Sruti School of Liturgical Music, Orthodox Seminary, Kottayam
The Malankara Orthodox church is proud of its worshipping heritage. It is through the worship that Syrian form of worship, language and music was introduced to the Church in the latter half of the 19th century, and we continue to use these in our Church today. Unscientific method of singing has altered Syriac music from its orginal form. Liturgical music that was passed down through generations was not through oral tradition. In addition, many Malpans (Teachers) added their own style of singing to their teachings, further increasing the number of variations.
In the syriac tradition, M’zamrone (singers) were ordained specifically for singing liturgical songs. Unfortunately, this was lost in the Malankara Church, and we have not been able to find an adequate solution to this day. However, some musically talented people in the parishes themselves provided the leadership that led to the foundation and establishment of the parish choirs in the form that we see today. Although the message that the quality of the liturgical singing in our church needs to be improved was conveyed as a result of their activities, their efforts were not fully successful. Also, such choirs were not given the necessary encouragement by the clergy and by the laity. However, there are no systematic rules for choir singing that are in force. Consequently, disharmony exists in the singing of liturgical songs, even at the individual parish level.
To rescue our worship from this disharmony and its potential long term effects, Sruti, School of Liturgical Music was established on Jan 9th, 1989, as a result of the foresight and vision of the late Metropolitan Dr. Paulose Mar Gregorios, Principal of the Orthodox Seminary, with the approval of the Holy Episcopal Synod. The mandate of the Sruti School, among other things, is to systematize and improve Liturgical singing. Sruti has been making an earnest effort in this direction. In different parishes, the activities of those who have been trained at Sruti continue to bear more fruit.