Copyright © 2015 • St. George Greek Orthodox Church • All Rights Reserved
A chanter (in Greek, psaltis) is a lay person in minor orders who chants responses and hymns in the services of the church. Particularly in the Byzantine tradition, the chanter in charge of doing the music for a service is referred to as the protopsaltis.
The practice in Orthodox worship is for the chanters to fill the services with psalms, hymns and other responses to prayers of the priest. Chanting is a vital ministry because chanters are needed for every service, including feast days and the many services that make up the Lenten calendar.
The eight tone system, also known as octoechos, is a Christian tradition that has both classical and Jewish roots, and was fully developed in the Christian east. Each tone or mode has distinct notes and a recognizable melody. Byzantine chant builds on variations of these melodies.