Women as Composers and Performers of Medieval Chant
Fadia El-Hage, vocals ~ Belinda Sykes, vocals, shawm
Marianne Kirch, vocals, dulcimer ~ Vladimir Ivanoff, musical direction, frame drums
The liturgical music of many early Christian churches of the Near East can be traced back to the Patriarchate of Antiochia and its rites. In the same way the Maronitic church, a Christian denomination which emerged latest at the time of the first crusades in Syria and in today's Lebanon, was shaped mainly by Middle Eastern surroundings.
Until today, in spite of many changes and reforms in the details, the Maronitic as well as the Melchitic and Syrian-catholic rites have handed down and kept alive chants dating back to the first centuries of Christianity. The early Christian Syrian heretics (i.e. Bardasian and Paul of Samosota) cultivated women's choirs and women's solo chants (although the apostle Paul had already forbidden women to sing church chants). However, this powerful and even today alive tradition provoked a ban (if only officially) in the late 4th century which forbade women's chants in the liturgy.
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