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Byzantine Chant 2

Students will learn to chant simple Byzantine-style hymns used in Orthodox liturgical services. Students will expand their knowledge of the theory of the eight modes, and will enter into the study of more complex hymns than those they encountered in Elements of Church Music, such as doxologies, prosomia, the Sunday Oktoechos, and hymns of the Divine Liturgy. Students will also continue to learn about the ancient and modern historical development of this sacred art. The hymns taught will be in English. This course will not enter into Western or Slavic-tradition music. Students should be willing to sing in class.
In this course, students with an elementary knowledge of Byzantine-style chanting will transition fully from Western to Byzantine musical notation, and will learn hymns in all eight modes. Hymns to be studied will include stichera from the eight-mode Sunday cycle, doxologies, and basic chants of the Divine Liturgy.
Students will also learn the history and theory of Byzantine chanting.
Materials will be provided by the instructor. Students should be willing to sing in class.
Students must have taken Elements of Church Music  OR  have an equivalent prerequisite knowledge of Byzantine music notation and the eight modes, as determined by an examination with the instructor.

Course Materials
Required: An audio recording device.Recommended: A set of external speakers, and a binder for printing and collecting materials.All texts will be provided by the instructor in electronic format.
Required materials are not included in the purchase of the course.

Paul Murray is a 2021 graduate of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, earning his Master of Divinity and Certificate in Byzantine Music. He has been chanting since the age of 10 at churches in the Antiochian and Greek Orthodox Archdioceses. He has studied under Fr. Romanos Karanos and briefly under Gabriel Cremeens. He has taught classes in Byzantine Chant at summer camps and other programs, and has given some private chanting lessons. He is currently the School Administrator of St. Herman of Alaska Christian School in Allston, MA, and serves as the Protopsaltis (lead chanter) of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Newburyport, MA. He lives in Boston with is wife, Despina, who is also a chanter, and his one-year-old daughter, Photini.

Red checkmarkComputer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.

Red checkmarkHigh-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.

Red checkmarkWebcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)

Red checkmarkHeadset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm

Red checkmarkZoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. unnamed-e1455142229376 To download Zoom:

  1. Visit
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.

Red checkmarkScanner: In this class, students frequently submit homework assignments by scanning pages from their workbooks. Students and/or their parents should have easy access to a scanner and the ability to use it.


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