Elements of Byzantine Music - Chanting

Course Title

Elements of Byzantine Music- Chanting

Course Code


Type of Course

Compulsory Selective Course, 5 hours/week (3hrs theory +  2hrs workshop)

Course level




ECTS Credits

5 (3+2)

Professor (-s)

Learning Outcomes

Basic knowledge of   the Byzantine Chanting history.

Comprehension of its basic characteristics.

Application: the students will be able to perform simple melodic lines in the different genera and echoi of this tradition.

Analysis of the specific elements that diversify this tradition such as the intervals, the melodic attractions and the enriched modal behavior, the tonikos rhythm and its special notational system Parasimantiki.

Synthesis of the above with the goal to obtain basic knowledge of the theory, practice and notation of Byzantine music.

Evaluation of this tradition’s characteristics and the assessment of its relation to the secular idioms of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Teaching Approach

Interactive presentation/lecture  supported by exercises of joint vocal interpretation and study examples, and the simultaneous use of teaching and acoustic aids as well as specific software for the hearing and analysis of exemplary performances.

Prerequisite Courses

Recommended Courses in the Curriculum

Didactics of the Instrument- Performance VII
Theory of traditional Music I- Performance I
Theory of Traditional Music II- Performance  II
Classical Music of the East
Makam and Morphology I- Performance V
Makam and Morphology II- Performance VI
Modality and Harmonization I- Performance III
Modality and Harmonization II- Performance IV

Courses Content

Introducing the theory by presenting  the basic structural elements that create the Byzantine chanting (intervals, genera, systemata, chroes, scales) and the major features of the  Byzantine Echoi. The tonikos rhythm, temporal action and chanting types. Elements of labeling and composing of music ( quantitative and qualitative signs, temporal signs, flats and sharps, martyries and fthores)

Focusing on the oral method of teaching intervals, scales of Echoi, ison drone keeping practice, melodic attractions and other modal and rhythmic characteristics of Byzantine chanting tradition. Practice on the oral recognition ability of the above elements. 

Recommended courses in the curriculum

     Γιαννέλος Σ. Δ. (2010). Σύντομο Θεωρητικό Βυζαντινής Μουσικής, σειρά: Θεωρία και Ιστορία Βυζαντινής Μουσικής. Κατερίνη: Επέκταση

Ευθυμιάδης, Α. 1988, Μαθήματα Βυζαντινής Εκκλησιαστικής Μουσικής Θεσσαλονίκη: Μέλισσα

Καράς, Σ. 1986, Μέθοδος Ελληνικής Μουσικής: Θεωρητικόν Α΄-Β΄, Αθήνα

Κωνσταντίνου Γ. 1997, Θεωρία και Πράξη της Εκκλησιαστικής Μουσικής, Αθήνα

Παναγιωτόπουλος, Δ. Γ. 1949, Θεωρία και Πράξη της Βυζαντινής Εκκλησιαστικής Μουσικής, Αθήνα: Σωτήρ

Learning Exercises

Home study exercises given in class, having to do with the practice of the interpretation of intervals and melodic attractions as well as more advanced elements of Byzantine Echoi

Teaching Methods

The course is based on tripartite teaching with the participation of students, discussion and practice.

Criteria and Methods of Evaluation

Written exams at the end of the semester (separately for theory and workshop).The comprehension of the theory’s  basic elements is evaluated, as well as the ability to perform simple melodic exercises (workshop)

Teaching Language