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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

"The Admonition to Pupils" of Chrysaphes the New (for those who wish to learn the science of ecclesiastical music)


Panagiotes the New Chrysaphes (+ 1685) was the Protopsaltis of the Great Church of Christ in Constantinople from 1655 to 1682. He initiated the first great period in the development of Byzantine music after the Fall of Constantinople, from 1650 to 1720, and he was among the most important and gifted Byzantine music teachers of the period of the Turkish occupation. His approach was based on the recomposition of the late medieval sticherarion as it was described by Manuel Chrysaphes in his treatise about psaltic art, and the recomposition of the Byzantine Anastasimatarion was based on the simple psalmody according to the Octoechos. Several manuscripts of the latter have survived since the 17th century and they were usually introduced by a Papadike treatise, the basic introduction (protheoria) into psaltic art. For these works he was called "the New Chrysaphes".

Notated either in the first mode or in all eight modes, in its original form the troparion to pupils or the admonition to pupils has a single strophe composed in the well-known hymnographic technique of the fifteen syllables. The admonition to pupils is made up of five fifteen-syllable verses and directed to "all those who in the future wish to learn the science of music," especially in the melody of the stichera. The text, this time a non-liturgical one, is adopted from the common educational milieu of the Eastern medieval world and expresses with great eloquence the paideic process between the master/teacher and pupil and the special relationship that should exist between the two, a feature highly characteristic of Orthodox spirituality. By learning these verses composed by the New Chrysaphes, the teacher was teaching his students not only how to chant in the various modes, but also admonishing them how to be successful in learning the art and science of ecclesiastical music.


Admonition to Pupils, Cod. Athos, Xenophontos 128, f. 6r (dated 1671), autograph of Chrysaphes the New.

The Admonition to Pupils
Ὁ θέλων μουσικὴν μαθεῖν καὶ θέλων ἐπαινεῖσθαι
Θέλει πολλὰς ὑπομονάς, θέλει πολλὰς ἡμέρας,
Θέλει καλὸν σωφρονισμὸν καὶ φόβον τοῦ Κυρίου,
τιμὴν πρὸς τὸν διδάσκαλον, δουκᾶτα εἰς τὰς χεῖρας·
τότε νὰ μάθει ὁ μαθητὴς καὶ τέλειος νὰ γένει.

He who wishes to learn music and wishes to offer praise
Must have much patience, must have many days,
Must have good moderation and fear of the Lord,
honor towards the teacher, gold coins in the hand;
then the student will learn and will become perfect.

Below is a video recording of the Admonition to Pupils chanted in the melody of Chrysaphes the New:





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