Greek and Russian styles

For the most part in the Orthodox tradition the chants in the sung liturgy normally have no instrumental accompaniment.

Orthodox Christians hold that the most fitting instrument to use in liturgical worship is the human voice, since Christians believe that the human being was created in the image of God. A slight exception to this rule is the use of cymbals in the Coptic (Egyptian) tradition. Of the two main styles of Orthodox Christian music, the Greek and the Russian, the former tends to be simpler and more rhythmic, while the latter is more elaborate and makes greater use of harmony. The Russian style reached a high point of harmonic complexity and richness in the High Renaissance and Baroque periods. In more recent times some of the great Russian composers have also composed liturgical works.

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