7th International Conference on Orthodox Church Music

7th International Conference on Orthodox Church Music

From 6-11 June, more than 60 scholars, composers, chanters and musicologists from 17 countries around the world joined members of the International Society for Orthodox Church Music (ISOCM) in Finland for the 7th Conference on Orthodox Music. Over 30 conference presentations explored a variety of topics related to the conference theme of “Liturgy and Music.”

 

Mr Andrew Mellas, a member of Faculty, attended this conference. His paper explored the liturgical significance of St John Koukouzeles’ melismatic compositions during fourteenth-century Byzantium. More specifically it related to the curious relationship between Hesychasm and the melismatic music of Byzantine worship. Mr Mellas’ paper argued that Koukouzeles’ musical reforms, which included wordless melisma known as a kratema or teretism, represented the final frontier of the Byzantine liturgical world. The seemingly meaningless syllables of a kratema betokened the mystery of the divine and the sacred language of the heart that characterised Hesychasm’s imageless prayer and wordless contemplation of the uncreated light.