It seemed natural to make a similar material with parallage phases. The first five phrases are structured in such a way that the teacher should not have to give any explanations. I like to point out what they already know and point out ni (v) at the beginning of the phrase. Then I tell the students to watch, listen and copy me. After the first two phrases students often think the symbols have a one to one correspondence and that the ison symbol means ni and the oligon means pa.
One of the most important things that chanters do to improve is to practice chanting with the scale degrees (ni, pa, vou, ga...) instead of with text. This is called parallage (and is the greek equivalent to western solfege).
The main way that students learn to read interval symbols in Byzantine Beginnings is through Parallage Phrases. This is because I want students to learn the symbols by experiencing them in their natural context (and this is how chant has traditionally been taught). Yet, I would like Byzantine Beginnings Parallage Phrases to be different than those commonly used to teach in the past.
I taught myself a lot of Byzantine notation by using a chant manual in Greek made available on Byzantinechant.org. In this manual, there are over one hundred exercises that go through the symbols using long, repetitive phrases. I have seen a number of other manuals similar to this in Greek, Arabic and English. I would like to take the basic function of the older manuals and expand on them. In particular there are three main things that I would like to improve upon. [read more after the break]
The girls didn't have time to practice this week so I introduced some new games to review content that we had already done.
First we played Snake* with the Greek letter cards and this time when we were done I remembered to have them point and say the scale going forwards and backwards (I forgot the latter last week). The main goals of this game are to get them really quick at recognizing the Greek letters and to get them fluent saying the scale up and down.
Then we sang the Nightly "Ni"* and went a bit farther this time. Along with the Nightly Ni, we played Fine* and said the scale up and down each time after we finished one round of the game.
Finally, we went through the Parallage Phrases together. They did well on the phrases that were review although the younger student still found some of them to be a little tricky. When we got to the newer phrases that practiced "up 2" I realized that they were depending on me to find the pitch. I pulled out the Ni Pa Vou cards and we practiced going up and down and jumping around on ni, pa, and vou.
We had our second lesson this week and the girls were very enthusiastic. We had a lot of fun! We started out the lesson by reviewing the Greek letters and playing a new game for them:Snake*. Snake is slightly more difficult than Fat Snake*. To splay Snake, we mixed up the Greek Letter cards and then, starting with ni, went up the scale, starting over again once we reached zo. Once the Snake was done they pointed at the cards and said the scale until they got to the end of the snake. I forgot to have them say it backwards. Oops!
I have had a puzzle type material floating around in my head for two years but haven't created anything yet due to the time involved.
I would like to create a similar material that students can manipulate to create all of the interval symbols. I think that it will really solidify the symbols for going up and going down since the symbols are all a combination of neumes (the placement of each neume is important). We will use the puzzles in two ways. We will use it to create all 7 going up symbols (and down as well) in order so that students will see the progression. We will probably also use them to copy Parallage Phrases or to do dictation/composition.
SAHM by day; ByzB curriculum developer by night. My career was in teaching: kindergarten, first grade, bilingual reading, Suzuki piano, and Music Mind Games. Now I paint icons and spend lots of time making materials on the computer. My greatest joy is directing my students in their learning. This blog documents the process and provides a space for my other ramblings as well.