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Byzantine Chant

36 bytes removed, 20:32, March 4, 2013
External links: updated Antiochian link
'''Psalmodia''' (greek: ψαλμωδία), the Chant of Constantinople, ''' more commonly known as '''Byzantine Chant''' is the sacred [[Church Music|chant]] of the Orthodox churches in the former lands of the eastern [[Byzantine Empire|Roman Empire]] and many of their ecclesiastical offshoots beyond those areas. This tradition, encompassing the Greek-speaking world, developed in [[Eastern Roman Empire|Byzantium]] from the establishment of its capital, Constantinople, in 330 until [[Fall of Constantinople|its fall]] in 1453. It is undeniably of composite origin, drawing on the artistic and technical productions of the classical age, on [[Judaism|Jewish]] music, and inspired by the monophonic vocal music that evolved in the early Christian cities of Alexandria, Antioch, and Ephesus. In the [[Orthodox Church]] today, many churches use Byzantine Chant as their primary musical tradition, including the Churches of [[Church of Constantinople|Constantinople]], [[Church of Alexandria|Alexandria]], [[Church of Antioch|Antioch]], [[Church of Jerusalem|Jerusalem]], [[Church of Serbia|Serbia]], [[Church of Romania|Romania]], [[Church of Bulgaria|Bulgaria]], [[Church of Cyprus|Cyprus]], [[Church of Greece|Greece]], and [[Church of Albania|Albania]].
==History==
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 Protopsaltes the Byzantios|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.
==General Information==
*[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
*[http://www.jamilsamaraantiochian.comorg/sacredmusicmusic/music.asp library Sacred Music (Orthodox Liturgical Music)Library] - 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.
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