ToneTutor 101: FAQs

What chant is used for ToneTutor 101?

The melodies taught are those used at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York, and in the majority of English-language parishes of the Russian Church Abroad. (Note: Holy Trinity Monastery recently adopted a slight change in the tone 6 sticheron melody – not pausing on the first strophe – which is not reflected in ToneTutor 101.)

What translation is used?

The translation is that of Reader Isaac Lambertson, copyright 1991, New York, New York.  ToneTutor 101 uses so-called "liturgical English" (e.g., "Thou that sittest" rather than "You that sit").

Where can I find the notes to the hymns?

While there are several minor differences in style and harmonization, we recommend the Eight Tones Vigil Music arranged by Dr. Timothy Clader, published by the Saint John of Kronstadt Press (

What melodies does ToneTutor 101 teach?

ToneTutor 101 teaches you all five melodies of each tone: sticheron, refrain, troparion, prokeimenon, and irmos.

What voice part will I learn?

ToneTutor 101 teaches the melody line of the tones – the part usually sung (depending on the harmonization) by the soprano or alto in a mixed choir, or by a first or second tenor in a male choir.  The melody is the part that should be sung when one person sings alone.

What if I usually sing a part other than the melody?

ToneTutor 101 includes a "refresher course" with nine different hymns, sung by a four-part ensemble, which can be used to study at least one way of singing the other voice parts. (Note: in this ensemble the tenor voice is sung by a female chanter.)

Why is there so much repetition?

There’s a saying that “repetition is the mother of learning”.  ToneTutor 101 is repetitive by design: the goal is to drill you in the tones to the point that they become second nature.

Do I have to sing in the same key as the ToneTutor?

No, though we recommend that you do so during study, to ensure that you are learning the tone correctly.  ToneTutor 101 is designed to be comfortably pitched for any chanter.

How does ToneTutor 101 work?

In each of the five melodies of the tone, the student memorizes two hymns: 1) a short daily hymn which may sung in any tone, and 2) one line of a "key hymn" that is specific to that particular melody, to cement the melody in the student's mind for instant recall.  (Note: in a few instances the daily hymns memorized omit one strophe, due to their length, as in "God is the Lord", Tone 2; however, all strophes are present in the choral examples for each melody.)

What can I expect to learn from the ToneTutor 101 course?

By following the directions in ToneTutor 101, you will learn 1) to sing the melody line of all of the daily hymns memorized, in any tone upon demand, and 2) to name the tone and melody of each of the hymns learned upon hearing it sung.

How can I check my progress?

In addition to regular self-checking quizzes and a test at the end of each tone module, ToneTutor 101 includes a "midterm" and a final exam.

Will there be a ToneTutor 102?

Yes, God willing.  ToneTutor 102 will teach the most common special melodies, or podobny.

Do you have a question that isn't answered here? Write and ask us so we can include it!