Russian Liturgical Music is the musical tradition of the Russian Orthodox Church. This tradition began with the importation of the Byzantine Empire's religious music when the Kievan Rus' converted to Orthodoxy. When Prince Vladimir of Kyiv converted to Orthodoxy, Mount Athos was the musical center of the Orthodox world. Monks from all over Eastern Europe and Byzantium traveled to Mount Athos for musical training and to learn the ways of Orthodox chant. At Mount Athos, Rus'ian monks learned the Byzantine neumatic notation for chant, which they readily adopted and brought back with them to Rus'. This Byzantine chant quickly changed to a distinct Rus'ian style, the Znamenny Chant. The chant flourished and spread to the north (Novgorod principally) and southwest.
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