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Hymns Of The Eastern Church by John Mason Neale

I said, some short time since,

that the Greek Ode and the Latin
Notkerian Sequence were essentially the same. This being so, it is to introduce confusion into the very axioms of hymnology to call that kind of Sequence, as Mone does, by the name of Troparion. The Troparion does not answer to the Sequence, but to each stanza of the Sequence. The differences between Odes and Sequences may be briefly summed up as follows: --

1. The Hirmos in the former has a number of Troparia following it and based on it, whereas in the latter the Troparia run in couples; that is, one Hirmos has one follower, or Troparion, and there an end; then, another follows another, and so on. There are sometimes triplets, but these are not common.

2. The Hirmos in Greek Odes is always an already existing Troparion; whereas, in Latin, the writer generally composed that as much as any other part of the Sequence. But in certain Sequences this was not always the case. Godeschalkus sometimes took a verse from the Psalms.

3. Sometimes, indeed, a whole Sequence was made super some other Sequence, and then it became a vast Troparion, the different verses taking the place of the commatisms in Greek Odes. In the February number of The Ecclesiologist for 1859, is given a list of Hirmos-Sequences, from the Brander MS. of S. Gall. But even in these cases, it is better not to call them Troparia, as they have so little real resemblance to Greek stanzas of that kind: I had rather see them called Homoia.

4. The rhythm in the Greek is far more exact. Not only the syllabic arrangement, but the accentuation is the same; whereas in Latin, the accentuation is often counter; that is, an iambic dimeter in the Hirmos is answered by a trochaic dimeter in the Troparion. For example, if the Hirmos were, --

|The LORD is great in Sion;

and high above all people,|

the requirements of a Sequence would be satisfied with the Troparion,

|Look upon my misery:

and forgive me all my sins.|

Such a licence would not for one moment be allowed in the Greek.

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