Release of Eight Video-Analyses of Byzantine Scales performed by Four Lebanese Cantors

These Eight Video-analyses of the scales of Byzantine chant (for the scales of the Eight modes) are proposed on a dedicated main page. The analyses come originally from the book of Amine Beyhom Théories et pratiques de l’échelle dans le chant byzantin arabe : Une approche comparative et analytique proposant une solution inédite pour le système théorique de Chrysanthos le Madyte and were edited for video.

Four Lebanese cantors of Byzantine chant – Fr. Nicolas Malek, Fr. Makarios Haidamous, Joseph Yazbeck and a cantor who preferred to remain anonymous – accepted to record (among other performances) the scales of the eight canonical modes of their liturgical chant for research purposes. Each of them is a renowned soloist and choir director in Lebanon.

Opening Screen of the video for the First Byzantine Mode

The complete results of the analyses of these recordings are proposed in the aforementioned book, while particular results concerning the first mode were presented on various occasions in Greece and in Cyprus, but also in France, Tunisia and in Lebanon.

The analyses in the videos are based on these presentations, which in turn were based on power point animations proposed in the aforementioned book.

Each video comprises a short theoretical introduction contextualizing the scales of the current mode within the general frame of the 19th-Century Second Reform of Byzantine chant.

Example of a slide with explanations on the scale of the First Byzantine Mode according to the teaching of Thrasyvoulos Stanitsas

Moreover, the first video (for the First mode) features a General Introduction which explains shortly:

  • The solmization of the Byzantine – and equivalences between Byzantine and Western – degrees of the scale
Byzantine chant solmization with transliteration and equivalences with the degrees of the Western Common-Practice scale
  • The accidentals used in the theory of the Second Reform (and in the Western/Byzantine notation proposed by the author)
Accidentals used in the theory of Byzantine Chant (19th-Century Second Reform) with equivalents in fractions of the tone (including cents)
  • The scores and literal notations
Western/Byzantine and literal notations of scales
  • (And) Explanations about the graphic representation of the results
Conventions used for the Graphic notations of scales

The videos on the main page are in High resolution, and also available on the YouTube Channell of CERMAA. An alternate, Low resolution version is proposed for each mode (and the Intro) in a dedicated page.

New article/Dossier: MAT for the VIAMAP – Maqām Analysis Tools for the Video-Animated Music Analysis Project

English

[French translation below]

NEMO-Online is delighted to propose this new article by Amine Beyhom on notational tools and graphical analyses of melody and rythm.

Musical notation has been reputed as disqualified for the analysis of “Foreign” musics since – at least – the experiments of Charles Seeger with the Melograph. It is nevertheless still used as the main analytic – and teaching – tool for these musics in most researches in musicology, and today in the teaching of these musics in autochthonous conservatories. Seeger’s experiments brought at his time cutting-edge solutions – and alternatives – to score notation but, surprisingly enough, these solutions seem to have not worked out very well in the long run.

Beyhom proposes a voluminous dossier including three parts and relying on the pioneering works of Seeger – and other ethnomusicologists – as well as on the improvements of his method that we have witnessed in the last decades. The first part expounds the past, and on-going debates about the (mis-) use of score notation as applied to “Foreign” musics, while the second part offers a retrospective of Maqām music notation. The third part of the dossier describes different tools of pitch and spectrum analysis which help understand – and listen better to the analyzed music while exposing, in fine, the author’s work and propositions for the implementation of video-animated analyses in the teaching of ethnomusicology as one major basis for this teaching. The dossier is accompanied by a short power point show (PPS) and 41 video-animated analyses (total time = 2 h 13 m).

Amine Beyhom: MAT for the VIAMAP – Maqām Analysis Tools for the Video-Animated Music Analysis Project,” Near Eastern Musicology Online 4 7 |2018-11| p. 145–256.

Français

Nous avons le plaisir à NEMO-Online de publier ce nouvel article par Amine Beyhom sur les outils de notation et d’analyse graphique de la mélodie et du rythme.

La notation musicale est réputée être disqualifiée pour les analyses de musique “étrangères” et ce depuis, au moins, les expériences de Charles Seeger avec le mélographe. Il n’en reste pas moins que la notation classique reste l’outil principal d’analyse de ces musiques dans les recherches musicologiques, et de leur enseignement dans les conservatoires locaux. Les méthodes de Seeger étaient à l’avant-garde de la recherche pour une analyse –  et une notation – alternative des musiques traditionnelles mais, de manière assez surprenante, ne semblent pas avoir pris racine dans l’enseignement de l’ethnomusicologie.

Beyhom propose un dossier volumineux en trois parties, basé sur l’oeuvre pionnière de Seeger – et d’autres ethnomusicologues – ainsi que sur les améliorations de cette méthode apportées au fil des recherches par ses successeurs. La première partie retrace les débats soulevés par l’utilisation (ou non) de la notation musicale classique pour les musique non occidentales – notamment non semi-tonales – tandis que la deuxième partie est consacrée à une courte rétrospective historique de la notation de la musique du maqām. La troisième partie décrit divers outils d’analyse des hauteurs et du spectre d’une mélodie qui sont une aide à l’analyse – et à la compréhension, sinon à une meilleure écoute – de ces musiques. En conclusion l’auteur appelle à implémenter l’enseignement des analyses vidéo-animées de hauteurs dans l’enseignement courant de l’ethnomusicologie, comme outil principal d’analyse des musiques “autres”.

Le dossier est accompagné d’un fichier Power Point contenant quelques exemples d’analyse avec curseur se déplaçant horizontalement sur l’écran, et de 41 analyses vidéo dont le temps total s’élève à 2 heures et 13 minutes.

Amine Beyhom: MAT for the VIAMAP – Maqām Analysis Tools for the Video-Animated Music Analysis Project,” Near Eastern Musicology Online 4 7 |2018-11| p. 145–256.