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Byzantine Chanting Workshop, Sept. 27-30

One of the most beautiful aspects of our Orthodox worship is the hymnography that is sung by chanters and choirs to lead the congregation in prayer. Antiochian Village's Byzantine Chant Workshop is designed for beginner and intermediate levels. Time will be spent chanting exercises / melodic formulas and liturgical hymns from music and text. This emphasis on learning and practicing formulas provides a learning environment for people with basic knowledge or no knowledge of the Byzantine Tones. All music is presented in western notation and will focus on the following three components:

The Diatonic Tones: Heirmologic/Brief Melodies

In this workshop participants will study the Byzantine Diatonic Scale and the Heirmologic / Brief melodies for Tone 4, Tone 8 (Plagal Four), Tone 1 and Tone 5 (Plagal One). Emphasis will be placed on learning to sight read western notation using the Greek scale (Ni, Pa, Vou, Gha, Dhi, Ke, Zo, Ni), chanting liturgical text appropriately and changing between Tones. A basic knowledge of chanting in the eight tones is helpful but not necessary.

Melodic Formulas:

These workshops are not “choir rehearsals” where the focus is on the practice of various liturgical hymns set to music. These workshops are designed to train singers how to chant by teaching the Byzantine scales and intense study of melodic formulas for the Tones. The study of formulas is essential if one desires to make the transition from choir member to chanter.

The Text:

“Let the servant of God sing in such a manner that the words of the text rather than the voice of the singer cause delight.” - Saint Jerome

It is the words of the text and not the voice of the chanter that transforms and refreshes our souls by directing our minds toward God. Knowing and memorizing the formulas for each Tone will allow the chanter to bring the liturgical text to life in a way that is both prayerful and understandable to the people.

During the workshop, time will be spent breaking down text, analyzing it, and understanding how to apply the formulas. This course is designed for beginner and intermediate levels because we spend so much time learning formulas and applying them to text.

For information about the content of this workshop, please contact Dn. David Jacobs: .

Registration questions should be addressed to Barli Ross: or 724.238.3677 x425

Download workshop flyer and registration form.

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byzchanting_flyer_2012.pdf27.5 KB