Years in the making, Byzantine Chant: The Received Tradition – A Lesson Book is a clearly written, detailed, and thorough manual for the notation, theory, terminology, and repertoire of the historic ecclesiastical music of the Greek Orthodox Church. Written by acclaimed cantor, composer, and pedagogue John Michael Boyer, this textbook will be a valuable learning resource for teachers, students, and researchers alike.
“…a great service to the Body of Christ.”His Eminence Gerasimos, Metropolitan of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco
“This detailed and comprehensive book fulfills a great need and provides an original method of training students of ecclesiastical music.”The Rev. Fr. Dr. Romanos Karanos, Professor of Byzantine Music, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA
“…a book that will undoubtedly be of great benefit to Anglophone students of the [Psaltic] Art.”Dr. Achilléas Chaldæákis, Professor of Byzantine Music and the Psaltic Art at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
622 pages printed on acid-free paper. 6.69×9.75×1.43 inches; 3.23lbs. Hardcover finished with dark blue cloth and foil stamping. Written in English; musical examples in Greek and English.
With a letter of blessing by His Eminence Gerasimos, Metropolitan of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco.
Introductions by The Rev. Fr. Dr. Romanos Karanos of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA and Professor Achilléas Chaldæákis, Dean of Arts, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Foreword by the author.
William Steiger (verified owner) –
I came to the study of Byzantine Chant later in life with little to no western music background, other than occasionally chanting and singing in my parish choir. Now after several years of studying with John, I have learned to chant using this book. It is a wonderful book which provides historical, theoretical, and practical tools for learning to chant. The material in the lesson book is thoughtfully presented and systematically laid out, and along with the recordings of the exercises, make this a great book for all types of learners and experience levels. This book will be an indespensible tool for English speaking students of the Psaltic Art, whether they are brand new to Byzantine Chant or are already accomplished chanters.
Tristan Gregory (verified owner) –
The volume is excellent, the first chapter especially. The author immediately sets out to guide the student through a musical tradition and notation that is heavily nuanced through detailed, but concise, explanations of each symbol and syllable that will be encountered on the journey. It’s much better than other contemporary sources that assume some amount of Greek and gloss over the nuances.
The author also gets the student chanting hymns immediately, with both a Greek and English text with solfège, allowing the student to readily feel part of the tradition. These hymns in the beginning are short and could be memorized for spontaneous chanting and prayer. Other contemporary sources do not have this same format, favoring dozens of prerequisite solfège exercises without lyrics before arriving at hymns, and most of these sources only include a Greek version.
The book deserves the full five stars, however, please start packaging these books with a medium to protect it during shipping. My copy unfortunately arrived damaged, the edge of the text block and covers suffered an impact which buckled the covers and crinkled pages in the middle of the volume.