Tradition and Characteristics in the Approach to Psaltic Music Theory in Romania–the 20th Century


  • Professor, PhD Elena Chircev “Gheorghe Dima” National Academy of Music Cluj-Napoca



communism, musical grammar, simultaneous notation, propaedia, Byzantine tradition


Throughout the 20th century, Byzantine music theory was a constant preoccupation of chanters, teachers and musicians, who contributed to the development of this field and to the publication of a significant number of books in the Romanian language. The paper addresses these theoretical contributions based on several key elements: conception, structure, content, vocabulary, musical exercises and examples, extension, graphic aspect, relevance in the era –, but also in the context of the development of a specialized literature in Romanian. The analysis of these books reveals that everything that was published in Romania in the 20th century in the field of psaltic theory remains within the confines of the Byzantine tradition, faithfully passed down to the modern era. At the same time, the changes that the Romanian society went through in the second half of the century influenced the manner of approach to the theoretical notions, which were treated in the light of staff notation and Western music theory. However, over the course of the 20th century, successive authors managed to develop a specialized terminology in Romanian and to transmit the notional content specific to the Byzantine tradition.