Russian Orthodox Church Music

Scores of the Synodal Cathedral Choral Library

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About the Synodal Cathedral Choir


About the Music Scores
The music scores on this web site are specially created engravings of works contained in the Ledkovsky family music library. This collection was gathered over the course of more than 100 years by the eminent church musicians Boris M. Ledkovsky and Alexander B. Ledkovsky. 

For more than fifty years, father and son directed the Synod Cathedral Choir of New York using the music from this library to beautify the divine services for the glory of the holy Orthodox Church. It is a vast collection of scores, many handwritten, that includes original manuscripts and antique publications, gathered and almost miraculously preserved over the course of two lifetimes, during a century fraught with war and migration. 

With the advent of technology enabling "desktop publishing" of sheet music, Alexander Ledkovsky began the enormous task of engraving the contents of this library, with the goal of providing clear and clean copy to his singers, to improve their ability to perform accurately. He soon realized that his project was too much work not to share, and decided to found the very first on-line resource for Russian Orthodox music by publishing his scores on this site. Hoping to help choirs in addition to his own improve, he devoted great energy and many personal resources to this project during most of the last decade of his life. He also trained and collaborated with his daughter, Elizabeth A. Ledkovsky, who continues his work of engraving scores for use by the Synod choir as well as church musicians worldwide.

The series of Troparia/Kontakia, (Sunday Eight Tone Cycle, Triodion Cycle, Pentecostarion Cycle, and Menaion) was created to improve performance, since formerly these hymns were sung mostly from un-notated text with occasional sub-par results. The Menaion section continues to be expanded, with ongoing editorial assistance from Reader Isaac Lambertsen, Lector of the Synod Cathedral, Peter Fekula, Choirmaster at the Cathedral, and other occasional contributors.
The library also includes major works from the Divine Services of the Russian Orthodox Church, including compositions of some of Russias most renowned liturgical composers. Finally, in one of Alexander Ledkovsky's most painstaking efforts, the complete choral portions of most of the Church's major feast days, as well as many Lenten services, are available, as downloadable booklets. These publications include detailed instructions for the order of the services, based on the Typikon usage practiced at the Synod Cathedral.

While the web site is available in Russian and English, the music scores are in Church Slavonic (utilizing old Russian orthography), since Synod Cathedral services are conducted exclusively in that language. 

Printing and xerographic reproduction of this material for use in a church setting is unrestricted. Use of this material for any commercial venture, including the posting of this material on other web sites, is strictly prohibited. Exceptions are granted by express written permission only. All rights reserved.
Technical Information
All music scores are presented in Abode Acrobat "*.pdf" format. Therefore you need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer in order to access the music scores. All scores are formatted for an 8 1/2 x 11 paper size and are designed for two-sided printing with a "binding offset" intended for a spiral binding system. This means that odd numbered (right) pages have a larger left than right margin, while even numbered (left) pages have a comparable larger right than left margin. If you print multiple page documents on individual sheets of paper, you will see a left/right margin shift of the music score between odd and even pages.
Best printing results are achieved by using a Laser Printer with good quality 24 lb. paper. Paper of less weight will cause "print through" (you can see a shadow of other side!). Ink Jet printers will also work properly, if heavier paper can be used in your model, although print quality may be reduced somewhat.
Please note:
To produce a printed copy that matches the original document's design, "Fit to page", in the print dialog window of Acrobat Reader, must be unchecked, otherwise the document will be scaled down to "fit" within the "printable area" of your specific printer, i.e. it will be smaller than designed.

Copyright 2005 by Elizabeth A. Ledkovsky       Last update: 22-July-2009       Webmaster: Elizabeth A. Ledkovsky