Artamonova, Y., 2013. Kondakarion Chant: Trying to Restore the Modal Patterns. Musicology today, 16.
Floros, C. & Moran, N.K., 2009. The Origins of Russian Music - Introduction to the Kondakarian Notation, Frankfurt, M. [u.a.]: Lang.
Floros, C., 2016. The Deciphering of the Old Slavic kondakarian notation.
Grinchenko, O., 2012. Slavonic Kondakaria and Their Byzantine Counterparts: Discrepancies and Similarities. Българско музикознание, 2012(3-4), 57–70.
Myers, G., 2012. The Ritual and Music for the Dedication of a Church among the Medieval Slavs: Byzantine Cathedral Practice Transplanted. Българско музикознание, 2012(3-4), 35–56.


If you follow the tag kontakion, you will also find the republication of Constantin Floros' habilitation which is available under free access conditions. See also Floros about the relevance of Eastern chant studies for the history of Western chant.

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  • Dear Mr. Floros

    I rather prefer not to comment your allegation, that Mr. Myers had plagiarised your transcription, since I did not compare them, if it is identical with yours. I just would like to say that I often observe myself critisising those colleagues whose publications do attract me more than others. I mean in any case we should understand that this is a form of admiration, because we are occupied with those who make us think and understand, and I assure you that I got very experienced with negative forms of admiration, while I was in Basel. This admiration actually forced me to leave it, and to continue my studies in Berlin.

    In your case I observed that many scholars (apparantly those who are not sufficiently familiar with Greek palaeography which is indeed very unfortunate for them) underestimated your publication "Neumenkunde" in three volumes. I was very curious what you were going to reply to Andreas Pfisterer, because I think many here in this social network could profit a lot from your work, and quite a few were very explicit about it that they did. It was great pleasure for me to listen to your keynote lecture at Thessaloniki in 2011, because I understood that my Greek colleagues have quite a different, much more open minded opinion.

    This chance to learn is especially true for the whole development of transcribing Ottoman, Russian, and Byzantine music. I already discussed the problematic, why Tillyard's Transcripta series of the MMB were not continued since decades. I think only in this respect Mr Myers' was right that the way of transcription has changed, but nobody can seriously blame you that you did transcribe according to the contemporary convention. I had a private correspondence with Neil Moran, where he told me that he was the one who transcribed the monophonaris part of the cherouvikon asmatikon according to manuscript Messina gr. 161. I have to admit that it was my fault that I did neither know about his doctoral thesis nor about the manuscript, while I was working on my thesis. Even the work with my Ensemble would have been completely different, if I had. Thus, he taught me something, because I could solve many of his problems doing an annotation of the manuscript by strictly sticking to tetraphonia, since I found out about the importance of the trochos system which ruled the psaltic art until Chrysanthos' introduction of the New Method. I presented my reading of this manuscript last year in Paris.

    Only recently, since an edition project Corpus Musicae Ottomanae had been funded, I read some lines by Ralf Martin Jäger (Zeitung der Max Weber Stiftung; 2015, ii:48) about the book by Kyriakos Kalaitzidis:

    Die griechischen Musikhandschriften überliefern zahlreiche Instrumental- und Vokalwerke, doch verhindern derzeit noch grundsätzliche Lese- und Interpretationsunsicherheiten eine wissenschaftlich belastbare Transnotation der Quellen.

    The Greek music manuscripts [with transcriptions of makam music] provide us with numerous instrumental and vocal compositions, but until now basic insecurities to read and interprete the sources prevent a scientific investigation of a reliable transnotation.

    Of course, it is a good question, whether there will be ever a transnotation which is up to these standards. Mr Jäger's statement was provoked by the fact, that the author did not do any transcriptions whatsoever, but the author's comparison of Petros Peloponnesios' transcription (in facsimile) of the oral tradition of Cantemir's compositions revealed that they were not many coincidences with a transcription of Cantemir's own notation. Today, the decision is, if we do offer an own exigesis or a historical one (similar to the edition problem of Corelli's violoin sonatas)  or we simply prefer to base an edition of the notation without any transnotation by using fonts representing the signs of original notation (see Nina-Maria Wanek's or Matthew Peattie's technique of edition for instance). In any case we can observe that an exegetic edition (like the printed chant books used today, or any other kind of transnotation) seduce the musicians not to skill themselves enough in doing their own realisations which was once the essence of the art. These is also true for musicians performing Ottoman music today, whether it was composed according to the oktoechos or according to the makamlar.

    Concerning Gregory Myers' contribution to the volume of Bulgarian Musicology, I did not find it the most interesting one with respect to the subject, so I quoted also the other one.

  • Please allow me another remark. Certain kontakia have even been transcribed according to the New Method. In any case Chrysanthos as the father of the New Method was quite explicit about the necessity of such a method, that one of the main reasons were, that makam music always needed an analytic way to use neumes which was already established by Panagiotes Halacoğlu (before Petros Peloponnesios). The latter was the first Protopsaltes (at least until 1735) who also created the analytic way to notate church music as part of the creation of Constantinopolitan hyphos, since his student Kyrillos Marmarinos transcribed the seyirler (didactic realisations of their melodies) of many makamlar (about 80). You can also understand it the other way round, that the analytic way to use neume notation was not so necessary for oktoechos chant, since there was a traditional method to write and to read it (which is lost for us today).

    In this light the New Method was relying on a new form of oral transmission concerning the contemporary performance style (which was also discussed by Angelopoulos and other students of the Karas school), because it neutralised the specific oktoechos meaning of certain neumes in order to become a universal notation for the Phanariotes to transnotate many other traditions (makam music was just some among them like Sufi music, court music, synagogal chant of the Maftirim, Armenian or Kurdish music). Many of my colleagues used to reply, but that was later (with respect to the sources of kontakia transcribed by you, for instance). They do not reflect the fact, that hermeneutic problems concerning earlier layers cannot be solved until we have understood and studied the later layers.

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