Zakharina Nina

On the musical composition of the canon to the Dormition of Theotokos The one Adorned by Divine Glory

Zakharina Nina (2020) "On the musical composition of the canon to the Dormition of Theotokos The one Adorned by Divine Glory ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia V : Voprosi istorii i teorii hristianskogo iskusstva, 2020, vol. 38, pp. 9-22 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturV202038.9-22


Church hymns of Eastern Christian tradition have some common musical forms constructed with intonation formulae. The use of these forms is connected with the system of podobie (‘similarity’). Musical composition of the canon to the Dormition of Theotokos The one adorned by divine glory (Church Slav. Преукрашенная Божественною славою) is made of intonation formulae of Znamenny chant. Two formulae have the same beginning and diff erent endings, thus forming the intrigue of the hearer’s expectation. The canon is preseved in Byzantine, Old Russian and Kievan chant books. It is written with Paleobyzantine, Middle Byzantine (round) and fi ve-line (Kievan) notation. The Paleobyzantine version is a basis of the Znamenny version, and the Kievan copies (both neumatic and fi ve-line) are based on the Znamenny version. Comparison of manuscripts of the three traditions shows stability in the musical form. Manuscripts with the Middle Byzantine notation and printed chant books are additional sources which were used for the reconstruction of the melodic line. Comparison of the melodies demonstrates certain diff erences in the three traditions. The composition based on two intonation formulae is also used in Slavonic copies of the automelon O wonderful miracle (O дивное чудо, sticheron to the Dormition). The automelon is preserved in the same manuscripts as the canon. The structure of the sticheron was changed over the centuries, which may be due to the infl uence of the canon.


comparative studies, Znamenny chant, canon, automelon, musical structure, intonation formula


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Information about the author

Zakharina Nina

Academic Degree: Doctor of Sciences* in Art Criticism;
Place of work: St. Petersburg State Conservatory; 3 Teatral’naya Sq., St. Petersburg 190000, Russian Federation;
ORCID: 0000-0001-9511-7794;
Email: zakharina@rambler.ru.

*According to ISCED 2011, a post-doctoral degree called Doctor of Sciences (D.Sc.) is given to reflect second advanced research qualifications or higher doctorates.


This research was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) grant № 17-34-00023 (Monodichymns to the Mother of God on the Great Feasts of the 11th-17th centuries: Greek-Slavonic parallels)My thanks to N. A. Shchepkina for consulting on the Greek copies of hymns.My thanks to I. V. Gerasimova for the materials provided by the Kiev-Lithuanian tradition