Orthodox Christian Hymnology

This unit develops the theology and liturgical practices of hymnody in Orthodox worship and theology. It investigates the historical development of hymnology: early Christian origins, Byzantine creativity, post-Byzantine consolidation, the diachronic importance of the Psalter, Patristic commentary on the ethos and theology of hymnology, Logos and melos: the interplay of words and music, poetical forms: antiphons, kontakia, canons and other troparia, the invention of the Byzantine musical system and the stages in its development, and personalities: St Romanos the Melodist, St John of Damascus, and the Studites

Study Level




Sub Discipline

Worship and Liturgy

Credit Points



L7230 Music in Worship.



Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate sound knowledge of the historical development of hymnology
  2. demonstrate a clear understanding of various hymnological concepts
  3. analyze hymns in terms of theological content, poetical form and musical structure
  4. produce a short movie (5minutes) for posting on the Internet
  5. display an appreciation of the beauty and aesthetics of hymnology in the way it brings together the two art forms of poetry and music
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