Braille Byzantine Music Notation
Accidentals (i.e., sharps and flats) change the pitch of a single note. In Byzantine music notation, sharps and flats affect only one note rather than all subsequent instances of that note, which is what sharps and flats do in Western music. To indicate all the different microtonal sharps and flats used in Byzantine music, there are several different kinds of sharps and flats. Since, however, the microtonal sharps and flats are rarely used, they will not be presented or encountered in this exercise book. For reference, though, we have listed them all in the "Accidentals" section of our Reference Manual.
In Byzantine Music notation for the sighted, a sharp is written as a tiny circle with a small line pointing out of it up to the right, and it is usually placed beneath a note. In Braille Byzantine notation, a sharp written as dots 146: % which is the same symbol used for a sharp in braille staff notation. It is placed before the note it modifies.
Exercise 103 places sharps on some of the Ga's in it, and exercise 104 places sharps on some of the Pa's in it.
_N4 [ : : : V %\ O _D8 ,: \ %\ : \ \ R _P5 : : V %\ ,: \ R _B6 @V %\ V ? ,] \ R _N4
_N4 [ [ @V %\ : : O _D8 \ \ %\ : O6 R _B6 ] [ ^U \ \ R _D8 ,: \ \ \ %R O _B6 %*\> %*\> P _N4 O [ #:5' H 9 S / E5 \ S _N4
In Byzantine Music notation for the sighted, a flat is written as a tiny circle with a small line pointing out of it down to the left, and it is usually placed above a note. In Braille Byzantine notation, a flat written with as dots 126: < which is the same symbol used for a flat in braille staff notation. It is placed before the note it modifies.
Exercise 105 places sharps on some of the Zo's in it, and exercise 106 places sharps on some of the Ke's in it.
_N4 [ ] : : : <,: \ R _D8 <,] \ \ \ ,: \ R _B6 [ : : [ : <> \ R _D8 @$ : [ $ :# P _N4
_N4 W [ <V \ <V \ S _D8 \ \ \ \ :# P _N4 W [ <V \ ^U @P _D8 <: \ \ \ R R _N4
Until this point, all exercises in this book have begun and ended on Nee. This corresponds to melodies in plagal fourth mode. Exercises 107 to 121 introduce you to the concept of beginning a melody on a note other than Nee. Doing so corresponds to melodies in other modes.
Exercises 107 to 113 begin and end on Pa, which corresponds to first mode and plagal first mode.
_P5 S : : : : : : O "P5 S \ <\ \ \ \ \ R _P5
In Byzantine Music notation for the sighted, the korona (which is pronounced "koh-ROH!-nah" and is written as a dot in the center of a semicircle which is above it) is equivalent to fermata in staff notation. In other words, it indicates that the note associated with it may be held for several beats--the precise duration is left up to the discretion of the chanter. In Braille Byzantine notation, the korona is written with the two braille characters: <L and they are placed immediately after the note that may be held for several beats.
_P5 R > S<L [ [ : : : : <,: \ \ \ V \ 8[ \ : # S _D8 V \ 8[ \ ,[ \ R _P5 ,@] \ \ # : # \ \ ,[ \ \ : V $ V $ O _P5
_P5 [ [ ,] \ \ [ O : > \ O _D8 V \ : [ <,: \ R _D8 @$ [ ^V \ : # P \ : ,: \ \ \ : # P _P5
_P5 S \ / : : ,@] \ R _P5 W $ : > \ R _G7 \ : ,: \ \ \ : > \ R _P5
_P5 R > [ : U M [ ^V \ : : <*[> 9[ H S _K9 98\5' H : # $5' H O _G7 \5' H : # P M : Z 9' _P5 9 @] HC: > 9 $ H : *[> \ M E5 \ ! 9' _P5
_P5 [ [ ,W \ \ \ \5' / : O _P5 [ [ U $ @] *[> \ M E5 \ S _P5 W : : : \ <\ \5' H [ H : Z _K9 9' <V \ H S *\> \ M : : : > \ *\> 9 R / E5 \ S _P5
_P5 [ @] # [ [ ,] <\ \ \ 8[ \ : > \ Z _K9 [ <U \5' H <@V \ H S V \ H *[# *\> \ M E5 \ ! _P5
Exercises 114 and 115 begin and end on Ke, which corresponds to heirmologic plagal first mode.
_K9 [ : : [ V $ O "N7 \ \ \ : :# R R _K9 ] [ \ \ V \ [ \ %\ : : # V \ H S _K9
_K9 [ ,: \ R : : V $ [ # [ [ ,: \ R _K9 ] [ V $ : : ,: \ \ \ O "N7 \ \ \ @] [ $ : # P _K9
Exercises 116 and 117 begin and end on Vou, which corresponds to "legetos" fourth mode.
_B6 [ [ ] [ \ : [ $ : > \ R _B6 [ : U \ \ R _P5 [ [ : : : : <,: \ R _D8 \ : ,: \ \ \ ,] \ R _B6
_B6 S ,] \ R *[# \ %\ \ : O _B6 [ [ > ,: \ \ \ _V $ O _D8 [ [ ^U \ \ : # \ \ R _D8 : <> \ R \ : [ M : > \ R _B6 [ : : > \ \ \ R _P5 [ [ @] [ %\ : : > \ R _D8 \ : ,: \ \ \ ,] \ R _B6
Exercises 118 to 121 begin and end on Ga, which corresponds to third and grave mode.
_G7 S : # \ \ \ : : # S _K9 S $ : [ [ \ \ R @Q $ : : : [ <: ,: <\ R _K9 \ : <,: \ \ \ : # P _G7
_G7 [ : ,[ \ \ : : : [ \ : <: U <\ \ <V $ O _K9 ,] <\ R \ : <V \ [ M : [ ,: \ \ \ O _G7
_G7 [ [ ,[ \ : # [ [ ,: \ \ \ ,: \ \ \ : > : S _G7 [ [ <^U \ \ [ : [ $ O _D8 \ [ : > \ \ : ,: \ [ / O _G7
_G7 [ <^U \ <: U <\ M : [ R _D8 [ [ ,: \ \ \ U M [ V $ : > : S _G7 \ : : # \ [ ,: \ \ M : : O _D8 \ \ ,: \ \ \ : > : S _G7
Congratulations! You have finished Part I and now know all the most important symbols of Braille Byzantine notation. There are only three kinds of symbols you haven't learned yet: 1) "Fthoras" (also called "modulants") which change the scale, 2) Tempo Symbols which indicate and change the tempo of a hymn, and 3) Initial Martyrias which are placed at the beginning of a hymn to specify the mode. Although this online book does not have specific exercises for those symbols, the most common fthoras and intial martyrias will be encountered and explained in chapter nine. The less common fthoras and initial martyrias may be learned from the Reference Manual.
You are now ready to move on to Part II: Ecclesiastical Hymns, which most students find quite enjoyable. You will also feel a sense of satisfaction as you progress through them because you will be reaping the fruits of all your labors in Part I.