The Tone 6 Samohlasen Melody

This is the common melody for singing stichera in tone 6. It consists of two parts, one for the psalm verse and one for the sticheron itself.

Please note: This article assumes that you are familiar with the material taught in an MCI Online course, Introduction to Church Singing. If you have difficulty reading the music notation, please review the MCI website articles on musicianship.

A Sunday sticheron in Tone 6

At Vespers on Saturday evening, while the church is incensed and the lamps are lit, we sing a number of hymns called stichera in honor of the Resurrection; these are inserted after the last few verses of Psalms 169 and 116, and are sung in the Tone of the Week.

Here is the first Sunday sticheron in Tone 6:


The melody consists of five parts: an initial phrase (I), never repeated; three parts (A, B, and C) which are repeated in order as many times as necessary; and a final phrase (F).

This is the samohlasen sticheron melody in Tone 6. It is used for singing any sticheron in Tone 6 that is not marked with a special melody (podoben)

The sticheron melody

The initial phrase (I) is sung once only:

The A phrase:

is followed by a B phrase

which is followed by a C phrase

After any of these, we can go to the final (F) phrase, which is sung as follows:

Whether the groups of quarters notes are sung slurred together or separately (depending on the text), they should always be sung smoothly and at tempo.

As an exercise, examine each of the phrases above and and find the intonations, reciting tones, preparatory notes (if any), and cadences. See the article on Melodic phrases if these terms are not familiar.

The verse melody

Here is the samohlasen verse melody in Tone 6.

Here is two examples, from the Lamplighting Psalms of Vespers:


Putting the two parts together - the Sunday dogmatikon in Tone 6

The last sticheron at the Lamplighting Psalms on an ordinary Saturday evening is called a dogmatikon, because it highlights the dogma or teaching of the Incarnation. Here is the tone 6 dogmatikon, set to the Tone 6 samohlasen melody. The verse is given, followed by the sticheron. Notice how each phrase flows into the next, and how the different text phrases change the way each phrases adapt to different F phrases are used.



A hymn to the Mother of God

At the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, the hymn to the Mother of God at the end of the anaphora is sung to a simpified version of the Tone 6 samohlasen sticheron melody:


Learning the melody

To learn the melody, practice singing the material on the examples page, as well as the Vespers aposticha for Sunday in Tone 6.