St Stefanos Choir
Music is an integral part of the Orthodox worship experience and its services. Along with prayer it elevats the communicants to a higher spiritual level. At Stefanos we are striving to bring a higher level of musicality ,encouraging our faithful to participate in this rich legacy his simple yet complex structure derives its roots form ancient Greek, Syrian and Jewish musical traditions. The early Christians while secretly worshiping underground began with simple phrases and were based on older melodies. They contained no harmonies as we know today in Western style.
With the foundation of Constantinople and establishment of Christianity ecclesiastical music became organized and developed. New hymns were added yet until the 4th century all present chanted “with one soul and one voice”. Troparia added were simple texts with psalm lines and Kontakia added had 20-40 verses – a well known kontakion composed by St. Romanos The Melodist dedicated to the Virgin Mary is “The Akathistos Hym”. Byzantine music is modal which is based on 8 sounds (ichoi). The notation symbols are relative in defining a height and the music remains phonetic without the use of instruments in church secured around a basic drone.