Saturday, October 14, 2017

Beth Gazo: Bo'utho of Mor Yakub; Eight Modes

From the Youtube page:
In this video you can listen to 7 out of the Eight Modes of chanting the Boutho of Mor Yakub as per the Beth Gazo (Ekkara Canon). In addition to these eight modes there is also a mode for the Hasho.. the tune being that of "Mashiha Skeeppa Mruthi Kashtathakal".

The hymn used in this video is the Malayalam translation of the Boutho of Mar Yakub from the Safro (Prabhatha Prarthana) of Wednesday from the sh'himo. In Malankara the sh'himo of Wednesday is known as Sleeba Namaskaram. Only alternate stanzas of this hymn is available in Malayalam translations. The translation found in this video was done in 1942 , by Mathews Mar Athanasios (later Catholicse Baselious MarThoma Mathew Ist). This is the translation that you will find in MOC publications and used in MOC churches.

The very first translation of the Sleeba Namaskaram as hymns happened in 1927 and was done by the late Arch Chor-Episcopa Kurian Kaniamparambil when he was just 15 years old. This is the Malayalam version that you find in the Qurbana Kramam published by MOST Seminary Publications Udayagiri and used in the Jacobite Churches.

The sh'himo is the Book of Common Prayer (not the Anglican one) of Syriac Christianity, and contains the Daily Office.   The hymn sung here is from Wednesday Prabhata Prarthana, Morning Prayer.

A Bo'utho is a Litany or Petition; so the Bo'utho of Mar Yakub is the "Litany (or Petition) of St. James"; I am not 100% sure which James this is, although Western Syriac Christianity uses The Liturgy of St. James  (James the Just, the Brother of Jesus) for its Eucharistic liturgy, so it could be that James.  But, there is the Syriac St. James the Persian - a 5th-century saint also known as St. James Intercisus - and it could well be named for him; I need to do more research on this.  But this is the Malankara Church, evidently, and the language is Malayalam (spoken in India), so this is almost certainly an Eastern Syriac Christian hymn.

Here is the Bo'utho of Mar Yakub from the Safro (Prabhatha Prarthana) of Wednesday from the sh'himo, according to this Sh'himo app (Mac version here):
Make us share, Lord, in the memory of your mother and your saints; by their prayers have pity on us, Lord and on or departed.

Blessed are you, Mary, for you were represented in a mystery by that ark which Moses made as a symbol; in it were the tables of the Law written by God, but in you, Mary, was the bread of life in truth.

Blessed are the dead who have slept and rested in peace; the flesh of the Son is buried with them as a pledge; he will cast down the walls of Sheol for them with violence and they will hear his voice and will go forth to meet him with speed.

Son, who were born of the daughter of David in the flesh, pour fourth your mercy on your flock in abundance.

This is evidently one English translation of the Bo'utho of Mar Yakub for Easter, taken from a draft Service of Vespers of Qyomto (PDF); it's on the website of the Diocese of South-West America of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.  Qyomto is Easter, and as you can see, there are various versions of these petitions:
1. Son, who raised and delivered your church from error
Grant her your peace by your blessed resurrection
2. The legions of light rose in honor of the King;
Gabriel’s company exulted before Him

3. The assembly on high came to see the Watcher
Who slept, awoke, and rose up at his own pleasure

4. Glory to the hidden one who revealed himself
who suffered and died in the flesh and rose from death

5. The living and the departed shall confess you,
And your Father above and your Holy Spirit

6. May the peace which granted peace in heav’n and on earth
Preserve your church, O Lord, by your resurrection

As another example of a bo'utho, here is the Bo'utho of Mar Balai (a 5th-century saint), sung at the 6th hour:
Moriyo rahem melain oo aa darein...
Absolve us O Lord and our departed
By the pray'rs of Saint Mary,- and the saints

Mary's memory is a great blessing
Her prayer is a fortress- for our souls.

Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, and the saints
Please pray for us, now and for- evermore

Lord pour upon the faithful departed
Fragrance of both peace and joy- eternal

Thanks to you O Lord who extols Mary
Exalt the saints, and bless the- departed

Absolve us O Lord and our departed
By the pray'rs of Saint Mary,- and the saints

Here's more, from this Syriac Orthodox site:
Beth Gazo d-ne`motho, "The Treasury of Chants," is the key reference to Syriac Orthodox church music. Without mastering it, the cleric (priest, deacon or singer) cannot perform his/her liturgical duties.

Consisting of a huge volume, the original Beth Gazo contained thousands of tunes, out of which about 700 or so survive. Today, the Syriac Orthodox Church employs an abridged version of the original Beth Gazo, containing the hundreds of tunes which survive. Alas, even some of the melodies in the abridged version are lost and hence are not part of this electronic version of the Beth Gazo.

Music of the Syriac Orthodox church employs a modal system consisting of eight ecclesiastical modes, analogous to the eight-mode Gregorian chant system. Each qolo (plural qole), or hymn, comes in eight different modes. To add to the richness of this system, some modes have variants of their own called in Syriac shuhlophe - only the skilled can master such variants.

The abridged version of the Beth Gazo consists of the following types of hymns:
  • Qole Shahroye "Vigils". These where either originally sung during vigil hours, or sung by a group of people belonging to the order of vigilants (the same term is used in Latin, vigiles). The first two modes are dedicated to the Virgin, the 3rd and 4th to the saints, the 5th and 6th to penitence, and the 7th and 8th to the departed.
  • Goshmo (plural goshme) "Body". Also has eight modes each. The goshme are used in the daily offices known in Syriac as shhimo.
  • Sebeltho (plural seblotho) "ladder". Two of these follow the eight-mode system. The rest have one melody each.
  • Phardo (plural Pharde) "piece". These are short hymns divided into eight collections corresponding to the eight modes. Within each collection, each hymn has its own invariant melody.
  • Qonuno Yawnoyo (plural Qonune Yawnoye) "Greek Canon". These are divided into eight collections corresponding to the eight modes.
  • Mawerbo (plural Mawerbe) "Magnificat". These are divided into eight collections corresponding to the eight modes.
  • Qole Ghnize "Mystic Hymns". They exist in the printed edition in eight modes, the melodies of some are apparently lost.
  • Takheshphotho Rabuloyotho "Litanies of Rabula". These are divided into eight collections corresponding to the eight modes.
  • Tborto (plural Tborotho) "Broken Hymns". There are three kinds of Tborotho: of St. Jacob, of St. Ephrem and of St. Balay. Each of them follows the eight-modal system.
  • Quqlyon (plural Quqalya) "Cycles". These are cycles from the Psalms and follow the eight-modal system.
  • Qadishat Aloho. "The Trisagion". There are eight melodies for the evening service and eight for the morning service for Sundays and feast days.


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