This collection of links is likely a bit broader in scope than cleveland intended with this thread - and my apologies for that. It's the remains of a resource thread on chant that I had created at the old CAF forum, but that regretably disappeared in the effort to rewrite history over there. I have not checked the links of late (would have, but I had to convert the coding to post it and that took longer than I expected), so I'm hopeful that most remain good. (Also, please excuse what may sound a bit basic and patronizing in the tone of the opening text - it was written for the benefit of an audience that would have included many unfamiliar with our liturgical music heritage, tradition, and style, not for one of primarily Eastern and Oriental Christians.)
A variety of musical forms are used in the Eastern & Oriental Churches.
Most Eastern and Oriental Churches, Catholic and Orthodox, perform liturgical music a capella
. As most of these Churches have their origins within an ethno-cultural framework, the peculiar form that each uses tends to be rooted in the culture and heritage from which its faithful originally came. Thus, Byzantines of the Greek Tradition (e.g.
, Albanians) utilize a different style than will Byzantines of the Slav Tradition (e.g.
Ruthenians); the same is true of Antiochene Churches of East Syriac versus West Syriac Traditions.
Even within Traditions, there are differences, e.g.
between Ruthenians and Ukrainians, both Byzantine Slavic Churches; prostopinije
is used most often by the former, while kyevan
chant is most used by the latter.
Except in instances where a Church has been influenced by external liturgical praxis (e.g.
, latinization), few if any differences should be observable between the musical forms used in Catholic or Orthodox Churches from the same heritage.
Arabic chant, used in Melkite Catholic and Antiochene Orthodox Churches has similarities to Islamic vocalizations, the latter having borrowed from the pre-existing Arabic Christian forms. The vocalization style used in Christ's time is likely most closely approximated by the Aramaic and Syriac chant of Maronites, Syriac Catholics and Orthodox, and Chaldean Catholics and their Assyrian counterparts, as well as the styles of Hebrew chant preserved by Jews in their worship. See Jewish Liturgical Music
For audio clips of Eastern and Oriental liturgical music, visit these:Eastern Catholic Liturgical Hymns
is a diverse collection of liturgical texts and hymns from a variety of Eastern Catholic Churches, gathered by Donald Wyckoff (who has recently added traditional Latin Rite music to the site). Most of the material here is, unfortunately, instrumental rather than in its traditional a capella
presentation, but it does offer a sense of the hymnody. Be patient, as the site is slow to load.Hymns from the Byzantine Liturgical Tradition
is a wonderful range of music from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America's beautiful website. Choir Chant of the Byzantine Slovak Catholic Church
was recorded by a Byzantine Slovak Catholic parish in Bratislavia.Byzantine Melkite Liturgical Chant
is offered at the site of the Melkite Greek-Catholic Eparchy of Australia. The page is, unfortunately, written in Arabic, which I can neither read nor speak. The links, however, are obvious - click on any of them to listen.Plainchant
in the form of Ruthenian prostopinije
is beautifully presented at the website of the American Carpatho-Rusyn Orthodox Diocese. Georgian Chant
(for which I used to have a great link, alas no longer functional) is reportedly the oldest Byzantine liturgical form. Regretably, to the best of my knowledge, there are presently no working chant links available on-line for this form. You can, however, hear an audio file of a traditional instrumental rendition of Shen Kar Venati - the Cherubic HymnCoptic Hymnody for the Feast of the Resurrection
was recorded by the Higher Institute of Coptic Studies. Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Hymns
were recorded by St. Mary's Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church in Los Angeles.The Anaphora of Addai & Mari
is the Mystery of the Eucharist from the Holy Liturgy of the Assyrian Church of the East, chanted in Classical Eddessan Syriac. This Anaphora is unique among those of the Apostolic Churches in that it recites no explicit narrative of the Words of Eucharistic Institution.Maronite Music
on the old (but presently still available) website of Saint Jude Maronite Catholic parish in Orlando, FL (the Maronite Liturgical Chant recorded by the parish choir appears to no longer be available on the site - these are audio clips from a recording by a Maronite nun)Podoben
, a site belonging to Saint Nicholas OCA Cathedral in Washington (DC), is entirely devoted to Eastern Christian music.Mixed Liturgical Chants
, also at Saint Nicholas' site, offers a fascinating array of liturgical midis, primarily, but not entirely, from the Byzantine Slav traditions - including several (Serb, Bulgarian, and Ukrainian) for which I hadn't posted links above.Russian Old Believer Znamenny Chant
is an isolated link from a site offering a broad selection of Russian Old Believer chant. The main site is, unfortunately in Russian, making it difficult (let's say impossible) for linguistically challenged Russophiles like myself to navigate.Russian Liturgical Music
is a presentation of Saint Michael's Russian Greek-Catholic Church in New York City.Orthodox Music Downloads
are offered at Ivan Moody's deservedly renowned UK site.Armenian Liturgical Chant
can be sampled by clicking on any of the album covers.
ok- at a quick check, the Maronite, Ethiopian, and Georgian links are the only inoperative ones. I'll try and find substitutes for them, but I don't have much hope for the Georgian