On the Issue of the 16-Mode System, in the Theoretikal Treatises on Music by Grigor Gapasakalian

On the Issue of the 16-Mode System, in the Theoretikal Treatises on Music by Grigor Gapasakalian

Dowmload pdf  .

Keywords: Armenian Octoechos, 16-Mode System, Grigor Gapasakalian.

Author: Anna S. Arevshatyan

About the author

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7578-8275
e-mail: anna_arevshatyan@hotmail.com

Doctor of Art History, Lead Researcher of Music Department of Institute of Arts, National Academy of Sciences of Republic of Armenia

24g Marshal Baghramyan Ave., Yerevan 374019, Republic of Armenia

Professor of Department of Armenian Musical Folkloristics of Yerevan State Conservatory Komitas

1а Sayat-Nova St., Yerevan 374010, Republic of Armenia

Submitted on: 15.08.2019

Published on: 15.04.2020


Throughout its history, the church chanting practice and chant writing has constantly gone beyond the framework established by the ecclesiastical canon of the Octoechos. This can be clearly seen in the analysis of melodic samples of the most diverse hymnographic national traditions. The article is dedicated to the 16-mode system mentioned in the theoretical treatises on music by the prominent Armenian music theorist from Constantinople Grigor Gapasakalian (1740–1808) — the Small Book Called Music Collection, the Book on Music and the Book of Octoehos. The study of these writings points out to an “extended canon” that included 4 essential, 4 plagal, 4 medial and 4 phtoral modes, these corresponding to the 16-mode system of the “asma” in the
byzantine theory of church music. This clarifies the essence and purpose of the 16-mode system, which existed both among the Greeks and Armenians. This testifies to the fact that it is a complex, ramified and multi-tiered original modal system, which nonetheless does not exhaust the modal variety of live chanting art.

Works Cited

Arevshatyan, Аnna (2013b). D’ayneghanakneri owsmownqy’ mijnadaryan Hayastanowm [The doctrine of modes in medieval Armenia]. Yerevan: Gitutyun, 338 p. (in Armenian).

Arevshatyan, Аnna (2014). „Das Buch Acht-Echoi-Systems von Grigor Gapasakaljan als Zusammenfassung des musiktheoretischen Gedankenguts des Mittelalterlichen Armenien.“ In Theorie und Geschichte der Monodie. Bd. 7/1: Bericht der Internationalen Tagung. Wien, 2012, hrsg. von Martin Czernin und Maria Pischlöger. Brno: Tribun EU, S. 37–47.

Arevshatyan, Аnna (2013a). Grigor Gapasaqalyani erajhshtagitakan jhar’angowt’yowny’ [The musicological heritage of Grigor Gapasakalian]. Yerevan: Gitutyun, 107 р. (in Armenian).

At’ayan, Robert A. (1959). Haykakan xazayin notagrowt’yowny’: owsowmnasirowt’yan & verc’anowt’yan harcer [Armenian neumatic notation: Issues of study and transcribing]. Yerevan: Publishing house of Armenian SSR Academy of Sciences, 285 p. (in Armenian).

Diogenes Laertios (1979). O zhizni, ucheniyakh i izrecheniyakh znamenitykh filosofov [On life, theories and dictions of eminent philosophers], edited with a preface by A. F. Losev; translated by L. M. Gasparov. Moscow: Misl’, 620 p. (in Russian).

Erzynkatsi, Ioann (1967) “Tolkovanie grammatiki” [“The Grammar Interpretation”], translated from Classical Armenian by S. S. Arevshatyan. In Muzykal’naya estetika stran Vostoka [The Musical Aesthetics of Eastern Countries], edited and with a preface by V. P. Shestakov. Moscow: Muzyka, pp. 361–367 (in Russian).

Gapasakalyan, Grigor (2017). Kniga o muzyke, gde soderzhatsya kratkie voprosy i otvety na armyanskom, grecheskom i persidskikh yazykakh [Book on Music, which contains brief questions and answers in Armenian, Greek and Persian languages], translated from classical Armenian and with a preface by Anna Arevshatyan; with commentaries by Anna Arevshatyan and Levon Hakobian. Yerevan: Gitutyun, 142 p. (in Russian).

Hakobian, Levon O. (2005). “Sharaknoci ergeri d’ayneghanaknery’ & nranc storabajhanowmnery’ ” [“The Šarakan Hymns Tunes and their Subdivisions”]. In Manrusum: Hogevor yerazhshtut’yan patmut’yan, tesut’yan yev geghagitut’yan harts’er: Mijazgayin yerazhshtagitakan taregirk’ [Manrusum: Issues of history, theory and aesthetics of sacred music: International musicological review], vol. 2, edited and compiled by A. Arevshatyan. Yerevan: Asoghik, pp. 109–139 (in Armenian).

Komitas (2001a). “Armenian ecclesiastical melodies.” In Komitas: Essays and articles: The musicological treatises of Komitas Vardapet, English translation by Vatsche Barsoumian. Pasadena, Ca.: Drazark Press, pp. 135–152.

Komitas (2001b). “Healing through music (an extract from manuscript No. 2359 of Holy Ejmiatzin).” In Komitas: Essays and articles: The musicological treatises of Komitas Vardapet, English translation by Vatsche Barsoumian. Pasadena, Ca.: Drazark Press, pp. 171–174.

Komitas (2005). “Hayoc ekeghecakan eghanaknery’ ” [“Armenian Ecclesiastical Modes”]. In Komitas vardapet: Owsowmnasirowt’iwnner ew yo’dowac’ner: erkow grqov [Reverend Komitas: Essays and articles: in 2 vols], edited by G. Gasparean and M. Musheghean. Vol. 1. Yerevan: Sargis Khachentz, pp. 55–75 (in Armenian).

Komitas (2007). “Bjhshkowt’iwn erajhshtowt’eamb (mek e’j Mayr At’or’ S. E’jmiac’ni 2359 d’er’agric)” [“Healing through music (an extract from the manuscript no. 2359 of Holy Ejmiatzin)”]. In Komitas vardapet: Owsowmnasirowt’iwnner ew yo’dowac’ner: erkow grqov [Reverend Komitas: Essays and articles: in 2 vols], edited by G. Gasparean and M. Musheghean.
Vol. 2. Yerevan: Sargis Khachentz, pp. 200–204 (in Armenian).

Raasted, Jørgen (1983). The Hagiopolites: A Byzantine Treatise on Musical Theory, preliminary edited by Jørgen Raasted. Copenhague: Paludan in Komm, 99 p. (Cahiers de l’Institut du Moyen-Âge Grec et Latin; 45).

Shartau, Bjarne (2008). “Agiopolit” [“The Hagiopolites”]. In Pravoslavnaya entsiklopediya [Orthodox Encyclopedia]. Vol. 1. Moskow: Church and Publishing Center “Orthodox Encyclopedia,” p. 253 (in Russian).

Tagmizyan, Nikoghos K. (1977). Teoriya muzyki v drevney Armenii [The theory of music in Ancient Armenia]. Yerevan: Publishing house of Armenian SSR Academy of Sciences, 319 p. (in Russian).

Wolfram, Gerda; Hannick, Christian (1997). Die Erotapokriseis des Pseudo-Damaskenos zum Kirchengesang, hrsg. von Gerda Wolfram und Christian Hannick. Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 199 S. (Monumenta Musica Byzantinae, Corрus Scriptorum de re Musica; Bd. 5).

For citation: Arevshatyan, Аnna S. “On the Issue of the 16-Mode System in the Theoretical Treatises on Music by Grigor Gapasakalian.” In Оpera musicologica, vol. 12, no. 1 (2020), pp. 40–52 (in Russian). DOI: 10.26156/OM.2020.12.1.003.