Byzantine church chant and Islamic art music on the English recorder: theory and practice
Lekkas, Demetrios E.
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the natural appropriateness of the English-drilled and fingered recorder for playing and teaching the basic archetypal movable intervallic structures of Byzantine chant and Islamic art music. The approach lies in the following steps: i. reference to key epistemological features of the research conducted in this quest, ii. historical and functional identification of the said basic structures, by tracing their common central primary diatonic modal cell: the “spondeiac hexachord”; this is achieved by combining historical and systemic considerations; iii. direct attribution of their genesis to the drilling of primary flutes; iv. integral structural synthesis and exposition of both systems and their primary evolution as generated by the spondeiac hexachord; v. identification of the precise drilling and fingering scheme involved, with special focus on the Islamic nāy and the English recorder; vi. arguments underlining the superiority of the modern standard English recorder as a medium for these musics, supporting its adoption and propagation and recommending the manufacture of new “sopranone” and “tenorone” instruments in B♭(π); vii. a full corresponding fingering chart for the English recorder, thoroughly explained and annotated.