April 7, 2016

Within the body of repertoire we call the “psaltic art” or “Byzantine chant”, there is a sublimely beautiful genre called the kalophonic (literally “beautiful voice”) irmos. Since the genre emerged in its current form between the end of the 16th and the end of the 17th centuries, it has served as the psaltic art’s highest level of musical, artistic, and vocal expression. For 500 years, composers have set sacred texts to long, melismatic, ornamented lines and extremes of range, spinning out musical beauty of amazing complexity.

 

It is an important enough genre that at least one representative example from the genre is required on reperto...

November 17, 2015

“But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching? Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played? For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle? So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken?

 

For you will be speaking into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them i...

November 17, 2015

There is not a single liturgical service in the Orthodox Church which does not use chanting and singing extensively. Why is the Church’s worship expressed in song? The Orthodox Liturgy begins with the exclamation: "Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit ..." With these words we are invited to "come and see," to enter into and experience the foretaste of a heavenly reality, the Kingdom of heaven on earth, which manifests itself in the Church’s liturgy. In this reality there is already expressed a transformation of our present world and of us who dwell in it. We are not simply inhabitants living in a particular spot on the...

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