Many people are unaware that our own musical scale has a Byzantine counterpart, as indicated below:

  • Western (Solfège): Do re mi fa so la ti do

  • Greek (Byzantine): ?? (pa), ??? (vou), ?? (gha), ?? (thee), ?? (ke), ?? (zo), ?? (knee), ?? (pa)

For those interested in learning it so as to begin to master byzantine chant (much in demand these days), here is a handy mnemonic device for so doing in the form of a song. The tune is Richard Rodgers’ Do Re Mi, from The Sound of Music. The lyrics are mine, with sincerest apologies to Oscar Hammerstein II.
??, a name I call my dad,
???, a Gallic word for “you,”
??, the sound a baby makes,
?? is you and only you,
??, conjoining words in Greek,
??, where animals are caged,
??, arthritis makes it weak.
That will bring us back to
?? - ?? - ?? - ???
?? . . .

Articles by David T. Koyzis


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