Music selections

I threw these together after for some time seeing Westerners asking for material they might do in church. I have confined my choices to those things that would not be theologically problematic (it’s said that the Psalter is the hymnbook of Orthodoxy, and I don’t see how anyone could object to Scripture). I have divided the selections into SATB (four-part polyphonic), for choirs, and simpler music, some of it chant, that works either with two or three chanters or a whole choir. All of these, by the way, are a cappella.

About ison: The ison is a pedal, or drone note that is sung continuously, even when the chant rests, so it’s best to have two or more singing ison, so the chanters can stagger breathing. Typically, the ison is the final note of the chant, but sometimes, it may move, and will be indicated on the music. Where “uni.” is written, the ison should be sung in unison with the chant melody.

SATB, but not difficult.
First Typica antiphon (“Greek” chant)
Second Typica antiphon (“Greek” chant)
Only-begotten Son (Soloviev)
Beatitudes (“Greek” chant)
Lord’s Prayer (Rimsy-Korsakov)
Lord’s Prayer (Kedrov)
Trisagion Hymn (Kievan — first one)
Before Thy Cross (Traditional Russian)
Bless the Lord — Psalm 103 (“Greek” chant)
Come Let Us Worship (traditional Russian)
All Creation Rejoices in Thee — Hymn to the Theotokos (Karam)
Music that works well with as few as two chanters.
Evlogitaria of the Resurrection (Znamenny, Tone 5)
Blessed is the Man (Znamenny, arr. M. Bailey. Note: The final refrain “Alleluia … Glory to Thee, O God!” is sung three times)
O Gladsome Light (Byzantine, Tone 5)
Apostikha (Kievan, Tone 2)
St Symeon’s Prayer (Kievan, Tone 6)
Lord, I have cried — Psalm 140 (Byzantine Tone 4, Kazan. The ison is a pedal tone, or drone note, held by at least one chanter throughout.)
Bless the Lord, O my soul — Psalm 102 (“Greek” chant)
Praise the Lord, O my soul — Psalm 145 (“Greek” chant)
Beatitudes (Alaskan melody)
Steadfast Protectress (Obikhod, Tone 6)
Great Doxology (Byzantine Tone 6, Kazan — if you’re looking for something a bit more exotic)

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