Support to the Syriac Music Institute for the creation of a website dedicated the the Syriac Orthodox traditions


Support to the Syriac Music Institute for the creation of a website dedicated the the Syriac Orthodox traditions

In 2022, the Laus Plena Foundation will support the creation of a website dedicated to the Syriac Orthodox traditions, on which Prof. Dr. Gabriel Aydin , from the “Syriac Music Institute (RI, USA), is working on. 

We remind that the Syriac traditions do not use musical notation, nor chant books, as the Latins intend: the tradition is still entirely oral, and the melodies are known by heart.

With the exodus of Syriac Christians from their homelands, in the diaspora, all traditions mix, the melodies get confounded, and tends to be lost, or alterated. This new website should put at the disposal of the faithful and of the clergy, for the use in the liturgy (and thus allow their conservation as a living tradition), all the chants of the different Syriac Orthodox traditions, well distinguished and indicated, transcribed into modern notation, with the transliterated Syriac words and the English translation.

The scope of this enormous effort is precisely to ensure the existence of an authoritative and scientific source of the repertoire of the chants of the Syriac Orthodox traditions. The Syriac Music Institute, founded by Prof. Dr. Gabriel Aydin, will ensure its musical and scientific accuracy. The Syriac Music Institute published "The Syriac Hymnal", which contains a precious transcription of the Syriac Orthodox Western tradition.

The transcriptions and recordings of Prof. Dr. Gabriel Aydin are mostly based on the titanic work of recording and collection on the ground, made by Ivar Schmutz-Schwallerin the Middle East in the eighties, which Prof. Dr. Gabriel Aydin qualified as the "most complete set of existing recordings". 


Gabriel S Aydin was born and raised in Tur‛Abdin, southeastern Turkey, where he was trained in the Syriac chant tradition of the Syriac Orthodox Church. He obtained his first education in Syriac culture, classical Syriac, liturgy, and liturgical music in his home parish of Mor Abrohom and advanced his chanting skills and liturgical music repertory by attending both Deyr Al-Za‛faran (Mardin) and Mor Gabriel (Midyat) seminaries in Tur‛Abdin for eight years.

Later, he familiarized himself with the various chant traditions of the Syriac Church while doing his Master’s thesis analyzing the complete chant tradition of Edessa (modern-day Urfa) and his Diplôme D'études Approfondies (Diploma of Profound Studies) thesis on the chant tradition of Mardin at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), Lebanon. He graduated from Yale Institute of Sacred Music with Master’s degree in Art and Religion. In 2020, he received his doctorate in musicology with a special focus on Syriac chant at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK) in Lebanon. His dissertation, “The Lineage of Zmirotho Dʽito: A Comparative Transcription and Musical Analysis of Syriac Liturgical Chant according to the Rite of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch,” examines the last century’s major hymnal of the Syriac Orthodox Church from the perspectives of history, formation, practice, musical transcription, and fidelity to the tmoné qinotho (eight modes).

In 2007 he founded the Syriac Music Institute in Rhode Island, United States that promotes the preservation and growth of the ancient Syriac sacred music tradition. He published The Syriac Hymnal in 2018 which features traditional hymns from the Beth Gazo, for every feast and occasion according to the Syriac annual liturgical calendar.  All hymns are prepared in Syriac text, Latin transliteration, English translation, and musical notation with special musical symbols that convey pitches, tones, and melodic forms unique to Syriac music.

Currently, he is a visiting lecturer at the University of Salzburg teaching Syriac Prosody and Liturgical Music in the Master of Arts in Syriac Theology.

The Foundation needs your support to accomplish its mission and scopes. We thank you in advance for your generosity.

Donations on bank account at  UBS Switzerland AG in the  name of: Fondazione Laus Plena, Lugano.
The Foundation issues certificates of donation for tax deduction purposes.
Bank details. See below.