Akolouthiai (Gk.: ‘orders of service’)
- Edward V. Williams
- , revised by Christian Troelsgård
(Gk.: ‘orders of service’)
Handbooks transmitting the 14th- and 15th-century chant melodies of the Byzantine rite. Alternative names are anthologion anoixantarion, anthologia, psaltikē and mousikon. Akolouthiai manuscripts contain within a single volume a collection of monophonic chants, both Ordinary and Proper, for the psalmody of Hesperinos and Orthros, and settings for the three Divine Liturgies (see Divine Liturgy). Although relatively short, simple melodies for the Greek liturgical texts are transmitted, the greater portion of a manuscript consists of elaborate kalophonic settings of these same texts (see Kalophonic chant). Most akolouthiai also include a preliminary Papadikē and other didactic texts on Byzantine music and notation.
Akolouthiai were probably assembled for the first time in about 1300 by the singer and composer Joannes Koukouzeles. Their immediate antecedents were the so-called Asma collection of the 13th century, preserved exclusively in manuscripts of South Italian origin, and the asmatikon and the psaltikon, which apparently preserved the chanted repertories of the urban rites of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople between the 11th and 13th centuries. Although certain chants from the asmatikon and psaltikon were copied into some of the early akolouthiai, most of this older repertory had disappeared by the 15th century. This change reflected the gradual replacement of the imperial liturgy at Hagia Sophia by the less elaborate practices followed in Byzantine monasteries, a process that was complete by the end of the 13th century....