981 = Edward Shils, Tradition, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1981.

Skopetea 1992 = Elli Skopetea, Η Δύση της Ανατολής: Εικόνες από το τέλος της Οθωμανικής Αυτοκρατορίας (Orient’s West: Last Images of the Ottoman Empire), Athens, Gnosi, 1992.

Stokes 1994 = Martin Stokes (ed.), “Introduction: Ethnicity, Identity and Music”, Ethnicity, Identity and Music. The Musical Construction of Place, Oxford, Berg, 1994.

Στοιχειώδης Διδασκαλία της Εκκλησιαστικής Μουσικής εκπονηθείσα επι τη βάσει του Ψαλτηρίου (Basic Instruction of Ecclesiastical Music based on the Psalterion), [Constantinople, Patriarchal Press, 1888], Athens, Koultoura, 1999.

Stroggylıs 2008 = Archimandrite Kleopas Stroggylıs, Ο Άγιος Νεκτάριος Πενταπόλεως και Η Ριζάρειος Εκκλησιαστική Σχολή, 1894-1908 (Saint Nektarios Pentapoleos and the Ecclesiastical School Rizareios [1894‑1908]), Athens, Idryma Rizareiou Ekklesiastikis Sholis, 2008.

Taft 1992 = Robert F. Taft, The Byzantine Rite. A Short History, Minnesota, The Liturgical Press, 1992.

Tsoukalas 2002 = Constantine Tsoukalas, “The Irony of Symbolic Reciprocities – The Greek Meaning of ‘Europe’ as a Historical Inversion of the European Meaning of ‘Greece’”, in Mikael af Malmborg and Bo Strath (eds), The Meaning of Europe. Variety and Contention within and among Nations, Oxford, Berg, 2002, pp. 27‑51.

Zelepos 2007 = Ioannis Zelepos, “Συ δε εγένου λιπόπατρις. Zur Entwicklung vornationaler Identitätsmuster in Südosteuropa. Der ‘osmanische-orthodoxe’ Heimatbegriff von Michailos Perdikaris (1766‑1828)”, in Schnittstellen. Gesellschaft, Nation, Konflikt, und Erinnerung in Südosteuropa, Munich, Oldenburg, 2007, pp. 189‑200.

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Notes

1 Shils 1981, pp. 88‑89.

2 Exertzoglou 2007, p. 50.

3 Lind 2012, p. 19.

4 As examples of selective appropriation, Makrides has mentioned the Church’s response to theater and performance, and the modern Olympic Games, especially the ones organized in Athens in 2004. See Makrides 2009, pp. 177‑191.

5 See Taft 1992, p. 19; Lingas 2007. Lingas has argued for the perpetuation of the Constantinopolitan cathedral rite by means of selective borrowing from contemporary monastic repertories, particularly from the renewed versions of the Palestinian monastic rite.

6 In Turkey, an adapted form of the western staff notation began to be used in the transcription of traditional music in the first decades of the twentieth century. Behar 1987, p. 44.

7 In the 1930s, the transcriptions published by the institution ‘Monumenta Musicae Byzantinae’ of medieval Byzantine chants in staff notation caused heated debates between Western European scholars such as Carsten Høeg, H.J.W. Tillyard, Egon Wellesz and Greek cantors Konstantinos Psachos, Thrasyboulos Georgiades, Simon Karas. See Lingas 2003. Also on H.J.W. Tillyard’s rejection of Psachos’ stenographic theory in the 1920s, see Romanou 1996, p. 152.

8 A printed copy of Paspales’ letter is in the Library of the Theological Seminary of Chalki in a binded volume. The letter does not have a title. It is dated 15 December 1879 and bears the name of Dimitrios Paspales on its last page.

9 Kıltzanıdes (of Bursa) 1879.

10 Paspales’ letter, p. 5: “[…] these are due to ignorance, human sickness and squalor. Fanaticism, obstinacy and villainess condemned Galileo and so many other philosophers with hardships […]”.

11 Behar 1987, pp. 27‑31.

12 “European music always had the same notation, which the Europeans by developing it brought it to its present state. He (D. Paspales) is also wrong that it is the most perfect and most systematic of all notations. European notation cannot be adapted to our ecclesiastical chants which accept neither instruments nor polyphony”. Kiltzanides 1879, p. 3.

13 See Exertzoglou 2007, p. 44.

14 Kiltzanides 1879, p. 3.

15 This was argued by Evstratios Papadopoulos, the Protopsaltis of the Church of Panagia in Pera. To support his claim, Papadopoulos referred to the first-century philosopher Plutarch and to the Patriarch Photios of Constantinople (858‑867). Kiltzanides 1879, p. 24.

16 Konton 1751.

17 Bourgault-Ducoudray 1878, p. 9: “Que leur engouement pour le progrès n’aille pas jusqu’à l’abandon de leur propre génie et à l’oubli du véritable tempérament de la nation !”

18 Bourgault-Ducoudray 1877, p. 69: “Comment expliquer l’usage, universellement répandu dans les provinces, du bouzouki, instrument dont les intervalles sont tous des tons ou des demi‑tons ? Vers la partie supérieure du manche se trouvent bien, il est vrai, des divisions correspondant à des tiers ou des quarts de ton ; mais cette partie de l’instrument est réservée à l’exécution des mélodies étrangères, turques ou arabes. La présence sur un instrument populaire en Grèce de deux échelles mélodiques dont l’une, l’échelle européenne, est consacrée aux mélodies grecques, et l’autre, l’échelle à quarts ou à tiers de ton, aux mélodies étrangères, n’indique‑t-elle pas quel est le véritable tempérament musical de la nation ?”.

19 Νεολόγος, 8, 15, 16 October 1879.

20 Exertzoglou 2007, p. 52.

21 This was paraphrased by Ch.‑Emile Ruelle in his essay which he read at the Association for the Encouragement of Greek Studies in France on 3 January 1878. For the printed version of this speech, see Ruelle 1878, pp. 238‑246. For the paraphrased citation from L.A. Bourgault-Ducoudray, see Ruelle p. 243: “Elle constitue un patrimoine national et représente une tradition à la fois religieuse et politique. Réformée et améliorée, elle peut servir de point de départ à la création d’une langue musicale originale et véritablement propre aux nations de l’Orient.”

22 Skopetea 1992.

23 Paspales’ letter, p. 9. In the original: “επί των τιμαλφεστέρων ημών εθνικών και εσωτερικών συμφερόντων…”

24 Lingas 2003, p. 65. The term ‘performance practice’ in the title of Lingas’ article draws on the recent study of the debates concerning the ‘authenticity’ of sound within the revival of Early Music in Europe. Lingas noted that, according to the Greek cantors, the realization of the early Byzantine repertory depended on a body of unwritten conventions known collectively, which can be termed as ‘performance practice’.

25 Exertzoglou 2007, p. 52.

26 Both Lingas in his article “Performance practice” and Alexander Konrad Khalil in his dissertation observed the Western European scholars’ philological study of manuscripts and old musical scores, and their indifference to the received tradition. See Khalil 2009, p. 8. I would like to extend my thanks to Peter Jeffery who brought these two sources into my attention.

27 Kıltzanıdes 1879, pp. 33‑34.

28 See Tsoukalas 2002.

29 Shelemay 1998, p. 26.

30 For an ethnographic description of yphos, see Khalil 2009, pp. 4‑12.

31 Khalil 2009, pp. 20‑21.

32 For more on the discourse of yphos, see Erol 2009, pp. 169‑181.

33 Gazı 2004.

34 Pelikan 1994, pp. 154‑55.

35 Brubaker and Haldon 2011, p. 186. Also for more on St. John of Damascus, see Brubaker and Haldon 2001, pp. 261‑262.

36 Ανατολικός Αστήρ, 17 February 1882.

37 Ανατολικός Αστήρ, 16 December 1881.

38 Stokes 1994, p. 7.

39 Hagioreitou 2005, p. 608. The narrative is the same in the first edition, see p. 331.

40 See Makres, pp. 742‑745; Zelepos 2007, pp. 192‑194. On the Kollyvades and Nicodemus, see the article by Sokratis Petmezas in this issue.

41 Levy 1998, p. 4.

42 Hagioreitou 2005, pp. 109‑110.

43 Patriarchal letter (A 49 062 no. 1247) 7 April 1878, Archive of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

44 Lingas 2003, p. 69; Romanou 1996, p. 46.

45 See Anastassiadis 2010.

46 Στοιχειώδης Διδασκαλία της Εκκλησιαστικής Μουσικής εκπονηθείσα επι τη βάσει του Ψαλτηρίου (Basic Instruction of Ecclesiastical Music based on the Psalterion), [Constantinople, Patriarchal Press, 1888], Athens, Koultoura, 1999.

47 Stroggylıs 2008, pp. 138‑141.

48 Raptarhes 1860, p. 27.

49 Constantine V (1833‑1914) or Constantine Valiades, the Metropolitan of Mytilene and Ephesus, was elected Patriarch in 1897 as the successor of Anthimos VII. Long before his election to the spiritual leadership of the Orthodox millet, Constantine joined and actively supported musical societies which endeavored to study, ameliorate, and disseminate ecclesiastical music.

50 See Erol 2009, pp. 271‑274. Also see Erol 2015. For similar discussions on rhythm in Gregorian chant revival, and the concept of Gregorian rhythm based on the accent of speech, see Bergeron 1998, pp. 105‑107.

51 Gazı 2011, pp. 16‑28.

52 “Η Εν Κοντοσκαλίω της Κωνσταντινουπόλεως Θρησκευτική Κίνησις” (Religious movement in Kontoskali in Constantinople), Ανάπλασις, year: 1, 1897, p.47.

53 Εκκλησιαστική Αλήθεια, no. 54, 4 December 1898.

54 See Alexandru 2008, p. 294. Alexandru notes that in Bereketes’ work, sometimes the kratima is three or four times longer than the accompanied verse.

55 “Θεοτόκε Παρθένε Πενταπλούν”, Εκκλησιαστική Αλήθεια, no. 27, 26 June 1898.

56 Hatzigiakoumis 1999, p. 186.

57 Depending on the context, ‘Dytiki Ekklisia’ (Western Church) may refer to both the Catholic Church and the Protestant Church; however, here it is more plausible to think that it refers to the first.

58 Monochord: The single stringed instrument used by the Greek mathematician Pythagoras in order to demonstrate the numerical relationship of the scale notes used in music.

59 Ανατολικός Αστήρ, 17 February 1882.

60 Εκκλησιαστική Αλήθεια, no. 54, 4 December 1898. The EMS elected a committee composed of seven members for the publication of the book. The members of the committee were the Metropolitan of Bizye Hierotheos, the Metropolitan of Agathoupolis Parthenios, Bishop Pamfilios Melissinos, Megas Sygkellos Nikodemus Nikokles, Protopsaltis of the Great Church George Violakes, Lambadarios of the Great Church Aristides Nikolaides, and musicologist G. I. Papadopoulos.

61 “Συνεδρίασις ΝΓ’ (53rd Meeting)”, 16 December 1899, EMS1, p. 20.

62 See “Ανακοινωθέν Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου επί του θέματος της εκκλησιαστικής μουσικής (The Ecumenical Patriarchate announced on the issue of ecclesiastical music”) http://archive.romfea.gr/oikoumeniko-patriarxeio/oikoumeniko-patriarxeio/12725-anakoinothen-ekklsiastiki-mousiki. In its statement, the Patriarchate emphasized that the musical system of the ecclesiastical music which it recognized and taught, was the new method of analytical notation devised by the Three Teachers.

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Merih Erol, « Tradition: Politics of cultural heritage, Stanbulite Greeks, and the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the late nineteenth century »Bulletin de correspondance hellénique moderne et contemporain [En ligne], 2 | 2020, mis en ligne le 24 décembre 2020, consulté le 05 octobre 2022. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/bchmc/432 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/bchmc.432

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Özyeğin University

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