Abstracts of issue 1/1986 (4)

Diane Touliatos

Psalm 118 in Byzantium and the West

Translation in Greek: Katy Romanou
Psalm 118, the most extensive of the abecedarian psalms, is an antiphonal chant in both the West and Byzantium. Moreover, it has a parallel use in the funeral services of both traditions. This fact, together with a reference uncovered by Michael Adamis, giving evidence of common ecclesiastical melodies in the Burial Services of the Greeks and the Latins, urged the writer of this article to investigate for relationships in the melodies of Psalm 118 in the East and the West.
Comparing various settings of the psalms first verse, it is shown that in both traditions the melodies are psalm tones or their embellished versions, which, however, have striking similarities. This leads to the certainty that the psalmodic practices in the East and West were common and to the assumption that the common recitation formulae go back probably to the same ancient model.