Session 4 (Themed Papers): Georgian medieval music: Traditions and perspectives

Monday, 5 July 2021, 14.30-16.30, Room 219 | Chair: Ivan Moody (CESEM, NOVA FCSH)

Peculiarities of the regulation of medieval Georgian church services and their influence on the representation form of hymnography monument | Khatuna Managadze (Batumi Art University)

Similar to other Orthodox countries, “church regularities” or Typicon was changed several times in Georgia too. It is known that until the 10th century, Georgia was linked with Palestinian liturgical practice (Jerusalem Lectionary). One of the earlier Georgian church books is named Lectionary reflects Jerusalem church practice during 5th – 10th centuries. There are several editions of Lectionary. During a certain period of time, “Typicon of Athos”, the so-called “Mtsire Svinaksari” translated by Euthymius the Hagiorite (955-1024) functioned at church initially. Later it was translated by George the Hagiorite (1008-1065) “Didi Svinaksari”. The latter is a complete edition of Hagia Sophia Typicon which included the elements of liturgical practices of Stoudios and Athos monasteries. Georgian divine service was directed by “Didi Svinaksari” until new, Palestinian Typicon which was translated by order of the King David the Builder at Shio-Mghvime Monastery in the 12th century and so-called “Shio-Mghvime Typicon”. In the topic we will discuss how the variability of Typicons affects the Interpretation of Andrew Crete’s “Great Canon” in the Georgian Church practice.

A dialogue of cultures – Encountering of Georgian and European musical traditions at the example of the first Georgian mass | Tamar Chkheidze (Tbilisi State Conservatoire) & Marika Nadareishvili (Tbilisi State Conservatoire)

The genre of mass which originated at the depths of church during centuries became the subject of interest for many composers in the later centuries. Zakharia Paliashvili (1871-1933) – one of the founders of the new Georgian Composition School, was one of them. He is the author of two central genres of European religious music—mass and liturgy—the first Georgian analogies. Paliashvili’s mass is the first and the only example of transformation of the Middle Ages mass genre model in Georgian tradition.
Encountering of Georgian and European musical traditions is discussed in the paper; the original example of confluence of European Middle Ages composition practices and Georgian musical traditions are presented. Georgian music is not familiar with any author’s liturgy or mass except for the pattern discussed in the paper. The authors of the paper try to define pre-conditions that determined the Georgian composer’s interest who was brought up at the depths of Catholicism. The artistic-esthetic as well as political reasons of this fact is discussed in the paper. The musical-theoretical analysis of the Middle Ages Georgian Orthodox liturgy, shows that liturgy presented a monolithic musical-liturgical cycle. But this potential of existence in the form of the cycle was not transformed in a new Georgian compositional school.

Thus, Paliashvili’s mass is unique. It is an interesting sample of the dialogue between cultures, interinfluence of Western and Eastern musical traditions, original transformation of the musical genre of the Middle Ages.

Division marks in Georgian neumatic monuments | Ekaterine Oniani (Tbilisi State Conservatoire)

On the background of differences of opinion about the Georgian neumatic system, there is an issue on which researchers’ opinions coincide. This is the function of a point (or double-point) in the neumatic system, which indicates the cessation of musical movement, i.e. cadence. In the Georgian neumatic monuments of the tenth and eleventh centuries, black-red colons are used as division marks. A black point indicates the verse meter and the red point the musical cadence, but the disposition of the dots in different manuscripts are various.

The peculiarity of dots disposition on the base of punctuation marks of ancient Georgian Biblical texts will be discussed. In Biblical readings, a point serves different functions: a single point at the top of the line indicates a small break, and the point at the middle of the line marks the end of the sentence. Double point is used for dividing the words.

Considering the abovementioned and comparing it with the division marks—red- black colons in neumatic codices—we can conclude that the variety of dots placement in the Georgian neumatic system is related to the different verbal and musical caesuras: shorter pause, or longer pause.