Georgian sacred music is one of the most ancient and significant parts of Christian culture. The history of Georgian church chanting takes its origin in the depths of centuries and is directly connected with the introduction and dissemination of Christianity in Georgia. Georgian chanting is three-part, being three-part is its nature, the only form of its existence. The unity of the three voices is such a well organized supreme level that in the treatise (Commentaries on Proclus Diadochus’ and Platonist Philosophy) by Ioane Petritsi, an 11th century Georgian philosopher, used it as an example to explain one of the basic dogmas of Christianity – the consubstantiality of the Holy Trinity.
The article reviews the history of the Georgian church chanting, the issues related to the original music terminology, existed in the oldest Georgian chant collections (9–10th centuries) are discussed, the paper also deals with the historical stages of Georgian music manuscripts.
On the Interrelation of Byzantine and Georgian Hymnography: Tao-Klarjeti, Mount Athos and the Black Mountain Monastic-Hymnographic School
The emergence and historical development of old Georgian hymnography occurred in parallel with the Byzantine counterpart and implied creation of both translated and original works. Comparison of the Georgian translated hymnography with the Greek original revealed that at different stages of its development the local tradition demonstrates certain differences with respect to the translation method or musical consistent patterns.
The present paper deals with only some aspects related to juxtaposition of Georgian translated hymnography with the Greek original, namely, with questions linked to the assignment of echoi and the translation method, which were of equal relevance at various stages of historical development of Georgian chanting culture; however, solutions employed manifest different creative approaches of hymnographers and master composers (xelovantmtavari).
The characteristics of Georgian national music in terms of musical thinking and language manifest first and foremost in the form of its signature polyphony. Three-voice singing is the primary form of polyphony in Georgian folk music, and a codified standard for Georgian church music since its foundations. Various traditions of chanting schools surviving to this day show us the developmental stages of polyphony, which are the subject of our study.
The Georgian neumatic notation represents one of the oldest phenomena in the musical paleography. The first neumatic examples are dated back at the latest of the 10th century, bearing absolutely original notation system: the neumes are placed above and below of the verbal text, not on each syllable but with intervals. The graphic signs above and below the text-line represent the variations displaced mirror-like.
This paper is focused on general principles of the Georgian neumatic system, and on possible comparisons between this system and the Byzantine ekphonetic signs. The author also includes considerations about the sign Theta in Byzantine and Russian Church cultures, and its peculiarities in Georgian sources.
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