The Ni Pa Vou Cards are based on a Music Mind Games material called the Do Re Mi. The games with an * are borrowed or adapted from Music Mind Games and are used with permission from Michiko Yurko.
The Ni Pa Vou Cards are used to practice the various scales and intervals on pitch with the end goal of internalizing how pitches relate to each other. The colors associated with each scale degree help visual learners picture where they are in the scale and Curwen hand signs provide a spacial element, allowing chanters to sense where they are in the scale. The Ni Pa Vou cards prepare students to read music on parallage.
The Nightly "Ni" is used in conjunction with the Ni Pa vou cards and the Curwen Hand signs. Through the Nightly "Ni" students learn theory through experience first. By learning to chant this, they develop the ability to chant on parallage up and down the diatonic scale, learn 4 diatonic apichimata, and learn how zo changes within the scale. After they can chant each section solidly the teacher explain the theory.
Chant the Nightly Ni with Handsigns*
Have students stand in a circle facing you. Explain the purpose of the Nightly Ni (to teach some basic intonations, the diatonic scale and train the ear) and how the hand signs aid in ear training (by making learning kinesthetic and adding a spatial element to the pitches). Tell them to copy you as best they can. Chant the first three pitches of the Nightly Ni slowly on parallage and do the accompanying hand signs. Then repeat and make sure that students are doing the hand signs correctly. Next, do the first three pitches and add three more. Repeat and make sure that students do the hand signs correctly. Repeat if necessary. Continue until students know the first ten pitches pretty well and then play Nighly Ni "B-I-N-G-O Style".
At the second lesson review the Nightly Ni on parallage and then chant it with the Greek intonations (ah-nah-nes, leh-ye-tos, ney-ah-yee-eh). Chant the Nightly Ni with hand signs at every lesson. Encourage students to practice the Nightly "Ni" each night with the hand signs or Ni Pa Vou cards. Doing so helps to train the voice and internalize pitch relationships.
*Image taken from Musicmindgames.com
The above Solfege syllables correspond to the Greek Parallage syllables ni pa vou ga dhi ke zo ni.
Nightly "Ni" B-I-N-G-O Style*
Sort the Ni Pa Vou Cards by pitch (color) and place them from ni to ni' vertically (ni at the bottom and ni' at the top). This game is played after students have learned the portion of the Nightly Ni with hand signs that you want to study. Lead the group in chanting the first two pitches of the Nightly Ni with handsigns and then demonstrate how to use the cards to write out the melody. Then chant it again, adding one pitch at a time and asking a student to write the new pitch out using the Ni Pa Vou cards. The first version of this game covers the three intonations at the beginning of the Nightly Ni and the second versions covers the diatonic scale section at the middle of the Nighly Ni. Once students are done writing out the section that they are studying ask a student to pick a card and turn it upside down. Explain that this time when the Nightly Ni is chanted when they reach the upside down card they must sing that pitch in their head and only do the hand sign. Continue picking students to turn over a card and chant the Nightly Ni each time. If to many kids accidentally chant an upside down card then have them try it again.
This game may be played alone or in a small group. Mix the Ni Pa Vou cards face up on your playing surface. Then find the first pitch that you are going to play and place it in the center where everyone can reach. The first time playing each variation players should take turns playing (after that you can play the speed version). Everyone chants the first pitch together and holds it while the next player finds the next pitch and places it on top of the first card. As each new card is played the whole group chants the new pitch. This game is used to gain fluency chanting on parallage and to solidify pitch relationships while focusing on various parts and/or intervals of a particular scale or mode.
Variations: -Diatonic Scale +/- 1 Pa - Dhi, (then add up 3/down 3 from pa to dhi) -Diatonic Scale +/- 1 Ni - Dhi (then add up two/down two from ni-vou-dhi) -Diatonic Scale +/- 1 Pa - Zo (to practice keeping zo flat) -Diatonic Scale +/- 1 Dhi - Pa’ (whoever plays a zo card must play a ni’ or ke card to determine how zo will sound) -Hard Chromatic Scale +/- 1 Pa - Dhi (then add up 3/down 3 from pa to dhi) -Hard Chromatic Scale +/- 1 Ni - Ke -Soft Chromatic Scale Vou- Ni' -Enharmonic Scale Ga- Zo +Add in common intervals from repertoire as students progress
This game can be played as soon as students have started the Parallage Phrases and is played cooperatively. First, lay out all of the needed materials. Place the Ni Pa Vou cards in a pile as shown (on the left side). Lay out all of the interval cards that the students have learned and review the names of the symbols (and their meanings) with the "Find a" game. Then chant a short phrase with Curwen hand signs. Have the students repeat the phrase with Curwen hand signs and then write it out with the Ni Pa Vou cards. Then students work together to write the phrase using the Interval Playing cards (placing them under the phrase that has been written out with Ni Pa Vou cards). Finally, chant the phrase together to check if they wrote it out correctly.
Students have written out the phrase "Ni Pa Ni Pa". Immediately before this game they chanted phrases 1-15 in the Introductory Parallage Phrases.
*These games are taken from or adapted from Music Mind Games, by Michiko Yurko. Used with permission.