Traditional Eastern Orthodox Chant Documentation Project

The primary objective of this web site is to provide musicologists studying traditional chanting systems of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church (and its various ethnic groups) with a comprehensive and continually-expanding compilation of documentation and resources to support their research.

A secondary objective of this project is to educate church musicians and leaders in the concept that contemporary Orthodox liturgical music has become a victim of Western European captivity, subjugation and obliteration of its indigenous musical cultures. Furthermore, this web site intends to provide the tools necessary for church musicians to relearn their traditional chanting systems.

The third objective of this site is to help revive a popular interest in traditional Orthodox music drawn from authentic sources. There has been much interest in "roots music" in the contemporary folk music scene. Most visible are the Celtic folk and African folk revivals, but there has also been considerable work to promote the indigenous folk music of many other cultures, including Scandinavian, Mid-eastern and Oriental music. Now is the time for people to recognize that ancient traditions such as Byzantine, Znamenny and Georgian liturgical music (and so many more styles) deserve not only to be recognized as valuable relics of the past, but to continue their existence and to flourish in our times. Many isolated groups of worshippers continue to preserve these vocal traditions intact, and we can turn to them for example and guidance. Furthermore, extensive research has been done in earlier forms of Orthodox chanting and liturgics, and we have been able to reconstruct many of the traditions which have either died out or have been obscured by foreign cultural domination for the past several hundred years. Now is the time for us to reclaim our birthrights and to breathe new life into our inheritance.

Nikita Simmons
Woodburn, Oregon, USA