The article describes one of the types of Old Russian melismatic chant - Svetilens (Eksapostilaria or Fotagogica) on diff erent holidays. They were rarely included in the Church books and were singing in style of “bolshoj raspev” (great chant). Svetilens are executed after the 9th songs of canons, the main theme is “light”, which is revealed in all the hymns. The author explores the cycles of Svetilens in two manuscripts of the 17th century Kirillo-Belozersky collection in the National Library of Russia (no. 642/899 and no. 638/895). They have an unique shaped and structured contents of poetic texts, diff erent techniques of melodic organization, as well as the link between the melody of svetilens, which should be recognized as a special song cycle.
Svetilen, manuscript, cycle, great chant, text, National Library of Russia, Kirillo-Belozersky collection
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