With the end of creative poetical composition, Byzantine chant entered its final period, devoted largely to the production of more elaborate musical settings of the traditional texts: either embellishments of the earlier simpler melodies, or original music in highly ornamental style. This was the work of the so-called ''Maistores'', "masters," of whom the most celebrated was St. [[John Koukouzeles]] (active ca. 1300), compared in Byzantine writings to St. John of Damascus himself, as an innovator in the development of chant. The multiplication of new settings and elaborations of the old continued in the centuries following the [[Fall of Constantinople]], until by the end of the eighteenth century the original musical repertory of the medieval musical manuscripts had been quite replaced by later compositions, and even the basic model system had undergone profound modification.
[[Chrysanthos of Madytos]] (ca. 1770-1846), [[Gregory the Protopsaltes]], and [[Chourmouzios the Archivist]] were responsible for a much needed reform of the notation of Greek ecclesiastical music. Essentially, this work consisted of a simplification of the Byzantine musical symbols which, by the early 19th century, had become so complex and technical that only highly skilled chanters were able to interpret them correctly. Despite its numerous shortcomings the work of the three reformers is a landmark in the history of Greek Church music, since it introduced the system of neo-Byzantine music upon which are based the present-day chants of the Greek Orthodox Church.
The current usage of Byzantine
chant is built upon eight modes (tones), each mode with its own specific tonality. The modes change sequentially from week to week, starting the Monday after the [[Sunday of St. Thomas]], with mode 1. Within [[Bright Week]] itself, the mode changes each day, thus: :Sunday – mode 1, :Monday – mode 2, :Tuesday – mode 3, :Wednesday – mode 4, :Thursday – mode plagal of the first (5), :Friday – mode plagal of the second (6), :Saturday – mode plagal of the fourth (8).
grave mode (7) was chosen as the mode to be left out due to its heavier sound, considered least appropriate for the festal period among the eight modes. Since [[ Pentecost]] falls on the Sunday when the grave mode would have been used in the normal sequence, the mode is once again skipped and the hymns of Pentecost are used. The sequence resumes the following week with plagal of the fourth.
In the time between a [[Great Feasts|great feast]] and its [[Leavetaking|leave-taking]], for example, during the week following Pentecost, the hymns of the feast are chanted rather than the hymns pertaining to the mode of the week.
*[http://www.ecclesia.gr/Multimedia/Audio_index/audioindex_en.html Ecclesia] The chanting page of the official website of the Church of Greece
*[http://www.kelfar.net/orthodoxiaradio/ Orthodoxia Radio] - Source for information and recordings of Byzantine chant as sung in the Church of Antioch
jamilsamara. com/ sacredmusic/ music.asp Sacred Music (Orthodox Liturgical Music)] - Official Antiochian Archdiocese site for free music downloads, including many Byzantine chant
*[http://chant.hchc.edu/ Learn Byzantine Chant] - A simplistic flash presentation from the [[Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (Brookline, Massachusetts)|Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology]]
*[http://www.byzantinechant.org/ Byzantine Chant Resources] - The homepage of the Byzantine Choir of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Pittsburgh, PA. There are many links for learning byzantine notation and for new and transcribed hymns in byzantine notation.