Venezia Bizantina study group

Members (in alphabetical order):
Alexandru, Maria (
Martani, Sandra (
Sanfratello, Giuseppe (
Tessari, Silvia (
Troelsgård, Christian (
Wanek, Nina-Maria (
Wolfram, Gerda (


The Study Group pursues the long-term aim of promoting the research of Byzantine chant in all its manifestations but with a special focal point on the connections with Venice and with territories under Venetian rule (e.g. Crete, Ionian Islands). In order to achieve this goal the Study Group will get together at yearly meetings to decide on the program for the next year, especially regarding the organisation of (biannual) confer-ences with accompanying concerts and/or exhibitions and the publication of papers.
Furthermore the Study Group will aim at getting into regular contact with (Italian) uni-versities in order to establish a closer collaboration with relevant institutes to make Byz-antine Musicology more visible in academic curricula as well as to promote scholarships to young scientists. Above that the Study Group intends to cooperate with (Italian) lib-raries housing Byzantine manuscripts in order to promote their research. A special focus will therefore also lie on establishing guidelines for future editions of relevant codices as well as the publications of catalogues.
The first project of the “Byzantine Chant Study Group” at the Fondazione Levi in Venice took place in the context of the “Anno Bessarioneo 2018” from 10th–11th Nov. 2018. The conference Bessarione e la musica concezione, fonti teoriche e stili constituted the ideal platform for eight scientists from Italy, Denmark, Greece and Austria to present insights into their current research work: The topics covered a wide area from Ancient music theory to Byzantine chant in the Sicilian-Albanian colonies, from Saint Kassia to a survey of the human voice as treated in 15th c. Byzantine theoretical treatises and a broad focus on Cardinal Bessarion himself, dealing with his musical manuscripts in Venice, the work of his collaborator, the calligraph Ioannes Rhosos as well as presenting a detailed description of the life of Ioannes Plousiadenos and his connections with Bessarion and a survey of the attempts of Byzantine melodes to compose polyphonic chants “like the Latins”.
On the evening of the conference the concert given by the “Study Group for Paleography of Byzantine Music” from Thessaloniki University under the direction ofMaria Alexandru was a singular chance for the numerous audience to hear a wide spectre of Byzantine music excellently performed: The chants presented in San Agnese were perfectly chosen so as to refect on the topics of the conference as well as on images of the Pala dʼOro of St Markʼs Basilica.
In order to make the work of the Byzantine Chant Study Group visible for a wider public and accessible for the international research community, the conferencepapers will be published in an online edition during 2019.