Features Podcast

What did Byzantine music sound like? (The answer is more political than you’d expect), with Alexander Lingas

A conversation with Alexander Lingas on the debates surrounding the reconstruction of Byzantine music. We discuss the common origins of western and eastern Christian traditions, when they parted ways, and how both traditions passed through phases of reinvention. Why does the modern performance of Gregorian Chant sound so different from Byzantine chant?

As the director of the vocal ensemble Capella Romana, Alexander comes at this question from both a performance and a research angle. His publications include ‘Medieval Byzantine Chant and the Sound of Orthodoxy,’ in the volume Byzantine Orthodoxies, and ‘Performance Practice and the Politics of Transcribing Byzantine Chant,’ Acta Musicae Byzantinae 6 (2003).


Alexander Lingas is Professor of Music at City University of London. You can find Alexander’s research on and follow him on Twitter @ALLingas

Byzantium & Friends is hosted by Anthony Kaldellis, Professor and Chair of the Department of Classics at The Ohio State University. You can follow him on his personal website.

You can listen to more episodes of Byzantium & Friends through Podbean.

Top Image: British Library MS Harley MS 5544 fol. 8r


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