The liturgical chant in the Byzantine Empire is organized in a system of eight modes, characterized by the scales and typical melodical formulas. This system was imported to Kievan Rus and here it was soon changed and reintoned, so that it is hard to recognize today its byzantine origin. It became a basis of the later Russian, Galician and Carpathian chant, especially the melodies for 'irmoi' and 'stikhera'. The importing of Byzantine melodies continued in the 14th 17th centuries through Moldova and Valahia. Simple melodies for 'troparia', missing in the Kievan tradition, their kalophonic versions (so called Bulgarian chant) and many other melodies for the firm liturgical texts enriched the ecclesiastical singing of Galicia and the Carpathian region. In the Carpathian plain chant, both layers, the Kievan and Bulgarian, were transmitted mostly orally. The melodies have been simplified and sometimes also partially shifted to different scales. A historical research can trace some of the changes and in the case of the Bulgarian chant its Byzantine origin and even proximity to contemporary Byzantine chant can be proved. Questioning the origin of the Carpathian plain chant we can say that, in spite of a strong influence of orality, the main liturgical melodies have ancient roots and cannot be considered a local folklore. Presence of a more recent Byzantine music also does not alow to treat the Carpathian chant as if it were only a south-western version of the Russian 'znamenny' chant.
D. Panca, Homolova 10, 841 02 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Publication order reference
CEJSH db identifier