Byzantine Chant is not just another form of music. It is a tool on which we can pray better. It is, in fact, a form of melodic prayer. If the music in general is composed to be listened to, the psaltic music is made to pray to the fullest and therefore it sounds best in the Church and not so much in the concerts.
The Byzantine Chant is primarily focused on the glory of God and that is because we are here in the valley of sorrows and, therefore, in general, sentimental music sets us apart from the otherworldly God of glory.
For these reasons, only the human voice, as a perfect instrument, is used as a means of expression in a monotonic arrangement so that the unnatural complexity caused by polyphony does not distract from prayer, from union with God.
The same concern for the minimalist perfection required for the freedom of our mind made for a very simple classification with only eight groups of melodies, called eight tones.
Due to its perfection, the Byzantine Chant has remained alive for almost 2000 years, the services being fresh to this day and UNESCO recognized a few days ago (on Wednesday 11/12/2019) the Byzantine song as part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
Pictured is a Vatoped psalter near a portable with Byzantine chanting. Mount Athos, 2019.
Below you will find some pieces of byzantine music live and studio recordings.
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