Complete Octoechos - Vol. III

Complete Octoechos - Vol. III

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trans. Isaac Lambertsen

The Octoechos, or Book of the Eight Tones, contains all the hymns in the form of verses, troparia, kontakia, canons, etc., which are divided into eight groups of melodies, or "tones." Each tone in turn contains the hymnody for an entire week, so that the complete Octoechos is repeated every eight weeks throughout most of the year. The arrangement of ecclesiastical chanting into tones was entirely the work of the famous hymnographer of the Byzantine Church, St. John of Damascus (eighth century). The text of the Octoechos is ascribed to him, although one should note that many parts of it are the work of St. Metrophanes, bishop of Smyrna, St. Joseph the Hymnographer, and others over the centuries. (comb-bound)