About Byzantine Music and Hymnology

The legacy of the Byzantine empire is vast and encompasses all aspects of human life, much of which preserved the Hellenic and Roman influences and carried them into Western thought, culture and civilisation.

Among the living treasures of Byzantium, in addition to the architecture and art, is music and poetry. Preserved mainly in the ecclesiastical realm, music and poetry of the Byzantines conferred a unique and distinct character to Byzantine culture and society.

Transmitting the features of ancient Hellenic music along with the practices of early Christianity, Byzantine music soon served as one of the pivotal foundations of Western music.

In parallel with the music, the poetry of the Byzantines, again mainly preserved in ecclesiastical texts, underwent pivotal evolution and transformation, able to convey the thinking, philosophy and culture of a millenial-old empire.

Largely unexplored by the West, Byzantine and post-Byzantine poetry, through hymnology, offers a unique opportunity to understand cultural, religious, political and scientific formation of Western thought.

More detailed history at:
Early Christian and Byzantine Music: History and Performance