Church Music as Reflected in the Journal Biserica Ortodoxă Română [Romanian Orthodox Church] in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century


  • Prof. univ. dr. Elena Chircev “Gheorghe Dima” National Academy of Music Cluj-Napoca



psaltic music, religious choral work, Byzantine musicology, manuscript, communism


The journal Biserica Ortodoxă Română [The Romanian Orthodox Church] was founded on November 17, 1873, at the initiative of Romania's Primate Metropolitan Nifon Rusailă (1789-1875). The aim of the publication – whose first issue was launched on October 1, 1874 – was to inform the clergy and believers about the activity of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church. In the 146 years since the publication of its first issue, the journal’s contributors have included outstanding personalities of the Romanian Orthodoxy, such as Priest-Professors Dumitru Stăniloae, Ioan G. Coman, Ene Branişte, Liviu Stan, Mircea Păcurariu, Ion Bria a.o. Church music was present in the journal’s pages both through articles, studies and reviews, and through scores of choral or psaltic works written by Church servants among whom Bishop Melchisedec Ștefănescu of Roman at the end of the 19th century, or Deacon Grigore Panțiru, Professor Nicolae Lungu, Priest-Professor Gheorghe Șoima, Archd. Sebastian Barbu-Bucur, Ph.D., Priest-Professors Constantin Drăgușin, Nicu Moldoveanu, Alexie Buzera a.o. in the 20th century. This paper summarizes these contributions and shows how the change of political regime in mid-20th-century Romania influenced the topics of the articles and the religious musical works published in the journal of the Romanian Patriarchate.