Фактура в восьмиголосных партесных концертах второй половины XVII – первой половины XVIII века (к вопросу типологии)

Texture in eight-part Partes concerts from the second half of the seventeenth – first half of the eighteenth century (questions of typology)


  • Bogdan Demianenko


partes concert, texture, typology


Texture constitutes one of the most important expressive means for the music of the Baroque era, including the genre of the partes concert, common in the territory of what are now Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Lithuania and, in part, Poland, in churches following the Byzantine Rite (Orthodox and Greek Catholic).

The aim of this article is to fill this gap by creating a typology of textural techniques in partes music on the basis of eight-part concert polyphony. This will enable us to systematize the analysis of the partes compositions with respect to texture, to shed light on the differences between distinct compositional styles and the styles of schools of composition in this field, and to point out in separate compositions some individual techniques of creating texture which are not typical of the partes style in general, and to demarcate the limits within which the composer could “invent” within the partes style.

The typology constructed in this article is based on the analysis of eight-part partes compositions, by anonymous and known composers, from Kievan collections of partes manuscripts, as well as of published compositions from other collections.

Underlying this typology are two concepts: that of the “textural layer” (a few voices singing synchronically the syllables of the text, or an individual voice singing its text in asynchrony with other voices) and of the “textural block” (a temporal segment of the musical fabric with a defined number of voices and a stable system of coordination between them). These types of texture are investigated within the context of each musical phrase concluding in a cadence.

I divide the textural types into single-block textures and textures consisting of a few alternating textural blocks. Each textural block in its turn may consist of one textural layer or several of them. Between the layers in the textural block, there may be imitative or non- imitative relations. As a result of this investigation, I argue that within the range of partes music, there are some textural types (single-block eight-part, three- and four-part; two-layered imitations; two-block made of two single-layered blocks – tutti and ensemble) that were used very widely. Others, especially multi-layered, turn out to be rare. The use of multi-block and multi-layered texture types serves as a rhetorical means and may reflect the content of the written text particularly clearly, thus individualizing the composition according to the composer’s intention.

Peer-reviewed Articles



How to Cite

Demianenko, Bogdan. 2020. “Фактура в восьмиголосных партесных концертах второй половины XVII – первой половины XVIII века (к вопросу типологии): Texture in Eight-Part Partes Concerts from the Second Half of the Seventeenth – First Half of the Eighteenth Century (questions of Typology)”. Journal of the International Society for Orthodox Music 3 (January):1-21. https://journal.fi/jisocm/article/view/88712.