Tyurina Olga

The Octo-modal stichera to the Dormition “Θεαρχίῳ νεύματι” in middle byzantine Sticheraria

Tyurina Olga (2023) "The Octo-modal stichera to the Dormition “Θεαρχίῳ νεύματι” in middle byzantine Sticheraria ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia V : Voprosi istorii i teorii hristianskogo iskusstva, 2023, vol. 51, pp. 29-53 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturV202351.29-53


An octo-modal hymn in Byzantine liturgical chant is a particular composition type, in which melody runs through all eight modes of the Octoechos. The paper discusses one of such hymns – Sticheron to the Dormition “Thearkhio neumati” as it appears in the Middle Byzantine singing tradition. This melodic version – “Standard Abridged Version” as it is called by Byzantinists – was widely spread in late 12th – 14th centuries and can be found in many manuscripts, written in the diastematic “round” notation that can be read and transcribed.The author presents a detailed study of different melodic and graphic features of the Sticheron: its notation, modal composition, melodic formulae and their cadences. The graphic version from Middle Byzantine manuscripts shows some peculiarity in using modal signatures (called in Greek tradition “martyria”). These signs, marking a modulation or a cadence on a secondary tone, are not obligatory in this version: their number and position change from one manuscript to another without affecting neither the melody of the hymn nor its modal composition. Study of melodico-modal features of the Sticheron reveals, on the other hand, significant similarity in modal and formulae content between authentic modes and their respective plagal modes. Therefore, in a larger sense, the composition of the Sticheron includes not eight, but four wholly distinctive modal sections. There are also other peculiarities: transposition of some melodic formulae; minor discrepancies the melody shows in different manuscripts; some elements of oral singing tradition surviving in the graphic version.In the Appendix to the article, the author presents the full transcription of the Sticheron from Middle Byzantine neumes to modern notation system.


Byzantine mediaeval chant, chant manuscripts, Sticherarion, Middle Byzantine musical notation, Byzantine neumes, melodic formulae, mode, modulation, poly-modal hymn, octo-modal hymn


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Information about the author

Tyurina Olga

Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in Art Criticism;
Place of work: Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory; 13/6 Bol’shaia Nikitskaia Str., Moscow 125009, Russian Federation;
Post: Senior Researcher;
ORCID: 0000-0002-6662-7530;
Email: tiurinao@mail.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.