Chourmouzios Chartophylax

Chourmouzios was Chartophylax of the Great Church. He was born on the island of Halki, and was a student of Iakovos Protopsaltes and George Kris. He was became archcantor of the Church of St Demetrios at Tatavla, of St John of Galata, and of the Metochion of Sinai at Valata. He also served as a teacher during all six years of the operation of the Patriarchal School (1815-1821). With 18 years of hard labour, Chourmouzios explained all the melodies of the ancient composers, from St John of Damascus until Manuel Protopsaltes. These consisted of 70 volumes, which were bought in 1838 by Patriarch Athanasius of Jerusalem, and were looked after Cyril II, archpriest of the Sion Church. He compressed them into fewer volumes and ordered that they be bound and kept into the library of the Holy Sepulchre in Phanar, where they are currently present.

He also wrote an introductory manual to the practical part of Byzantine Music, and a larger one to the theoretical part, and a large notebook containing selections of the nicest hymns of the old and the new notations. He composed «Μακάριος ἀνήρ», «Εἴδομεν τὸ φῶς» octaechon, «Ρόδον τὸ ἀμάραντον» octaechon, «Ὁ εὐσχήμων Ἰωσήφ», kratemata, polyelei, anoixantaria, doxologies, the vesper verses for each mode, the laud verses for each mode, slow and fast antiphona for each mode, typika in grave diatonic mode, a series of cherubic hymns and Sunday communion hymns, and other special communion hymns of the year, the great sticheron «Κύριε ἡ ἐν πολλαὶς ἀμαρτίαις» etc, which where more suited for study and practice of the cantor rather than chanting in the church. He explained and publised the second edition of the Anastasimatarion (whose resurrectional canons and compunctional troparia he himself composed) of Petros the Peloponnesios; he explained and published the medium tempto Heirmologion of the Katavasias of Petros Peloponnesios, the two-volume doxastarion or slow sticherarion following Iakovos Protopsaltes (published in 1858), and the collection of Idiomela of Manuel Protopsaltes. In 1828, he was the first one to publish the two-volume Anthology of Music, whose contents are original, as well as the book of the Hebrew Neophytos. He oversaw and corrected the collection of arab-turkish songs, the so-called «Efterpe» of chanende Zacharias. All these were achieved by the excellent patience of the hard-working Chourmouzios, despite living in poverty. He died at Halki in 1840.