The Tone 7 Troparion Melody

This prostopinije melody is used to sing troparia and kontakia in tone 7, as well as tone 7 sessional hymns for which no podoben is appointed in the liturgical books. This article will show you how to sing hymns to the Tone 7 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

The tone 7 troparion which is sung most frequently is the troparion of the Resurrection in tone 7, which can be found on page 156-157 in our Divine Liturgies book. This troparion should be memorized.

Tone 1 Sunday troparion

listen

This troparion melody is one of the easier ones to sing.

The form of the melody

Unlike the other troparion melodies, the Tone 7 troparion melody has an initial (I) phrase which not sung again; this phrase is followed by two alternating phrases (A and B), and final phrase (F):

The initial phrase is quite simple, and moves smoothly up and down the scale:

The beginning of the phrase does not have a fixed place where accented syllables go; the cantor must use his or her voice to point these out.

The first repeating phrase (A) takes up where the initial phrase ended, and has a leap down and back up in the middle:

The second repeating phrase (B) starts on the same pitch where the A phrase ended, and also has just one leap, at the end:

The final or F phrase usually follows a B phrase, starting on the same pitch where the B phrase ended. It is has not leaps, being completely scale-like.

Now take a look at the B setting of "O Only-Begotton Son", which uses the Tone 7 troparion melody, and see if you can pick out the four phrases (I, A, B, and F). The doxology (Glory... now and ever) which introduces this hymn uses each phrase exactly once:

Singing kontakia in Tone 7

All kontakia in Tone 7 are sung to the Tone 7 troparion melody, and there are only three in the Divine Liturgies book. Here is the Sunday kontakion in Tone 7:


Listen

An extra note: The hymns for the Transfiguration

There are several different ways to sing this melody in Slavonic, and one of them has left traces in our music for feast of the Transfiguration (August 6). Here is the troparion for the Transfiguration; listen for the extra note in the A phrase which changes the rhythm slightly.


Listen

The same variation shows up in the kontakion:


Listen

Practice these hymns especially, so that you can sing them as written.

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.

Before a single ending troparion or kontakion in Tone 7, we would sing:

example

This is the same way it is sung before the B setting of "O Only-Begotten Son." If the next-to-last troparion or kontakion is in Tone 7, then immediately before it we sing:

example

If there are two final troparion and the last one is in Tone 7, we sing:

example

Music for these can be found in the Divine Liturgies book on pages 157 and 158.

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 7 (Sunday Matins book, page 252):

Learning the melody