Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Anne J. Stone


Diane H. Touliatos-Miles

Subject Categories



Byzantine, Chant, Kalophonia, Medieval, Palaiologan, Psalms


The kalophonic settings of the second Psalm emerged in music manuscripts of the Byzantine Empire during the early fourteenth century and were long considered the exemplary specimens of their kind, yet no scholarly study has ever examined the reasons behind their significant production, purposeful usage and abrupt vanishing, two centuries later, from the church repertory. In this dissertation, I explore the historical and political circumstances of the Palaiologan period (1261-1453) that determined the creation and usage of these settings as an artistic propagandistic vehicle that glorified the image of the emperor. The politics of imitation of Christ by the imperial figure was supported by the messianic message embedded in the psalmic text. In addition, the prolific compositional production of the greatest composers of the period, often commissioned by the emperors and the church authorities, is testified to by the abundant creation of kalophonic settings for every verse of the psalmic poem. The direct association of this music with the imperial office is such that the vanishing of the latter in 1453 compromised the survival of the former in the performing repertory of the Office of Great Vespers. The musicological part of my study focuses on all three types of musical settings - simple, florid and prologue with kratema -which are illustrated with eighteen examples of music, in complete pieces or in excerpts, chosen from twenty music codices. Where needed, I have cited and provided quotes from performance practice commentaries and contemporary music treatises to enhance my analytical approach. Similarly, I have analyzed compositions of the same psalmic verse(s) by different composers for comparative purposes, and I have identified two hundred fifty-seven concordances of all types of musical settings. I have transcribed all the melodies into Western staff notation and have provided the original Byzantine notation as it appears in the manuscripts with the Psalmic text written in Greek language below the staves. The results of this musicological study finally confirm the variety of the settings and the claims that the musical settings of the second Psalm are indeed the quintessential specimens of the kalophonic style.

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