Musicological Conference on Syriac Music (by Armando Pierucci)


Musicological Conference on Syriac Music

The Musicological Conference (Geneva 17 - 21 March 2021) is an international meeting of Syriac music scholars, promoted by the Laus Plena Foundation and the Haute Ecole de Musique (HEM) of Geneva. The participation of the HEM indicates the importance of the initiative. In fact, the HEM not only actively participates in it, but is also intentioned to develop a wider project around it, demonstrating, if it was necessary, its ability to bring together people and scholars from all over the world in Geneva.

For the Laus Plena Foundation, the Conference will be sheding light on a new page of the sacred music of the various Christian Churches. By a happy coincidence, the Conference starts a few days after Pope Francis’s visit to the Churches of Iraq, all stemming from the Syriac tradition. 17 Specialists will discuss the sacred music heritage of the Syriac Church, which is the one closest to the apostolic age: in the language, which is the Aramaic of the second century after Christ; and in its melodies, very similar to the Hebrew formulas inherited from the Apostles.

The Spring 2021 Conference is therefore an opportunity to deepen that meaning of fullness, which is the aim  of the Laus Plena Foundation. Of course, the fact that the Christians of the Syriac Church generally chant unanimously is already a model to evidence. But the fullness concerns above all the totality of the Churches, in the historical sense and in the geographical sense: all the Churches are proud of their apostolic origin, but having moved away from it, at least over time, they look with curiosity and admiration at the Syriac Church, which has jealously preserved the truths of the Christian Faith, but also the way of expressing, of proclaiming, of singing our Creed. We must admit that we, Western Christians, often intolerant in listening, silent in praise, have much to learn from the Syriac Church which, albeit limited under the constraints of Islamic rule, has preserved the strength of its Christian roots, included in chanting.

Armando Pierucci

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