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The Structure of our School

Welcome to the model and original online School of Byzantine Music To Fanari. With the pioneering audiovisual system of teaching implemented by the School, the connected student is able, at any time of the day and from any place on the planet, to be taught in detail, parallagi (Solmization) and melos, the entire syllabus of Byzantine Music, which is required not only for obtaining the relevant degrees, but also for becoming a full-fledged chanter, and even in the chant tradition of Constantinople. It is this tradition that the deserving Archon Maestor of the Great Church of Christ, Gregory Daravanoglou, who is worthily ranked among the glorious group of officials (οφφικιάλοι) of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, comes to transmit from this online teaching chair. Mr. Daravanoglou, who had the rare good fortune to follow this tradition from his childhood in the Patriarchal Church of Agios Georgios and in the other peripheral Churches of the Basilica, has taken over exclusively the teaching part of the School.

The vision of the Fanari is to offer the codified musical knowledge of centuries, in the simplest and most easily transmitted way, which today’s technical development allows and at the same time imposes. The older generations of cantors were able to decode this knowledge only after many years and suffering, as the well-known old fifteen-syllable admonition he who wants to learn music and praise must have a lot of patience, must have a lot of days… (O θέλων μουσικήν μαθείν και θέλων επαινείσθαι θέλει πολλάς υπομονάς θέλει πολλάς ημέρας) testifies. In no way, however, should the false impression be created that the Fanari is an advocate of the principle of least effort.  On the contrary. That is why, after all, it delivers Byzantine music in its most demanding interpretative form – but in the most sophisticated way. Because even in this particular subject, the internet is often an easy and makeshift solution, despite it’s often professed good intentions. But good intentions are not enough, when the cause is – like that of our traditional music – sacred. Every possible effort must therefore be made, not just to preserve the musical and worship past of Our own Orient, but to unite it with the present and integrate it into the future.

The ‹Fanari› begins this vision with the best of omens— the willing blessing of the head of the apostolic Church of Greece, His Beatitude Hieronymos II, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece.

For the “Fanari” does not aspire to be just another School of Byzantine Music, but “a different” School of Byzantine Music.

Structure and operation of the School

The School’s programme includes a curriculum of five years, fully based on the relevant Greek legislation, regarding the education provided in Byzantine Music Schools.

This curriculum however is based on a completely pioneering audiovisual system of teaching implemented by the School, which has the following stages:

1. Hearing

The student listens to the musical text (parallagi — solmization — and melos) as many times as he wishes, watching each sung syllable on the screen of his personal computer.

2. Performing

He then sings the musical text together with his teacher, as many times as he feels he needs, in order to assimilate it, and if possible, memorize it.

3. Recording

If he wishes, he records this musical text online, in which he sings along with his teacher, so that he is able to hear both the teacher’s voice and his own. It is important at this stage of study to perceive if the two voices are heard separately, and specifically, if his own voice overshadows the teacher’s voice or not.

Only when the two voices are heard as one, the musical text has been correctly performed both in terms of tonality and rhythm (as in a choir one voice is heard and not each voice separately).

4. Progress update

When the student thinks that he has performed the musical text correctly, he sends the recording to the subject-specific instructor/teacher, who is supervising the particular student, by pressing a button. That is, each student has his own instructor/ teacher. At each stage of teaching, the student also has the further possibility to submit in writing any relevant question to his instructor/teacher.

5. Exam preparation

At the end of each teaching unit and each teaching period, the student takes examination (test) which concerns the material of the teaching unit or period. The purpose of this examination is not to grade the student (that’s why the test score is not counted in his annual score), but to inform him and his teacher about his level and identify any weaknesses or learning gaps. Thus he is given the opportunity to improve himself, before the final exam period. However, these tests have another, very important function, as they introduce the student to the climate of the exams, thus helping him to gradually eliminate his very natural anxiety. That’s why, the more tests, the better.

6. Examinations

At the end of each academic year, the student takes: a) written exams, which concern the entire year’s material, and b) audio tests. The average of his annual score is also derived from these exams.

7. Obtaining a degree

At the end of the 3rd year, the student takes the exam to get the Degree in Byzantine Music.

At the end of the 5th year, the student takes the exam to get the Diploma in Byzantine Music.

In his learning process, the student has the very important help of a series of theoretical books as well as music books with a full Typical Order.

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Why Study at Fanari

  • The easy way to learn Byzantine Music

  • More than 1000 videos sorted into sections

  • Exams according to the Greek Ministry of Culture’s curriculum of the Byzantine Music schools