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date: 19 November 2019

Balasios [Balasios the Priest and Nomophylax; Balasēs ho Hiereūs kai Nomophylax]locked

  • Alexander Lingas

Extract

[Balasios the Priest and Nomophylax; Balasēs ho Hiereūs kai Nomophylax]

(b Constantinople, ?1615; d ?1700). Romaic (Greek) composer and patriarchal official. Born into a family of Peloponnesian origin, he received his general education at the Patriarchal Academy under Theophilos Korydalleus. Together with Kosmas Makedonos he was taught Byzantine chant by Germanos, for whom he composed an acclamation. In a pre-1660 manuscript Balasios refers to himself as a domestikos, which therefore places him among the musicians of the patriarchal cathedral at the time Panagiotes was prōtopsaltēs. After ordination to the priesthood he continued to serve the Ecumenical Patriarchate in an impressive series of liturgical and administrative posts (c. 1663–1700), but in musical manuscripts he is customarily described as ‘nomophylax’, a patriarchal title that he appears to have held from about 1680.

As a composer Balasios continued the renewal of the received medieval chant repertories pursued by Panagiotes and Germanos, complementing their ‘beautified’ stichēraria with a new edition of the Heirmologion and a complete series of eight modally ordered Great Doxologies, the first such set ever written. Other chants for the Divine Office include a modally ordered series of eight ...

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