kontakion


kontakion
/kawn tah"kee awn/; Eng. /keuhn tay"kee on'/, n., pl. kontakia /-kee ah/; Eng. /-kee euh/. Gk. Orth. Ch.
a short hymn honoring a saint.
Also, contakion.
[ < 1865-70; LGk, special use of kontákion scroll, equiv. to kontak- (s. of kóntax) pole + -ion dim. suffix]

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▪ Byzantine poetic form
      first important Byzantine (Byzantine Empire) poetic form, significant in early Byzantine liturgical music. The kontakion was apparently in use by the early 6th century, although the term occurs only in the 9th century, also designating a scroll and a stick around which were wound long rolls containing texts. The form seems to be of Syrian origin, having much in common with two Syriac poetic forms, memrā and madrāshā.

      In its Byzantine form, the kontakion is a poetic homily, or sermon, consisting of 18 to 30 stanzas. They are chanted, and all follow the structural pattern set by the first model stanza. A refrain links all stanzas together. It is believed that a soloist sang the main stanzas, and the choir responded by singing the refrain.

      The introduction of the kontakion into Byzantine religious practice is credited to St. Romanos Melodos (fl. first half of 6th century), of Syrian Jewish origin, who became one of the greatest early Christian poets after moving to Constantinople (now Istanbul). The kontakion flourished until a new form, the kanōn, became more prominent in the late 7th and 8th centuries. Since that time, complete kontakia have not been performed; only the preliminary stanza (proimion, or koukoulion) and the first stanza of the kontakion proper, with its refrain, remain in the morning office of the Greek Orthodox church, performed after the sixth section (ode) of a kanōn.

      The melodies of the kontakia were transmitted orally, without musical notation, for several centuries. The earliest manuscripts with decipherable music are believed to date from the 13th century. Manuscripts containing soloists' sections are called psaltika (from psaltēs, “church singer”). Choral parts are preserved in asmatika (from asma, “song”). The musical settings tend to be melismatic—i.e., elaborate melodies with many notes per syllable. Kontakia that have retained a special place in liturgical services are the Christmas kontakion by Romanos and the “Akathistos” hymn, a long hymn to the Virgin, sung in the fifth week of Lent.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kontakĭon — (gr.), 1) in der griechischen Kirche kleine Gesänge, bes. an Festen gesungen, u. 2) eine Sammlung solcher Gesänge …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Kontakion — Icon of St. Romanos the Melodist chanting his kontakion (1649, Malaryta, Belarus). Kontakion (Greek: κοντάκιον) is a form of hymn performed in the Eastern Orthodox Church. The word derives from the Greek word kontax (κόνταξ) …   Wikipedia

  • Kontakion — (pl. Kontakia)    Byzantine hymn form of homiletic character dating from the early sixth century. A kontakion begins with an introductory prooemium of a single stanza (two to three in later hymns), ending with a refrain (ephynmium). Then begins… …   Historical dictionary of sacred music

  • Kontakion — Das Kontakion bezeichnet neben dem Troparion und Kanon eine der frühen Hymnenformen. In diesem vielstrophigen Gebilde folgen nach einer Einleitung (der sog. kukulion) 20 bis 40 gleich aufgebaute Strophen (die sog. oikoi, Häuser). Nach dem Vorbild …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Kontakion — Kontạkion   [mittelgriechisch] das, s/...ki|en, die Form der frühen byzantinischen Hymnendichtung (byzantinische Kultur, Abschnitt Literatur). * * * Kon|ta|ki|on, das; s, ...ien [mgriech. kontákion, letztlich zu griech. kontós = Stange, Stab u.… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Kontakion — Kon|ta|ki|on das; s, ...ien [...i̯ən] <aus gleichbed. mgr. kontákion> Hymnenform der orthodoxen Kirche …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • Kontakion —    See Music; Romanos the Melode …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

  • kontakion — kon·ta·kion …   English syllables

  • kontakion — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Romanos — redirects here. See Romanus for the Latin form of the same name, or Romanos, Spain for the municipality in Spain. Infobox Saint name= Saint Romanos birth date=c. 490 death date=c. 556 feast day= October 1 (October 14 N.S.) venerated in= Eastern… …   Wikipedia


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