The Tone 5 Troparion Melody

This prostopinije melody is used to sing troparia and kontakia in tone 5, as well as tone 5 sessional hymns for which no podoben is appointed in the liturgical books. This article will show you how to sing hymns to the Tone 5 troparion melody.

Please note: This article assumes you are familiar with the material taught in the MCI Online course, Introduction to Church Singing. If you have difficulty reading the music notation, please review the MCI website articles on musicianship.

The Sunday troparion

There is only one tone 5 troparion on our Divine Liturgies book: the troparion of the Resurrection in tone 5, which can be found on page 146. This troparion should be memorized.

Tone 1 Sunday troparion


As we will see, the challenge in singing this melody correctly consists of getting the rhythm right.

The form of the melody

Like the tone 2 and and tone 3 troparion melodies, the tone 5 troparion melody consists of a single melodic phrase:

Tone 2 troparion schema

which is repeated as many times as necessary. The last time it is sung, the ending is slightly different:

Before we tackle the parts of the melody, please look at the melody in Slavonic (from the 1970 Papp Irmologion) and listen to the accompanying recording of the melody:


The intonation

The intonation, or beginning of the phrase), in Slavonic always begins with three half notes: the singer shows which of these notes is accented by using the voice. While this can be done in English, the Inter-Eparchial Music Commission chose to consistently put the accent on the second half note, and divide or slur half notes as necessary:

But when singing the intonation, always try to think the three half notes to achieve the correct rhythm. Be careful not to pause before the quarter notes that follow, or sing them too slowly. The two quarter notes do - re should take just as long to sing as one of the three half notes of the intonation:

There is no pause between the half notes and the quarter notes than follow them!

The reciting tone

When sung in English, as in Slavonic, the reciting tone should be sung in a regular, even rhythm, like that of the Tone 2 troparion melody. Even if they are all sung with the same time value, the accents in the words will make them fall naturaly into groups of twos and threes:

Go back and listen to the recording in English or Slavonic, paying close attention to the rhythm of the reciting tone.

The cadence

If these quarter notes are sung evenly, the eighth notes that signal the beginning of the cadence will be very clear to the faithful:

These eighth tones should be taken "at tempo" - in other words, the two eighth notes should take up the same amount of time as any one of the quarter notes that can before then. Be careful not to sing these notes too slowly, since that will break the flow of the melody and throw off the singing of the congregation.


This musical phrase is repeated for each section of the text, including the last one. The final note is longer (as shown by a whole note), but there is no need to sing it for a full four beats.

And something to watch out for: the very first phrase of the Tone 5 Sunday troparion is so short that the reciting tone consists of a single quarter note. There is no time to get to a regular rhythm, and the eighth notes seem to come in early, "off the beat":

If if at all possible, sing this melody as written. But cantors who find this extremely difficult might sing "praise" as a half note, which at least keeps the duple rhythm of the melody intact.

Again, it is very rarely that we will suggest singing the notes in any way differently from how they are written. But here it would be better to hold "praise" for two beats rather than slowing down the eighth notes that start the cadence.

Singing kontakia in Tone 2

All kontakia in Tone 5 are sung to the Tone 5 troparion melody, and there are only two in the Divine Liturgies book.

Here is the Sunday kontakion in Tone 5:


Here is the kontakion of the beheading of John the Baptist (August 29):


Because the initial three half notes of each phrase may be divided or slurred together to put the accent in the middle, you should practice all three of these carefully before singing them.

When several troparia are sung - the lesser doxology

When a series of troparia or kontakia are sung (for example, at the end of Vespers, or at the Small Entrance of the Divine Liturgy), the liturgical books direct us to sing the lesser doxology:

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever. Amen.

before the final troparion or kontakion. If there are two final hymns, "Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit" is sung before the first one, and " now and ever and forever. Amen." is sung before the second one. The rule is that these are always sung to the melody of the troparion that comes next - and for troparia and kontakia, they are sung to a shortened form of the very same melody.

So before a single ending troparion or kontakion in Tone 5, we would sing:


If the next-to-last troparion or kontakion is in Tone 5, then immediately before it we sing:


If there are two final troparion and the last one is in Tone 5, we sing:


Music for these can be found in the Divine Liturgies book on page 146 and 147. These should be memorized.

Notice that for the "Glory", the Inter-Eparchial Music Commission did not put the accent in the middle of the intontation, but at the start.

Other uses of the melody

At Matins, "The Lord is God" is always sung to the melody of the troparion that follows it. Here it is in tone 5 (Sunday Matins book, page 191):


Learning the melody