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Past Issue of the Journal of the ISOCM

Volume 2     (9.6mb)

Editorial Introduction

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Byzantine musical tradition in Cyprus and Crete after the Fall of Costantinople
by Dimitrios K. Balageorgos


Abstract: This article discusses the survival of Byzantine musical culture in the Hellenic world after the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, specifically by examining the work of composers living and working in Crete and Cyprus, and providing an overview of the legacy of sacred music of these two islands as both a genuine continuation of Byzantine tradition and a manifestation of remarkable creative originality.

The Eastern Slavic Chant Manuscript ‘Great Feasts’ of the National Library of Finland
by Jopi Harri

Abstract: The purpose of the paper is to provide a description of the 18th-century Great Feasts manuscript Sl.Ms.O-51.1 of the National Library of Finland, written in square notation: its relation to other specimens of its kind, its origins, physical shape, structure as a chant document, scribal quality and other features, palaeographical characteristics of its text and notation, and orthographical features, among other things. In addition, a dating for the manuscript is proposed, being based on a certain detail in its content. This is followed by a catalogue of the hymns included, with comments as considered necessary.


As part of the research assignment, the music of the manuscript was compared against the common chant sources, published by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1772 and later. In addition, supplementary comparisons were made against the Trinity Lavra Ms. 451 of the Russian State Library (Fond 301.I No. 451), that was found to be contemporary. It was found that even though the majority of the chants of the O-51 manuscript do not show major differences to the Synodal versions of the chants, about a third of them have extended passages of dissimilar melodic conduct. Most often this pertains to embellishments known as fity, which in the manuscript are more numerous and/or more extensive than in the Synodal chant versions. On the other hand, for the 50 hymns that have more fita passages than the Synodal sources, it was found that in this respect, the same chants in Ms. 451 were in agreement with those of the O-51, further strengthening the conclusion that this manuscript was indeed copied no later than during the first two decades of the 18th century.


While the Great Feasts manuscript of the National Library of Finland may not be a unique or excellent representative of its kind, it still is a valuable document of the tradition of Znamenny Chant from the time when the transition to staff notation had taken place relatively recently.

The Origins of Bell-Ringing in Kievan Rus
by Bohdan Kindratyuk

Abstract: The use of an extensive number of sources opens a new view on the history of the beginning  and practice of bell-ringing in Kievan Rus. With the Christianization of Eastern Europe, bell-ringing was introduced into various spheres of ecclesiastical and secular life, and the rapid spread of bells replaced the earlier widespread use of idiophones. The article discusses evidence of bells and their fragments from archaeological finds in Ukrainian lands.

The Kiev Theological Academy Choir: Organization, Tradition and Experimentation
by Nataliya Kostyuk

Abstract: The choir of the Kiev Theological Academy played, from the beginning of the 19th century, a very important role in the history of Ukrainian church music, in terms of both raising the level of choral singing within Ukraine and expanding the available repertoire. This article discusses the history of this institution and the historical difficulties with which it had to contend during the period of its existence until it was shut down in 1915.

Music, Beauty and Prayer (Keynote Address)
by Ivan Moody

Minimalism, Mysticism, and Monasticism: Concert Music Inspired by Byzantine Chant
by Paul Barnes

Finding Beauty in Choral Relationships
by John M. Black

Byzantine Chant for Congregational Singing
by John Michael Boyer

Liturgically-informed Aesthetics: A Theological Approach to Chant Pedagogy and Performance
by Novice Nicoletta (Sydney Freedman)

The Gift of Tears: Some Perspectives on “Joyful Sorrow” in Orthodox Art and Music
by Kurt Sander

Children’s Choirs in Church
by Juliana Woodill


Benedict Sheehan (ed.), A Common Book of Church Hymns: Divine Liturgy
Review by Ivan Moody


Jeffers Engelhardt, Singing in the Right Way: Orthodox Christians and Secular Enchantment in Estonia
Review by Jooa Sotejeff-Wilson

Richard Betancourt, Maria Taroutina (eds.), Byzantium/Modernism: The Byzantine as Method in Modernity

Review by Ivan Moody

St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral Choir, Minneapolis, Make Ready, O Bethlehem: Orthodox Hymns of Christmas

Review by Richard Barrett



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