In addition, while many different kinds of stanzas abounded in the English poetry of the 1570s (witness, for example, the variety in the edition of George Gascoigne's poems that appeared in 1575), the poetry in other languages that Spenser most closely follows in the Calender is either stichic
or in couplets.
Consider that the traditional epic had been stichic
rather than stanzaic, a distinction that is easily understood if one compares the different effects produced by the repeating dactylic hexameters of the classical epic mad the blank verse of Paradise Lost and The Prelude on the one hand, and the stanzas used by both Byron and Berryman on the other.
For one thing, the clearest case of catalexis in Greek stichic
meter, iambic tetrameter catalectic, has initial catalexis, not final.
The terms used to describe the epic melodies, their modality, scale structure, cadential endings, motivic, stichic
, strophic, or stanzaic forms, are borrowed from art music; they are not known to, nor do they have any meaning for the singer.
West divides the musical corpus into three formal types: stichic
, strophic, and free astrophic, and provides examples and comments for each type.