In recent years, the English-speaking Orthodox world has seen an exploding level of musical production in the repertory of Byzantine chant. This month alone, the current cycle of creativity crests a wave in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese's prestige format release of The Musical Ark, the first major English-language contribution to the published repertoire, and the first-ever anthology of an Anglophone composer (Greek-American Nicholas Roumas). Roumas' book stands at one end of over a century's worth of creative undertaking by English-speaking musicians towards establishing a living tradition of Anglophone Byzantine music. Starting in 1892, when English convert priest Stephen Georgeson Hatherly published a treatise on the Psaltic Art that transposed "God Save The Queen" into all of the Byzantine modes, composers and theorists have approached English-language composition in a number of ways, and with varying levels of reception. Over the last decade and a half, a new generation of teachers, cantors, and composers has generated a body of work that appears to constitute a first real budding of the art that is both natively Anglophone as well as natively Byzantine, providing the context for Roumas' work. This workshop will examine these developments chronologically and examine specific examples from the various eras of production, with a particular focus on current composers and their activities.
Fifth Boston Byzantine Music Festival
From Misunderstanding to Masterworks: The Anglophone Evolution of the Psaltic Art, 1892–2017
Date: Nov 18, 2017 Time: 1:00 PM–2:00 PM Location: Hellenic College Holy Cross Building: Archbishop Iakovos Library Reading Room Address: 50 Goddard Ave Brookline, MA 02445-7415
Richard Barrett, St. John of Damascus Society, examines the history of anglophone composition influenced by Byzantine chant.