Georgian Church music declared object of intangible cultural heritage (+VIDEO)

Tbilisi, June 3, 2021

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The Georgian Orthodox Church has its own beautiful style of ecclesiastical chant, unique in the Orthodox world. Now, that unique sound has been officially recognized as an indelible part of Georgian and world culture.

The Georgian State Folkore Center announced on Tuesday that “Georgian traditional ecclesiastic music/chanting was added to the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage” by decision of Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili, as initiated by the Folklore Center.

The Center writes: “Georgian chanting together with polyphonic music is recognized as one of the greatest symbols describing the national identity of Georgian people. It’s a unique tradition containing the mixture of the national polyphonic mind and the aesthetic principles of Christian ideology.”

“Georgian polyphonic chants are one of the main symbols of our national identity and, at the same time, one of the greatest cultural achievements of mankind,” the Prime Minister said.

Researchers believe that Georgia is one of the first countries where polyphonic Church music developed, reaching its classical stage of development in the 10th and 11th centuries.

“Georgian chant isn’t just a treasure for a particular nation, but for the whole Christian world,” the Folklore Center writes.

It is hoped that the given recognition will provide for the “preservation of cultural values, passing it down from generation to generation, thus popularizing it through the youth of society.”

Enjoy a beautiful Georgian rendition of the Lord’s Prayer:

Georgian polyphonic singing has been included in UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage since 2008. Byzantine chant was added to the UNESCO list in 2019.

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