Musicologie Médiévale

Resources for medieval musicology and liturgy

Understanding the old byzantine music notation.

Dear members of Musicologie Médiévale,

I am interested in the relation of  new and old byzantine music notation(after and before the reformation in 1814 at Constantinople) I have already made a free XeLaTeX package called byzantinemusic(please see the documentation at One could easily write and hear byzantine music( I hope... I have also a web page in Greek that explain the way to write byzantine music using abc notation  in pentagram and hear the result on any midi player(please see and some sound examples at )

I try to understand the old byzantine music and notation so  to be able to make some music experiments using the free abc tools. For this reason I would like your help from you for:

Find some electronic manuscripts from the old byzantine notation and the   their  corresponding “exegesis”  of them  written in the  new  byzantine notation (for example some old cheroubica  of Petros Pelloponissios  and their corresponding cheroubica in the new byzantine notation after 1814) I know well the new byzantine notation.

Find some related books and  papers on the subject of the exegesis


your opinion and experience!

All the best,



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Dear Charis

Welcome to Musicologie médiévale.

My opinion is, since you seem to be very familiar with the chant books of the New Method, to study Petros' and Daniel's works in their own notation. You will soon learn to sing out of exegetic notation, until you have studied the difference. You should mainly obey the different meaning that Papadic phthorai have with respect to the New Method, and that the trochos system (tetraphonia) is the ruling tone system. Thus, you will understand certain compromises with the New Method.

Here is your bible:

If you follow my description, you can get the whole manuscript as pdf (you probably already did)!

I like very much to work with LaTeX. Hence, I am very interested to learn, how your package works with XeLaTeX.

See you soon!


Dear Oliver Gerlach!
Thank you for your reply!

Please, read the documentation of my package! I hope that with your help and the members of Musicologie médiévale I will succeed to extend the package to the old notation.
If you have installed miktex I could sent you some .tex files to test with. About the Bible. I tried a lot of times to find the manuscript in Larissa, Central Public Library. I dont know how you find a page like this one:*RQh9D0BKIMBpZ82RAZqFaPCN4bveY2RCCjEzbn2uw*gvhPJ8VLfTpmU-DJwdJwL46eRQHVTXAkyKfpZFQXvj/LarisaArchive.jpg
_Could you please send me the link of this page or the pdf file of this manuscript (for personal use and study)?
Best regards,

Yes, it is a well-known misery of Greek and also Italian libraries. They get a lot of funds to digitise their sources and mysteriously the disappear overnight...

The link:

requires now a password, there is no longer a guest login. This is the reason, why most of the links of:

will lead you now to an error message. So far about the relationship between librarians and informatics. Instead of resources we will get spam.

The best is, you contact me personally and I will leave you email-address.

Dear Oliver!

You are right! Some people took >=5000000 euro to finish this project (digital libraries) in Greece and now there is no access of the base!

\ don't know your personal email, so I am sending you my email

All the best,


Yes, but I have to be honest.

Whenever I did a request at an Italian library, they sent me in reply the pictures immediately. At the state library of Berlin such a service would be not just impossible, but unthinkable. I could never show their collection, and they did never even think to digitise those 15 manuscripts written at the Bosporos, that Prussian orientalists bought for a ridiculous price after the great catastrophe.

This is a very interesting information.

What are the contents of these manuscripts?

Dear Charis

I will open a discussion in the groupe Byzantine chant with a description of these manuscripts. I should publish a real article about these manuscripts (and some prints), because the public ought to be informed about certain manuscripts which are not researchable for all those users who were not informed by me.

I spent months there to describe the manuscripts and they don't pass this information to other users.

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