Troparion (Gk.: diminutive of tropos, ‘manner’, ‘mode’)
- Christian Troelsgård
(Gk.: diminutive of tropos, ‘manner’, ‘mode’)
A collective term for several genres of hymn in the Byzantine liturgy. Troparia are in most cases poetic intercalations or refrains used in the recitation of psalms, canticles and doxologies; a few may be performed independently, for example, as processional chants. They constitute by far the largest body of chanted texts in the Byzantine rite and include the important stichēra (see Stichēron) and kanōnes (see Kanōn); the text strophes of the latter, each following the melody of a model strophe, are commonly known as troparia. By comparison with Western antiphons. the texts of troparia are usually less explicitly linked to the scriptural recitative with which they are performed; typically they consist of invocations, calls for mercy, prayers, praises, dogmatic statements or descriptions of the particular saint or feast of the day.
Troparia belong to the oldest stratum of Byzantine hymnody. The earliest known poet-singers, such as the monophysite Anthimos and the Orthodox Auxentios and Timokles, who were active in the 5th century, apparently followed a practice of ...