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Article

Alcman  

Warren Anderson

revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen

[Alkman]

(fl c. 630 bce). Greek lyric poet. He was possibly a native of Sardis in Lydia. Alcman spent his entire professional life in Sparta. This city was then startlingly different from the grim barracks state that it had been and would again become: its citizens cultivated art, poetry, music, and dance with intensity and brilliance. The poet himself commented on this: ‘To play well upon the lyre weighs evenly with the steel’, that is, military valour (Edmonds, frag.62).

As the trainer of a choir of girls who sang and danced at Spartan religious festivals, Alcman wrote maiden-songs (see Partheneia), which brought him particular fame. Extensive portions of one of these have survived (PLouvre E3320); the lines recreate with great immediacy the half-humorous, half-impassioned rivalry of his young choristers. For solo performance he composed proöimia, preludes to the recitation of Homeric poetry (see Terpander...

Article

Dimitri Conomos

[Bardesanes]

(b Edessa [now Urfa], July 11, 154; d Edessa, 222). Syrian hymnographer, astrologer and philosopher. Born into a pagan priestly family, he was educated by a pagan priest but baptized as a Christian, and in 179 he was ordained deacon and priest. Later denounced as a heretic and excommunicated (c216), he fled to Armenia and there taught a kind of astrological fatalism. Bardaisan has been erroneously regarded as a leader of the oriental school of gnosticism founded by Valentinus. His theology, which in fact combined Christian doctrine with astrological and philosophical speculation, is known from the works of later Christian writers such as Eusebius and Ephrem Syrus, who strongly denounced it, and from Bardaisan’s own Dialogue with Antonius concerning Destiny (or Book of the Laws of the Lands), which is the oldest surviving document in Syriac.

Bardaisan wrote many hymns (madrāshe) in Syriac, which his disciples translated into Greek. They included 150 psalms in pentasyllabic metre, reportedly modelled on those of David, through which he popularized his heretical doctrines (Bardaisan’s son Harmonius is said to have written the tunes). The stanzas of the ...

Article

Alexander Lingas

[Bereketēs, Petros; Byzantios, ho Melōdos, Glykys, Tzelepēs, Kouspazoglou]

(b Constantinople, ?1665; d ?1725). Romaic (Greek) composer and cantor. Though undoubtedly influenced by the works of Panagiotes, Germanos and Balasios, he appears never to have been directly associated with the patriarchal court that nurtured his older colleagues. His own substantial contributions to their continuing renewal of Byzantine chanting were made instead from the Constantinopolitan parish church of St Constantine (in the district of Hypsomatheia), where Bereketes held successively the offices of reader, domestikos, and prōtopsaltēs.

Among the traditional repertories, Bereketes virtually ignored the stichērarion and heirmologion recently ‘beautified’ by Panagiotes, Germanos, and Balasios in order to focus his compositional skills on the more structurally malleable chants of the Papadikē. He also brought the newer paraliturgical genre of the kalophonic heirmos to its highest point with the composition of 45 heirmoi for use in monastic refectories or during the distribution of antidoron (blessed bread) at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy. Cultivating what Chatzigiakoumis and Stathis have described as a comparatively popular style of liturgical music, he occasionally composed works incorporating elements of the Arabo-Persian tradition of Ottoman secular music. Among his chants for Orthros are settings of the first and second ...

Article

Enrica Follieri

[Andrew Hierosolymites; Andrew of Jerusalem]

(b Damascus, c660; d Mytilene, c740). Byzantine hymnographer. He was first a monk at Jerusalem and later a deacon at Constantinople; in 711/12 he became Archbishop of Crete and from that time lived at Gortina.

His homilies (more than 50, of which half remain unpublished) and hymns were probably written when he was Archbishop of Crete. He was particularly famous as a writer of hymns, although the tradition that attributes to him the invention of the Kanōn has now been discredited, since his kanōnes (several dozen in number) show that the genre was already fully developed. His works in this genre are remarkable for the originality of their metric and musical form and for their length. The most famous is the Great Kanōn, a penitential hymn of 250 stanzas, which is still sung during Lent. Andrew’s hymns have been listed by Tomadakēs (pp.206–9); some may be found in the Greek liturgical books (mēnaia, triōdion and pentēkostarion)....

Article

Enrica Follieri

[John Chrysorrhoas, John of Damascus ]

(b Damascus, c675; d St Sabas, nr Jerusalem, c749). Saint, Byzantine hymnographer and anti-iconoclast theologian. He was born into a rich Christian family; his father, Sergius, held an important position at the court of the Caliphs, and John, who had received a good literary and philosophical education, apparently held the same post after his father's death. Later he became a monk in the famous monastery of St Sabas. He was ordained priest by the Patriarch of Jerusalem and became his theological adviser. The most important of John's writings, The Source of Knowledge, was dedicated to Kosmas, Bishop of Maiuma (Kosmas). Late hagiographical writers supplied further biographical details, mostly legendary; these include the tradition that Kosmas was John's foster-brother, brought up and educated with him at Damascus. John was buried in the monastery of St Sabas; his body was later transferred to Constantinople.

John Damascene was renowned at Constantinople as the author of liturgical hymns: his biographers praised his ...

Article

Alexander Lingas

[Germanos Neōn Patrōn]

(b Tyrnavo, Thessaly, ?1625; d ?Wallachia, 1685). Romaic (Greek) composer, cantor, and hymnographer. He studied Byzantine chant in Constantinople under the patriarchal prōtopsaltēs Panagiotes. Some time before 1665 he was elevated to the episcopacy, possibly at the instigation of Patriarch Dionysios III (a fellow native of Thessaly), becoming Metropolitan of New Patras (now Ypati). He appears to have resigned from the see before 1683 and subsequently travelled to Wallachia.

Musically active from at least the early 1660s, Germanos is known to have produced five autographs: two copies of his edition of the Stichērarion, a Mathēmatarion in two volumes, and an anthology of the Papadikē. An abundance of grammatical and spelling errors in these manuscripts suggest that he had received little more than a rudimentary general education, but he was nevertheless highly respected as a musician, teaching the composers Balasios and Kosmas Makedonos as well as the Wallachian prōtopsaltēs...

Article

Article

James W. McKinnon

[Elisagarus]

(b 8th century; d after 837). Churchman and liturgist. Born a Goth in Septimania, he is first documented in 808 as chancellor to Louis the Pious, who had been placed on the throne of Aquitania by his father Charlemagne. When Louis became emperor after the death of Charlemagne in 814, he brought Helisachar to Aachen with him to continue in the role of chancellor. He served in that capacity until about 817, remaining in close contact with the court of Louis for the rest of his career except for a period of disfavour from 830 to 833. Though a canon and not a monk, he was named abbot of St Aubin, Angers, and also of Saint Riquier (822–37).

Louis took an active interest in ecclesiastical matters including the liturgy, and Helisachar, along with his better-known associate Benedict of Aniane (d 821), served him as adviser in that regard. Helisachar was the author of a preface and supplement to Alcuin's epistolary, and the author of a letter (written probably at Angers between 819 and 822) to Archbishop Nibridius of Narbonne, in which he described his composition of an Office antiphoner. Like ...

Article

Lawrence Gushee

revised by James W. McKinnon

[Hilarius Pictavensis]

(b Poitiers, c315; d Poitiers, c367). Latin theologian, scriptural exegete and hymn writer. Hilary, thought to be of distinguished family and education, was converted to Christianity in his early manhood and was made bishop of Poitiers around 350. Between 356 and 361 he was in exile in Asia Minor at the order of Emperor Constantius II as a result of his opposition to Arianism. Some scholars suggest that the Syriac hymnody of the time (most notably that of Ephrem Syrus) may have inspired him to write his own hymns, thus turning one of the heretics’ own propaganda weapons against them. Although there is early testimony (by St Jerome and Isidore of Seville) to the existence of an entire Liber hymnorum of indeterminate size, only three hymns, none of them wholly complete, now survive. These poems, Ante saecula qui manes, Fefellit saevam and Adae carnis gloriosa...

Article

Kassia  

Diane Touliatos

[Cassia, Kasia, Eikasia, Ikasia, Kasianē, Kassianē, Kassiani]

(b 810 ce; d by 867). Byzantine-Greek composer and hymnographer. Born into a wealthy family associated with the imperial court in Constantinople, she received a sophisticated education, including the study of classical Greek literature (the influence of which may be seen in her liturgical and secular poetry, epigrams, and moral sayings), and was once considered as a possible bride for the Emperor Theophilus. She became the abbess of a monastery and during the reigns of Theophilus (829–42) and his son Michael (842–67) wrote a number of liturgical compositions to contemporary texts, some of which may be settings of her own poems.

More than 50 liturgical works have been attributed to Kassia (although the authenticity of 26 is now disputed), the majority of them stichēra. Her most famous composition in this genre is the hymn Augoustou monarchēsantos (‘Augustus was reigning’) for Hesperinos on Christmas Day; its melody was so well known in medieval Byzantium that it was mentioned in the chronicles. Words and music are closely interlinked in this hymn: the text compares and contrasts the reign of Augustus (27 ...

Article

Enrica Follieri

[Kosmas Hagiopolitēs, Kosmas Hierosolymitēs, Kosmas the Monk, Kosmas of Maiuma, Kosmas the Melodist]

(b ?Jerusalem; fl 1st half of the 8th century). Saint and Byzantine hymnographer. The epithets ‘Hierosolymitēs’ and ‘Hagiopolitēs’ which accompany his name in manuscripts and in the Suda (a 10th-century Byzantine lexicon), seem to indicate Jerusalem as his birthplace, although he may have been born elsewhere in that patriarchate; according to Detorakēs, his birthplace was Damascus. He was a monk in the Palestinian monastery of St Sabas, like his contemporary John Damascene. The hagiographical tradition, in order to emphasize the relationship between the two, made Kosmas the foster-brother of John Damascene and the latter's companion in his youthful studies and entry into the monastery; it is pure legend. Kosmas was nominated Bishop of Maiuma, near Gaza, in 742/3 (or, according to some scholars, 734/5); John Damascene dedicated his work The Source of Knowledge to Kosmas when he was Bishop of Maiuma.

Kosmas wrote stichēra idiomela, kanōnes and triōdia...

Article

Michel Huglo

(b c850; d Liège, May 16, 920). Bishop and composer of historiae (Proper Offices to saints). Born in the Low Countries, he attended the cathedral school in Metz and, in 864, the palace school in Aachen, and later became a canon of Metz Cathedral, abbot of St Mihiel, of St Evre and of Lobbes before his election in 901 as bishop of Liège. He composed three Offices, whose antiphons and responsories follow the ascending order of the eight modes: the Office of the Trinity (see Auda, 115–21), the most widely known in Europe, attributed to him by Herigerus; the Office of the Invention of St Stephen (Auda, 58–66), his own patron saint; and the Office of St Lambert, patron saint of Liège (Auda, 187–97; the rhymed antiphon Magna vox probably existed before this Office was composed). It is unlikely that the composition of historiae in modal order, a new procedure, was initiated by Stephen or by ...

Article

Alexander Lingas

[Panagiotēs Chrysaphēs ho Neos]

(b? 1620–25; d after 1682). Romaic (Greek) composer, cantor, and hymnographer. As prōtopsaltēs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople from about 1655 to 1682, he helped bring to fruition the revival of Byzantine chanting initiated by his predecessor, Theophanes Karykes. He was a student of the patriarchal prōtopsaltēs Georgios Raidestinos, at whose suggestion he claims to have embarked on the recomposition of the late medieval stichērarion popularly attributed to Manuel Chrysaphes. This task, described by Panagiotes as ‘beautification’ (kallōpismos), was accomplished through the incorporation of novel melodic formulae (theseis) hitherto transmitted orally in the patriarchal chapel. He also revised in similar manner the entire anastasimatarion and excerpts from the heirmologion. Among his other chants for the Divine Office are a modally ordered series of eight kekragaria for Hesperinos, responsories, acclamations, troparia, idiomela, and megalynaria for Orthros, and a modally ordered series of eight pasapnoaria...

Article

Alexander Lingas

[Iakōbos Peloponnēsios; Jakobos the Protopsaltes]

(b ?Peloponnesos, 1740; d Constantinople, April 23, 1800). Romaic (Greek) composer and hymnographer. A student of Joannes of Trebizond, he was first domestikos at the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople from 1764 until 1776, when he was invited to teach at the Second Patriarchal School of Music with Daniel the Protopsaltes and Petros Peloponnesios. He later returned to the patriarchal cathedral, chanting as lampadarios (c. 1784–9) and, after the death of Daniel, as prōtopsaltēs (1790 until his own death). Highly respected for his erudition, he was invited by Patriarch Gregory V to revise and correct the liturgical books of the patriarchate, for which he also wrote the texts of two contrafacta kanons in honour of St Euphemia.

In 1791, together with Petros Byzantios, Jakobos founded the Third Patriarchal Music School, and in 1797 he successfully led opposition within the patriarchate to the proposed notational reforms of Agapios Paliermos, an action characteristic of his conservative stance in a period of artistic change. Described by Chrysanthos of Madytos as a traditionalist suspicious of innovation and lacking the steady rhythmic sense of Petros Byzantios, Jakobos shunned the new syllabic and neumatic styles popularized by ...

Article

Gudrun Engberg

revised by Alexander Lingas

(b Emesa [now Homs], Syria, late 5th century; d Constantinople, after 555). Byzantine hymnographer and composer. Perhaps of Jewish descent, he was a deacon in the Church of the Resurrection in Beirut and towards the end of the 5th century went to Constantinople, where he served at the Church of the Virgin in the city’s Kyros quarter. A hymn in Romanos’s honour mentions his acquaintance with the imperial court. He may have become famous during his lifetime, since an almost contemporary papyrus fragment containing part of a well-known hymn by him has been found in Egypt. It is, however, uncertain whether he was the ‘presbyteros’ and ‘ekklēsiekdikos’ mentioned in the acts of the Synod of 536. He was canonized and is commemorated by the Eastern Orthodox Church on 1 October as the patron saint of music.

Romanos’s vita is lost, but summaries are transmitted in Byzantine synaxaria and menologia, according to which Romanos was inspired by the Virgin to write ...

Article

Şahan Arzruni

( fl early 8th century). Armenian hymnographer, poet and pedagogue . Sister of the music theorist Step‘annos Siwnec‘i, she was an ascetic who lived in a cave in the Gaṙni valley (near Erevan) and produced ecclesiastical poems and liturgical chants. Srp‘uhi Mariam (‘Saint Mary’), consisting of nine stanzas in acrostic formation, is her only verse to have survived. Reportedly, many of her šarakaner (hymns) were devoted to the Mother of God (akin to the theotokion in the music of the Byzantine rite) and helped to shape the development of the genre during subsequent centuries. Seated behind a curtain, as the mores of the period required, Sahakduxt taught sacred melodies to clerical students and lay music lovers.

S. Ōrbelyan: Patmut‘yun nahangin Sisakan [History of the Province of Sis] (Tbilisi, 1910), 139 Archbishop Covakan Norayr [Połarian]: Sahakduxt Siwnec‘i ev Srp‘uhi Mariam [Sahakduxt of Siunik and Saint Mary], Hask (Antilias, 1951), 366–7 M. Ōrmanian...

Article

Gerda Wolfram

(b Sozopolis, Pisidia, 465; d Xois, Egypt, Feb 8, 538). Greek hymnographer and theologian. He studied law and philosophy in Alexandria and Berytus and in 488 was baptized in Libya. He became a monk and is thought to have founded a monophysite monastery near Maiuma in Palestine. Because of the persecution of Palestinian monophysite monks, Severus went to Constantinople in 508, where he opposed the teachings of the Council of Chalcedon and succeeded in gaining the support of Emperor Anastasius I for the monophysite cause. In 512 he became Patriarch of Antioch, but with the suppression of monophytism following Anastasius’s death in 518 he was removed from office and went into exile in Egypt. In 535 Severus returned to Constantinople, but he was excommunicated in 536 and again fled to Egypt where he later died.

One of Severus’s intentions after he had taken up office was to create a magnificent rite (according to his biographer, Joannes bar-Aphthonia). Realizing that the people of Antioch loved both sacred and secular music, he composed many hymns and employed ecclesiastical singers to attract more people to church services. He was a prolific writer, whose surviving works have mostly come down in Syriac translation, among them the hymnal ...

Article

Wipo  

Richard L. Crocker

[Wigbert ]

(b ?Solothurn, c995; d c1050). Priest, poet and chronicler . He studied at Solothurn, became chaplain to the Emperor Conrad II (d 1039) some time before 1020, and then teacher and confessor to Emperor Henry II (d 1056). In 1045 he went into seclusion as a hermit, when he wrote his biography of Conrad.

His musical importance lies in the attribution to him of Victimae paschali laudes by Schubiger on the basis of an Einsiedeln manuscript of the late 11th century (facsimile in Schubiger), which places the name ‘Wipo’ at the head of the sequence. Julian cited as evidence against this the appearance of the sequence in two manuscripts possibly dated too early in the 11th century for Wipo to have written the work ( CH-SGs 340, to which the sequence is apparently added, and F-Pn lat.10510, from Echternacht). The Einsiedeln manuscript, however, may be one of those medieval sources that ascribes items, sometimes on less than good authority, to eminent persons; at least, the other items from this manuscript reproduced by Schubiger are also ascribed, including a Gloria ascribed to ‘Leonis pape’. In all, the attribution remains uncertain....

Article

Şahan Arzruni

[Khosrovidukht ]

( fl early 8th century). Armenian hymnographer and poet . Following the abduction of her brother by Muslim Arabs, Xosroviduxt, who was of royal blood, was taken to the fortress of Ani-Kamakh (now Kemah), where she lived in isolation for 20 years. She is reported to have written the šarakan (canonical hymn), ‘Zarmanali ē inj’ (‘Wondrous it is to me’), which honours the memory of her brother, killed in 737 for reclaiming his Christian faith. Despite its secular subject, this florid šarakan has been sanctioned by the Armenian Church for use during service.

L. Ališan: Hušikk‘ hayreneac‘ hayoc‘ [Memories from the Land of the Armenians], ii (St Lazar, 2/1921), 136 H. Ačaṙyan: Hayoc‘ anjnanunneri bararan [Dictionary of Armenian Proper Names] (Beirut, 2/1972), 539 D. Der Hovanessian and M. Margossian, trans. and eds.: Anthology of Armenian Poetry (New York, 1978), 43–4 G. A. Hakobyan: Šarakanneri žanrě hay mi ǰnadaryan grakanut ‘yan me...