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A Brief Presentation of the Program BZQ and the Web-page BZQuality.

By P.Katsoulis – Latest update: 23rd April 2015


The program or Application BZQ is a free software, containing certain digital tools for Byzantine Church Music, which facilitate the theoretical and practical learning, use, research and composing/setting of Byzantine Music. It is, therefore, intended for users of all levels, from beginners interested in Church singing (Psaltic Art), students of B.M., advanced ones, up to researchers and composers.

BZQ is an  aid in the Theory and Practice of B.M, and certainly it does not substitute the B.M. Teacher.


The Webpage

The Web page contains the program BZQ for download via the Internet, and also some related information, either technical or of general interest to Psaltai (Chanters). It resembles a blog, and contains comments from readers. Some examples of  its contents are: Theory and exercises of B.M., coded music scores (.pdf and .mp3), books, links, Greek psaltic language/Ancient Greek, Modern Greek etc.


Installing the program.

BZQ does not need install. Simply execute the file BZQ.exe which is contained in the SUPPORT folder. BZQ is portable and runs even from a USB-stick.


Parallagi (Solfege).

BZQ creates and executes a sound file, of the .wav type,  containing the melodical solfege of a music score, with a selected human voice, which pronounces and sings the notes of the complete (diapason) scale: Νη, Πα, Βου, Γα, Δι, Κε, Ζω (Ni, Pa, Bou, Ga, Di, Ke, Zo).

The parallagi includes analysis/adjustment for the Qualifying signs Antikenoma (Shake), Bareia (Heavy Accent), Kentimata (Doublestich), Klasma (Roll), Omalon (Ripple), Petasti (Flutter), Syndesmos/Eteron (Link), Psifiston (Accented Diminuendo).

(Etymology of the word Parallagi: Related to the technical word Parallax, meaning the difference in the presentation of something depending on how we consider it, in our case, whether considered optically or acoustically).

Entering a B.M. score.

A B.M. score can be entered in two ways (as of  Version 5.3)

-It is typed as .bzq code,  or

-it is imported and automatically translated into .bzq code, from score files .pan or .mk3.

-Work has already started for a third way of entering a score, via OCR, i.e. Optical Character Recognition of a printed B.M. score and conversion to .bzq code. This is part of the fully-fledged BZQ Protocol framework, explained below.

BZQ coding.

BZQ coding is done as a free-format text file having the extension “.bzq”. Blank spaces and comment inside square brackets [….]  are used liberally to enhance the readability and understanding of the code.

The various B.M. signs, notes, Martyriae (Identifying Marks),  gorgon (reduction of a beat), parestigmenon (dotted), etc, are typed as simple text characters, in a “mnemonical” (easy to remember) way. Each sign is written by a letter or other character which as similar as possible, e.g. a Bareia is written as \, the upper Bou’ as B (Greek or Latin), Psifiston as Ψ (Ψ=Psi) or V (similar shape), Petasti as U (similar shape, or flUtter), omaLon as L or Λ, anTikenoma as T. It is thus very easy to learn the bzq mnemonic codes.

Related B.M. score software.

The following programs for writing B.M. score, cooperate with BZQ, i.e. their score can be imported to BZQ and automatically converted into .bzq files:

-The Pandouris program, written by Mr. Petros Moustakas, with its .pan files

-The MK (MOUSIKA KEIMENA) program written by Mr. Dimitros Papadopoulos, with its .mk3 files.




Scales and Intervals.

BZQ includes 35 imbedded scales of various intervals (in integer moria parts or natural fractions) and modes, diatonic, european, soft-chromatic (of the 2nd Mode or Tone), hard-chromatic (6th or 2nd plagal mode), enharmonic, spathi (sabre), kliton (tilt), zygos (yoke). The user may create and save an unlimited number of other scales having intervals of integer moria (pitch parts), or decimal, or ratios of any numbers. Intervals are thus exactly defined, and sharps and flats are similarly defined by decimal parts.

The octave may be divided into any number of moria (parts), normally from 12 to 1200 (cents).


Orthography check.

The music score can be checked for orthographic errors according to the 106 rules compiled by Fr. Ephraim of the Saint Anthony Monastery, Arizona, USA.

Voice selection.

The “ΦΩΝΗ-Voice” menu allows the selection of a pre-recorded human voice of a chanter or combinations of voices (small choirs) or instrumental/synthetic (midi) sounds.

Isokratima (Level holding).

The parallagi of a score may include isokratima, i.e. holding of the basic note level.

The program uses the same selected human or synthetic voice, both for the melody singer as well as for the Isokratis i.e. the ison (or level)  holder. The measure of harmony or tunefullness of the isokratima is monitored according to the Helmholtz diagram of dissonance or harshness.


The program supports the transpose of a note and/or scale.


The volume of the melody and the isokratima are separately adjusted from level 0 to level 9.


A simple Reverb can be included in the created sound file, for a selected assumed wall distance of 0 to 9 metres (0 to 29 feet).


The pitch of the basic note can be adjusted between -42 to +42 moria (72nds of an octave) depending on the chanters voice capability and the note range of the melody.

A recommended tonality for a score is given in the statistical information (info).


Portamento of  a selected extent between 0 – 9 can be applied for the whole or a part of the score.


The psaltic style  is now defined as category 1, 2, 3, and 4 in order to approximate the style of some chanters. The main style variable in BZQ is the interpretation of Qualifying signs. For a further adjustment of style you may also change the intensity of the qualitative analysis, between 0 and 9. If the intensity is selected as zero (0) then the style is neutral (or flat) as that of  piano or a similar musical instrument.

Operating System.

BZQ runs in computers with  Windows (XP, 7, 8, 8.1), and via VMware and WINE in Mac OS and   LINUX.

( BZQ.exe does not run in Tablets, Android and Ipad)



Worked examples.

Worked examples of coded B.M. scores are shown, firstly for learning BZQ, and secondly for immediate use depending on the needs of chanters. A continuous effort is made to enrich the web site with score examples of  syntoma (quick), arga (slow) argosyntoma (slow-quick) scores, of  Vespers, Suplications, Divine Liturgy, Orthros (Matins), feasts of  Saints (menaion), Anastasimatarion, Triodion/Lent, Paschal/Pentikostarion, Calophonic Eirmoi, Kekragaria, Doxastika,  Doxologies, Cherubic hymns, Trisagia, Polyeleoi, difficult Mathimata (lessons) by Iakovos Protopsaltis, Filanthidis, Nikolaos of Smyrna et al.

BZQ and

Some examples of the use of BZQ have been uploaded to

You may want to search these easily by using the two terms “Katsoulis  BZQ”, and so on.

BZQ Protocol.

The BZQ Protocol for the Formulation and Display of Psaltic Matter is a way of managing B.M. scores by using simple text files containing coding of  bzq type. The proposed advantages of this method are, e.g.:

– The most economical size of text files containing bzq code.

The bzq text file can be used, when necessary to deliver practically all other forms of B.M. display or reproduction: 1)Print-out of B.M. score, 2)a sound file of the parallagi including quality analysis and human voice and isokratima, style, tonality, 3)Orthographic check and 4)Statistical information.

– Mnemonic coding which cab be easily read by the user, without time consuming learning of some computer language.

– The BZQ file can be easily generated by B.M. score programs (presently Pandouris and MK) and by OCR in the near future (as work has started).

-Use of Greek and Latin alphabet.

The present status of the BZQ Protocol is as follows:

BZQ input: 1)by typing bzq code. 2)Import from Pandouris or MK 3)from OCR (under construction).

Output from BZQ: 1)Parallagi (solfege) in a .wav file. 2)Statistical info of the score. 3)Orthographic check. 4)export to Pandouris to print out B.M. score (future).

Improvement of Psaltic Voice.

A collection of information from the experience of chanters for the practical care and improvement of voice by means of traditional warm drinks etc.

 Catalogues and Directories.

The following Catalogues have been compiled for easy/fast finding of scores.:

1)Axion estin, by Mode, basic note, composer, length, book,

2)Menaion, in alphanetical order.

3)Menaion, chronologically.

BZQ languages.

The BZQ program uses tue languages, Greek and English.

Comments and questions may be sent to the web site or by e-mail in: Greek (but not Greeklish), English, Dutch, Spanish and German.


Ἰωαννίδη, Δημητρίου – Ἡ Θεωρία τῆς  Βυζαντινῆς Μουσικῆς στήν πρᾶξι. 2005

Κακουλίδη, Γ.Ι. –  Θεωρία καί Πρᾶξις τῆς Βυζαντινῆς Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς Μουσικῆς

Helmholtz, Die Lehre von den Tonempfindungen  , 4.Aufl. 1877

N.Lungu, I.Costea, & I.Croitoru –  A guide to the music of the Eastern Orthodox Church

(Μετάφρασις Ἀγγλιστί ἐκ τοῦ Ρουμανικοῦ πρωτοτύπου) ,

Holy Cross Orthodox Press, Brookline Mass. USA,

Μαργαζιώτη, Ι.Δ. – Θεωρητικόν Βυζαντινῆς Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς Μουσικῆς, Μουσικός Οἶκος Φίλιππος Νάκας.

Παγκρατίου, Ἀρχιμανδρίτου – Ἡ Μουσική Κλῖμαξ. Κωνσταντινουπολις 1916. Ἀνατύπωσις ΤΕΡΤΙΟΣ Κατερίνη, 1991.

Παναγιωτοπούλου, Δ.Γ. – Θεωρία καί Πρᾶξις τῆς Βυζαντινῆς Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς Μουσικῆς, Ἀδελφότης Θεολόγων «Ὁ Σωτήρ»


Special thanks to all those who have helped in various ways to complete BZQ up to now.

In particular, many thanks to the following for their constructive critique and their suggestions:

Fr. Ephraim, Arizona, USA

Fr. Nikolaos Tsakos, Sparta,Greece

Fr. Seraphim Dedes, USA

Archon Dimitrios Ioannidis, Piraeus, Greece

Archon Fotios Ketsetzis, Athens, Greece

Mr. Dimitrios Verykios, Piraeus, Greece

Mr. Ioannis Gennatas, Piraeus, Greece

Mr. Nikolaos Theotokatos, Athens, Greece

Mr. Georgios Karpouzis, Piraeus, Greece

Mr. Georgios   Michalakis, Canada, France

Mr. Charalampos Symeonidis, Athens, Greece

Mr. Nicholas Jones, USA


Annex. Worked examples (updated 3/4/2015).

O LORD I HAVE CRIED, tone 6, Romanian / English by Neagu Ionescu,

Señor, a Ti he clamado, KEKRAGARIO,Tono Primero

Señor, a Ti he clamado, KEKRAGARIO,Tono Segundo

ΑΓΙΟΣ Ο ΘΕΟΣ Πλ.Β’ Στ.Νανάκη Bzq-Trisagion-Nanakis-Tone-6     .

ΑΓΙΟΣ Ο ΘΕΟΣ, Βαρύς, Νικολάου Πρωτοψ.Σμύρνης Trisagion_Varys_N_Smyrnis

ΑΓΙΟΣ Ο ΘΕΟΣ, Πλ. δ΄, Δημητρίου Μήτρου Trisagion_Pl.D. Dim. Mitrou.

ΑΓΝΗ ΠΑΡΘΕΝΕ Agni-parthene-2nd-ode_q5_choir3_2013-04-17

ΑΙΩΝΙΑ Η ΜΝΗΜΗ πλ.β΄ Σίμου Σαββινίδου- Aionia_i_mnimi- tone 6,                  bzq,

ἈΝΑΣΤΑΣΙΜΑΤΑΡΙΟΝ: Οἱ ὀκτώ ἤχοι  –  ANASTASIMATARION, the 8 tones:  Πέτρου Λαμπαδαρίου Πελοποννησίου, Δωρητής:  κ. Νικόλάος Κουμαραδιός

ΑΞΙΟΝ ΕΣΤΙΝ, Λέγετος, Φωκαέως, Axion_estin-Legetos_Fokaeos_

ΑΞΙΟΝ ΕΣΤΙΝ, Α΄,  Ἰ.Γεννατᾶ Axion estin, mode 1, Gennatas      . __

ΑΞΙΩΣ ΤΟΥ ΟΝΟΜΑΤΟΣ, Φιλανθίδου, 23-Ἀπριλίου, Ἁγίου Γεωργίου 0423 Agiou Georgiou, Axios tou onomatos, Filanthidou_,

ΑΥΤΗ Η ΚΛΗΤΗ, Μπερεκέτου, Auti_i_kliti_Bereketis.

ΔΑΜΑΛΙΣ ΤΟΝ ΜΟΣΧΟΝ, Μπερεκέτου Damalis_ton_moschon_Bereketou.

ΔΙΑ ΠΑΝΤΟΣ ΕΥΛΟΓΟΥΜΕΝ, πλ.β΄, Ἀναστασιματάριον Ι.Δαμασκηνοῦ pantos-evlogountes-i-damaskinos.

ΔΟΞΟΛΟΓΙΑ, πλ.α΄ ΑΡΓΗ,  ΠΕΤΡΟΥ ΒΥΖΑΝΤΙΟΥ, μέρος Doxologia Argi 5 Petrou Byzantiou,

ΔΟΞΟΛΟΓΙΑ, πλ.δ΄ Σύρκα, Σπάθη, κλίμαξ 22s, Doxologia-8-Syrka-Spathi-22s

ΔΟΞΟΛΟΓΙΑ, πλ.δ΄ Σύρκα, Σπάθη, κλίμαξ 23s, (Κε, 12.2 6.7 18.9 4.1 4.1 13.9) Doxologia-8-Syrka-Spathi-23s  Φυσικά διαστήματα, Natural intervals

ΔΟΞΟΛΟΓΙΑ, πλ.δ΄ Σύρκα, Σπάθη, κλίμαξ 25s, (Κε, 12 6 20 4 4 14) Doxologia-8-Syrka-Spathi-25s Δ.Ιωαννίδη, Θεωρία, σελ.115

ΕΘΥΣΑΣ ΤΩ ΘΕΩ, Ἰακώβου, 10 Φεβρ. Febr/10, esperinou, doxa, iakovou

ΕΙΣ ΠΟΛΛΑ ΕΤΗ, Γ.Ραιδεστινοῦ Eis-polla-eti

ΕΛΕΗΣΟΝ ΜΕ Ο ΘΕΟΣ ἦχ.γ’ Τρ. Γεωργιάδου N Psalm 3 Tr Georgiadou.

ΕΝ ΠΟΛΕΙ ΤΟΥ ΘΕΟΥ, Φιλανθίδου, 7 & 26 Ἰουλίου, Ἁγ.Κυριακῆς / Παρασκευῆς,07/26_Ainon_Filanthidou.

ΕΝ ΣΙΝΑΙΩ ΤΩ ΟΡΕΙ, Βαλασίου En_sinaio orei, Balasiou

ΕΞΕΠΛΗΤΤΕΤΟ Ο ΗΡΩΔΗΣ, Βαρύς, Φιλανθίδου exepliteto-filanthidou

ΕΞΟΜΟΛΟΓΕΙΣΘΕ, Πολυέλεος, Λέγετος, Φωκαέως,Exomologeisthe, Legetos, Fokaefs .

ΕΠΙΒΟΩΜΕΘΑ ΠΑΝΤΕΣ-Ἰακώβου, Λέγετος Epivoometha_pantes_Iakovou

ΕΩΘΙΝΑ- Eothina:  Πέτρου Λαμπαδαρίου Πελοποννησίου, Δωρητής:  κ. Νικόλάος Κουμαραδιός

ΖΗΛΟΣ ΤΕ ΚΑΙ ΠΥΡ 20ή Δεκεμβρίου    Zilos te kai pyr      .                            !

Η ΚΑΜΙΝΟΣ ΣΩΤΗΡ – Ἀρτεμίου – Καλοφωνικός εἱρμός  I_kaminos -Arseniou

ΘΑΥΜΑΣΤΗ ΤΟΥ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ, Ἰακώβου, – Thavmasti (Iakovou)

ΘΕΟΤΟΚΕ ΠΑΡΘΕΝΕ, Μπερεκέτου, 3) Μαρία – Bereketis: Theotoke, 3 Maria

Κατανυκτικά Μαρτυρικά  – Katanyktika_Martyrika:  Πέτρου Λαμπαδαρίου Πελοποννησίου, Δωρητής:  κ. Νικόλάος Κουμαραδιός

ΚΡΑΤΗΜΑ Ἰωάννου Πρωτοψάλτου, ἦχος  Α΄ – Kratima Ioannou Protops. Tone 1  .

ΛΕΙΤΟΥΡΓΙΚΑ Ἰ.Γεννατᾶ, ἦχος Α΄Leitourgika, mode 1,Gennatas . __

ΛΟΓΟΝ ΑΓΑΘΟΝ, πλ.α΄,Πολυέλεος, Ι.Ναυπλιώτου Logon Agathon, 1st pl. Nafpliotis, ,

Ο ΕΝ ΧΕΡΣΙ ΔΑΒΙΤΙΚΑΙΣ, πλ.β΄, 2 Φεβρ, Τῆς Ὑπαπαντῆς o-en-hersi-davitikais-iakovou

ΟΙ ΤΑ ΧΕΡΟΥΒΙΜ Α’ Φωκαέως Cherubic A

ΟΣΙΕ ΠΑΤΕΡ, Φιλανθίδου. Τό Δοξαστικόν τοῦτο ψάλλεται τήν 15/Ἰαν 19/Ἰαν 21/Ἰαν 12/Ἰουν, 12/Αὐγ, 3/Σεπτ, 28/Σεπτ, 29/Σεπτ, 7/Νοεμ, 11/Νοεμ, 12/Νοεμ, 26/Νοεμ, 4/Δεκ, 5/Δεκ, 29/Δεκ Osie_Pater-Filanthidou_

ΠΑΡΘΕΝΟΜΑΡΤΥΣ ΑΘΛΗΦΟΡΕ, Φιλανθίδου, 26 Ἰουλίου, Ἁγ.Παρασκευῆς, 07/26_Vespers_Doxa._

ΡΟΗΝ ΜΟΥ ΤΩΝ ΔΑΚΡΥΩΝ, Γ.ΚΡΗΤΟΣ Roin_mou_ton_dakryon_Kritos

Σύντομα Κεκραγάρια-Πασαπνοάρια – Syntoma-Kekragaria-Pasapnoaria :  Πέτρου Λαμπαδαρίου Πελοποννησίου, Δωρητής:  κ. Νικόλάος Κουμαραδιός

ΤΗΝ ΤΙΜΙΩΤΕΡΑΝ, πλ.δ’, Νη & Γα Timiotera 8 Ni and Ga

ΤΟ ΟΜΜΑ ΤΗΣ ΚΑΡΔΙΑΣ, Μπερεκέτου To_omma_tis_kardias,Bereketou.

ΤΟΝ ΠΟΙΜΕΝΑ, Βαλασίου, Καλοφωνικός, Ton poimena – Valasiou

ΤΟΥ ΔΕΙΠΝΟΥ ΣΟΥ, α’, Π.Κατσούλη, Γραμμαί Ἰακώβου Tou-deipnou-sou-P.Katsoulis-

ΤΟΥ ΔΕΙΠΝΟΥ ΣΟΥ, ἦχος β’,Π.Κατσούλη, Γραμμαί Ἰακώβου μέ προτάσεις κ. Ἠλιού Παπαδοπούλου.

ΤΩΝ ΜΟΝΑΣΤΩΝ ΤΑ ΠΛΗΘΗ, Ἰακώβου, Ton-monaston_Iakovou_q4_choir3_i5_6_2013-04-24_reverb . Τό Δοξαστικόν τοῦτο ψάλλεται τήν 11/Ἰαν, 15/Ἰαν, 17/Ἰαν, 20/Ἰαν, 21/Ἰαν, 15/Μαῒου, 12/Ἰουν 12/Αὐγ, 28/Σεπτ, 29/Σεπτ, 21/Ὀκτ, 5/Δεκ

ΧΑΙΡΕ ΝΥΜΦΗ Ἦχος δεύτερος, Π.Κατσούλη, γραμμαί Ἰακώβου Πρωτοψάλτου:

ΧΑΙΡΕ ΝΥΜΦΗ Ἦχος τρίτος, Π.Κατσούλη, γραμμαί Ἰακώβου Πρωτοψάλτου   .


Ω ΠΑΣΧΑ, Καλοφωνικός,  Γεωργίου Κρητός O Pascha – Georgiou Kritos

ΩΣΠΕΡ ΑΛΑΒΑΣΤΡΟΝ ΠΛΗΡΕΣ, 10 Φεβρ.  Ἰακώβου, Febr./10 AINON Iakovou, Ἁγίου Χαραλάμπους

ΩΣΠΕΡ ΑΛΑΒΑΣΤΡΟΝ ΠΛΗΡΕΣ, 10 Φεβρ.  Φιλανθίδου, Febr./10 AINON Filanthidou

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