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What is a znamenny chant: meaning, history, types

Russian church music began with the famous chant that arose during the baptism of Russia. Its name is associated with the use of special notation signs – “banners” for its recording. Their intricate names are associated with a graphic image: a bench, a darling, a cup, two in a canoe, etc. Visually, banners (aka hooks) are a combination of dashes, dots, and commas. Each banner contains information on the duration of sounds, their number in a given motive, the direction of the melody and the characteristics of the performance. The intonations of the znamenny chant were acquired by the singers and parishioners of the church according to rumors from the masters of znamenny singing, since the banners did not record the exact pitch of the sound. Only in the XVII century. the appearance in the texts of special cinnabar (red) droppings made available the designation of the pitch of the hooks.

THE SPIRITUAL COMPONENT OF THE BANNING CHANGE It is not possible to understand what a banner chant is and to appreciate its beauty without resorting to the spiritual significance of the chant in Russian Orthodox culture. Samples of famous melodies are the fruits of the highest spiritual contemplation of their creators. The meaning of znamenny singing is the same as that of the icon – the liberation of the soul from passions, detachment from the visible material world, therefore the old Russian church unison is devoid of chromatic intonations, which are needed when expressing human passions. An example of a chant created on the basis of the znamenny chant: S. Trubachev “Grace of the World” Thanks to the diatonic scale, the znamenny chant sounds majestically, impassively, strictly. The melody of a one-voice prayer chant is characterized by a smooth movement, the noble simplicity of intonations, a clearly defined rhythm, and completeness of construction. The chant is in perfect harmony with the performed spiritual text, and singing in unison focuses the attention of singers and listeners on the words of prayer.

FROM THE HISTORY OF THE CELEBRATION OF SIGNS An example of the famous notation. To reveal more fully what a famous chant helps the appeal to its sources. The famous church singing originates from the ancient Byzantine liturgical practice, from which Russian Orthodoxy borrowed the annual circle of concession (the distribution of church chants into eight singing voices). Each voice has its own bright melodic turns, each voice is designed to reflect different moments of a person’s spiritual states: repentance, humility, tenderness, delight. Each melody is associated with a specific liturgical text and is tied to a specific time of the day, week, year. In Russia, the chants of Greek singers gradually changed, absorbing the peculiarities of the Church Slavonic language, Russian musical intonations and metro rhythms, acquiring great melodiousness and smoothness.

TYPES OF BAD FLASHING Asking the question of what the banner chant is and what its varieties are known, one should look at it as a single musical system that embraces the banner itself or the pillar (eight voices form a set of melodies “pillar” repeating cyclically every 8 weeks) , traveling and dementic chants. All this musical matter is united by a structure based on chants – short melodic turns. Sound material is built on the basis of the service rank and the church calendar. The traveling chant is a solemn, festive singing, which is a complicated and transformed form of pillar chant. Strictness, firmness, rhythmic virtuosity are inherent in the road chant. Of these stylized varieties of banner singing, the demine chant is not included in the book of the Oktoikh (“eight-mouth-man”). It is distinguished by the solemn character of the sound, a festive style is presented, they sing the most important liturgical texts, hymns of the bishop’s service, weddings, consecration of churches. At the end of the XVI century. the “big znamenny chant” is emerging, which has become the highest point in the development of Russian znamenny chant. Long and chanted, flowing, unhurried, equipped with an abundance of extensive melismatic constructions with rich intramural chants, the “big banner” sounded at the most significant moments of the service.

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