Why do we have Church music at all? That through the pleasantness of music we receive the medicine. “A person is sanctified without realizing it. Do not fight your passions. Instead transform them into strengths by showing disdain for evil. Occupy yourselves with hymns of praise. Fight your passions through studying the hymns of the church.” (Elder Porphyrios)
I encourage you to join me and dive into what is the most ancient music of our world. So much is packed into this beautiful music. So much so, that one will spend their whole life learning. A learning that once begun, is hard to stop.
In these two semesters we will cover a bit of a wide variety of things. My prayer is that one can come out of this class with a good, general knowledge of Byzantine music. We will explore a bit of the background of the music including some ancient instruments. There will be stories of the hymnographers and a basic timeline on the development of the music. Learning actual hymns will of course be part of it all as I take you through some of the eight tones.
Assignments will be 1-2 a week. As we learn the hymns, the assignments will be geared toward recording yourselves, as we lack the luxury of being able to sing together.