Listening to Byzantine Chant (Tone 1)

My dear readers, here’s a treat! I’ve asked Jack Rabah, an experienced chanter, to explain Byzantine Chant, with a focus on how to listen to it and understand its feelings, and with video examples for each tone. Here is his first entry in this series, focusing on Tone 1. To many of us this may seem like a foreign musical language, but I know that my readers are intelligent, curious, and capable of more than cartoon feeling. I recomend not only this post, but Jack’s blog, ‘Palestinian Chanter,’ in general. Happy listening!

Palestinian Chanter

I am very excited to write my first blog-on-demand entry 🙂 I’m so happy to see more people reading the blog and even happier to be receiving input and requests! Keep them coming!!

This is a question I tackled many times in my life in different ways; how to explain Byzantine Chant to others? Growing up and explaining to my Moslem class mates what is it I chant in church and trying to find terms that they would understand lending from Moslem prayer vocabulary to explain how reading the epistle is like reading the Quran although it follows different rules and tunes.

When I went to college in USA, I sang in a number of choirs ranging from small chamber groups and madrigal singers to large choirs and symphony choruses .Again, when the topic came  up, I needed to find ways of explaining Byzantine Chant to my friends, music teachers…

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