The Doxastarion of Markos Domestikos in the New Analytical Method: A Critical Analysis of a Musical Legacy
Filis, Christina Indianos
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The New Analytical Method that was created by Chrysanthos Madytos (1770-1846), Gregorios Protopsaltis (d. 1821), and Chourmouzios Chartophylax (d. ca. 1840), came from an effort to simplify and standardize the system of neumatic notation and modal theory of old Byzantine chant notation in a more precise type of notation that would help to simplify the transmission of melodies. This reform was adopted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 1814 and led to the transcription of numerous musical compilations, including the Doxastarion of Petros Peloponnesios (d. 1778). The decision to reform the notation did not come without criticism and has led to discussions in present-day musicological forums. This is due to the reformers’ systematic removal of complex neumes and melodic formulae that existed in older Byzantine notation. Gregorios and Chourmouzios each created transcriptions of Petros’s Doxastarion in the New Analytical Method. These editions have become standard repertoire for singers in the Greek Orthodox Church today. Another Doxastarion of Petros was also created in the New Analytical Method by Markos Domestikos (ca. 1790-ca. 1832). In the title it states that it makes corrections to Gregorios’s Doxastarion, modifying his exegesis according to the tradition of his own teacher, Manuel. That claim, investigated here, is particularly important for Byzantine musicology, given the significance of Gregorios’s contribution to the Church. From my thorough investigation and comparative analysis of these Doxastaria and London MS 17718 and Bucharest MS 48m, described here, I demonstrate how the Doxastarion of Markos Domestikos helps us to understand the nature of oral tradition and the relationships between written music and its vocal rendering during the early years of use of the New Analytical Method.