Traian Vulpescu and the Uniformity of Religious Chants


  • Arhid. Assistant Professor PhD Daniel Mocanu “Babeș-Bolyaiˮ University Cluj-Napoca ROMÂNIA



Mass, religious music, uniformity, simplification


Folklorist, byzanthologist, university professor at the Conservatory of Music and Dramatic Art in Cluj, Traian Vulpescu was a key figure in the Transylvanian academic musical space. Among his scientific concerns there is the effort made in the introduction of the psaltic music in a region dominated by a strong oral authothonous musical tradition, synthesized in the collection The eight voices by priest Dimitrie Cunțanu from Sibiu. Saint John Chrysostom Mass: The Hymns and Irmoi of the Yearly Celebrations, which Traian Vulpescu wrote in 1939, was the means by which he wanted to make psaltic music more accessible in Transylvania and in the entire country. Using the collections made by Macarie Ieromonahul, Anton Pann, Dimitrie Suceveanu, Ion Popescu-Pasărea, Vulpescu built a personal transcription of the psaltic music in linear notation, choosing the most representative musical variant. The effort he made was fairly in vain because, being as multicultural as it was, the religious music in the area is special. Nevertheless, Traian Vulpescu’s collection is of utmost importance in the Transylvanian musical space, because it answers the Bishop’s Melchisedec Ștefănescu request, and that is to create a religious musical repertoire in linear notation, to be accessible to all Orthodox Romanians.



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