Orthodox Chant in Portugal today: Project presentation
III The modern context: texts
Keywords:Orthodox music, Music translation, Portugal, Portuguese, Portuguese liturgical texts, liturgical chants
The current panorama of Orthodox Chants in Portuguese communities relies on a multi-linguistic (Slavic, Greek, English, Portuguese) and multi-alphabetical (Cyrillic, Greek, Latin) repertoire often assembled through an amalgamation of annotated photocopies (sometimes of poor quality) or manuscripts with different handwritings. We aim for the preparation and publication of a set of scores, with texts in Portuguese and/or in transliteration (From Greek or Slavonic) of the fixed parts of Liturgy, Vespers and Matins, the Sunday Octoechos and the propers for the most important feasts (bringing together repertoires from the Churches of several countries and different stylistic tendencies). In order to do so, I share in this paper some of our guidelines and practical criteria for the musical adaptation of the original melodies to the Portuguese translations. Relying on good translations, we guided our adaptations according to three practical criteria: 1) matching the syllabic tonic to the melodic tonic, 2) recognizingand maintaining the essential rhetoric and tradition of music and 3) preferring the singability and diction of sounds of Portuguese pronunciation. Even with these practical criteria the adaptation must show some plasticity according to the investigator’s position and experience. I also look briefly at the context of the translation of liturgical texts since it is the intention of the musical texts to respond to them.
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Copyright (c) 2020 António Baptista
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