An example of polytonic text with Ekphonetic neumes in red ink from a Byzantine manuscript, of 1020 AD, displaying the beginning of the Gospel of Luke (1:3–6)

Ekphonetic notation consists of symbols added to certain sacred texts, especially lectionary readings of Biblical texts, as a mnemonic device to assist in their cantillation. Ekphonetic notation can take a number of forms, and has been used in several Jewish and Christian plainchant traditions, but is most commonly associated with Byzantine chant.[citation needed]

Joseph Huzaya introduced ekphonetic notation into Syriac in the early 6th century.[citation needed]

Ekphonetic notation ceased to be used about the fourteenth century.[1] In many cases, the original meaning of ekphonetic neumes is obscure, and must be reconstructed by comparison with later notation.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ Martani, Sandra (April 2003). "The theory and practice of ekphonetic notation: the manuscript Sinait. gr. 213". Plainsong & Medieval Music. 12 (1): 15–42. doi:10.1017/S0961137103003024. ISSN 1474-0087. S2CID 161057520. Retrieved 4 February 2024.