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Arian Catholic Hymns and Poetry A forum for discussions on and posting examples of Arian and Early Church Hymns and Poetry. Most pre-Nicaean Hymns did not survive, but some did!

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Old 2nd May 2007
Postulare42 Postulare42 is offline
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According to a text I'm consulting, the earliest extant text of Christian liturgical music is among the "Oxyrhynchos Papyrii" found in Egypt. No citations are given, but it is written to be among the collections at Oxford.

Does anyone have more specifics ?
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Old 19th May 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulare42 View Post
According to a text I'm consulting, the earliest extant text of Christian liturgical music is among the "Oxyrhynchos Papyrii" found in Egypt. No citations are given, but it is written to be among the collections at Oxford.

Does anyone have more specifics ?
Grace and peace, Postulare!

Chant development in the Eastern Church was clearly built on the musical norms that came into the Christian Church from Greek culture. It appears that the earliest example we have of Christian music composed in classical Greek meter is a work of Clement of Alexandria, and it seems to imitate common metrical poetry in style. According to Egon Wellesz, this hymn "shows how the master of the Catechetical school tried to combine the spirit of Greek poetry with Christian theology." [1] The dependence upon Greek musical theory, meter and form is further illustrated by what is probably the earliest Christian musical document we have, the Oxyrhynchus Hymn to the Holy Trinity. This document (Papyrus 1786) contains words and music dating from the end of the third century. The lyrics are in Greek, and the notation used is classical Greek vocal notation.


After Constantine's edict of toleration, and the legalization of Christianity which allowed (in fact required) it to develop a more public demeanor, music began to develop in formal ways. These musical types almost certainly were based on classical Greek theory and practice, although they were now coming to be called "Byzantine" after the new capitol of the Empire. In the coming centuries the development of liturgical chant blossomed in parallel with the theological and worship development of the Church.

The adoption of the eight modes of Greek music allowed Byzantine music to develop and convey specific feeling (such as sorrow or joy) that could correspond with the liturgical cycle. During this same period, some of the greatest composers in the history of the Eastern Church created glorious music and contributed new musical forms to the Church. The Church honored these composers, such as Ephraim the Syrian, Andrew of Crete, Joseph the Hymnographer, Kosmas the Poet, John Damascene, and Romanos the Melode, by enrolling them among the saints. [2]

During this same period, other forms of Eastern chant developed, such as Armenian, Georgian, Maronite, etc. Most were practiced in the non-Chalcedonian churches (those not subscribing to the Council of Chalcedon, and therefore considered non-Orthodox) and this allowed their continuation. For the Byzantine Church, liturgical music, like the liturgical rite itself, became standardized at a fairly early time.

As Eastern or "Greek" Christianity spread through its missionary efforts, so did the use of the vernacular language. When in 862 Sts. Cyril and Methodius (brothers from Thessaloniki, Greece) undertook missionary efforts in Slavic lands (Moravia), they were chosen and sent by Patriarch Photius, and brought with them Byzantine chant. The period of their ministry was rife with political and ecclesiastical tension in the Slavic countries, and at one time resulted in an appeal to Pope Hadrian regarding the question of liturgical language.

Cyril and Methodius received the Pope's blessing to continue the use of Greek. One of the long term outcomes of their work was the creation of an alphabet to allow the translation of Scripture and liturgical texts into the vernacular language.

As the Slavic lands, and last of all Rus, adopted Christianity, most also initially adopted Byzantine chant. Over time, however, these new cultures contributed their own musical heritage and cultural elements, thereby developing chant forms uniquely their own. For instance, among the earliest chant forms in the history of Russian Orthodoxy is Znamenny Chant. It is a very "Byzantine sounding" chant from which used a different notation system and included distinctively Russian musical elements. Kievan chant, another early Russian chant form, likewise developed.

A variety of other minor chant forms developed in the history of the Russian church, but the most notable changes in Russian Orthodox chant development came with the reforms of Peter the Great. Peter imported musicians from Western Europe and undertook a major change in the musical form of Russian liturgical music. The result is the unique ambience and feeling of Russian Orthodox music, in contrast to Byzantine chant.
The following pages provide overviews of specific areas of interest in the chant development of the Eastern Orthodox Church.



[1] Wellesz, E., A History of Byzantine Music and Hymnography, p. 149. [2] Topping, E.C., Sacred Songs: Studies in Byzantine Hymnography, Light and Life Publishing, Minneapolis, 1997, p. 19.

You might find Litugica a helpful resource: HERE

Additionally,
  • Music in Early Christian Literature by James McKinnon
Author(s) of Review: J. A. Smith
Music & Letters, Vol. 69, No. 2 (Apr., 1988), pp. 244-246
  • The Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 1786 and the Relationship between Ancient Greek and Early Christian Music
    A. W. J. Holleman
    Vigiliae Christianae, Vol. 26, No. 1 (Mar., 1972), pp. 1-17
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Wayne Matthew
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Old 20th May 2007
Postulare42 Postulare42 is offline
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Thanks a lot Matt ! Very helpful, especially the references ! I hope that I can return the favor sometime.
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Old 20th May 2007
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is but to serve. Thanks for the offer to help me out in the future, Postulare! I am sure to take you up on it in the future.

Pax,
Wayne Matthew
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Old 26th June 2007
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Arrow Oxyrhynchus hymn and papyri

Just to add some further information, there are Wikipedia articles on the Oxyrhynchus papyri at...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxyrhynchus_Papyri

and the Oxyrhynchus hymn at...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxyrhynchus_hymn
(giving a translation of the text, see below).


The text of the hymn is said to be the earliest fragment of a Christian hymn, 4th century and trinitarian, although this is based on the use of "the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit", I suspect that this may be trinitarian wishful thinking as to hymn (verb) the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in praise of God isn't trinitarian! Clearly praise is always and only directed towards God and not the Son or the Holy Spirit:-
".. Let it be silent
Let the Luminous stars not shine,
Let the winds (?) and all the noisy rivers die down;
And as we hymn the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Let all the powers add "Amen Amen"
Empire, praise always, and glory to God,
The sole giver of good things, Amen Amen."
Translation from West, M. L. 1992. Ancient Greek Music. Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-814975-1
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Old 15th July 2007
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Thanxs, K.
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Old 11th September 2007
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Default Oxyrhynchus hymn and papyri

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Kurgan View Post
Just to add some further information, there are Wikipedia articles on the Oxyrhynchus papyri at...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxyrhynchus_Papyri

and the Oxyrhynchus hymn at...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxyrhynchus_hymn
(giving a translation of the text, see below).



The text of the hymn is said to be the earliest fragment of a Christian hymn, 4th century and trinitarian, although this is based on the use of "the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit", I suspect that this may be trinitarian wishful thinking as to hymn (verb) the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in praise of God isn't trinitarian! Clearly praise is always and only directed towards God and not the Son or the Holy Spirit:-
".. Let it be silent
Let the Luminous stars not shine,
Let the winds (?) and all the noisy rivers die down;
And as we hymn the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Let all the powers add "Amen Amen"
Empire, praise always, and glory to God,
The sole giver of good things, Amen Amen."
Translation from West, M. L. 1992. Ancient Greek Music. Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-814975-1
Thanks The Kurgan!

The inclusion of the lyrics spurred a synapse for me. Take a look at Psalm 65 where the antithesis is recorded:

There will be silence before You, and praise in Zion, O God,
And to You the vow will be performed. [...]

Nary a mention of any trinity!

In blessing, bless

+Wayne Matthew Mari, S.M. OSAR
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Old 12th November 2007
Danage Danage is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt2817 View Post
Thanks The Kurgan!

The inclusion of the lyrics spurred a synapse for me. Take a look at Psalm 65 where the antithesis is recorded:

There will be silence before You, and praise in Zion, O God,
And to You the vow will be performed. [...]

Nary a mention of any trinity!

In blessing, bless

+Wayne Matthew Mari, S.M. OSAR

Agreed, however, Trinitarians will use any part of the Bible to support their shaky and false doctrine, which of course, has no support from the Bible.
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Old 24th January 2008
Danage Danage is offline
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Default Verses taken out of context.

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Agreed, however, Trinitarians will use any part of the Bible to support their shaky and false doctrine, which of course, has no support from the Bible.
Trinitarians (especially the Roman Catholics) also take verses out of context to support their Trinity. In context the verses don't support a Trinity.
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Old 25th January 2008
Postulare42 Postulare42 is offline
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And Jewish scholars have much similar things to say inre the Xian references to the O.T.

HMMMMMM!
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