Orthodox Christian ecclesiastical music has it’s beginnings in the apostolic worship of the first century which was naturally based upon the Judaic chant at the time of Jesus Christ. The singular purpose of Orthodox music is to unite the heart -- or the deepest chamber of the soul (the “nous”) -- with God through prayer and to impart the holy doctrines of the Faith. Its purpose is not to entertain or to evoke a merely emotional response, but to awaken the heart to the Spirit of God and allow the worshipper to encounter the kingdom of heaven.
The following are links to traditional Orthodox chant from all over the world. What is now referred to as “Byzantine Chant,” the original musical form of the Church, was adopted and adapted wherever the gospel was preached and planted. The Gregorian chant of the West was also adapted from this original form of Christian chant (although it has gone through more evolution since). Please enjoy these samples!
English/American: Boston Byzantine Choir (“Rejoice, O Bethany” for Lazarus Saturday)
English/American: Father Apostolos Hill (“Blessed are You, O Lord” for funeral service)
Orthodox Chant from Greece: Simonapetra Monastery (Polyeleos):
Orthodox Chant from Russia: Valaam (O Pure Virgin) singing starts at 1:28 mark:
Orthodox Chant from Georgia (Cherubic Hymn):
Orthodox Chant from Serbia (Blessed be the Lord God):
Orthodox Chant, Middle East:
Orthodox Chant from Romania: