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© Andrew Chapman and Jacqueline Gordon (image)



As both a forum open to the public and a course offering academic credit to Stanford students (ARTH208C/408C, cross-listed with Classics, Music, Religious Studies, and CREEES), this year-long seminar explores the creation and operations of sacred space in Byzantium by focusing on the intersection of architecture, acoustics, music, and ritual.  The goal is to develop a new interpretive framework for the study of aural architecture and religious experience.  Leading scholars from the US and abroad will present their current research and lead the discussion.


Discussion will center on pre-circulated papers posted on this website before the individual sessions.  These readings will explore the relationship between sound and space by integrating the humanities with exact sciences.  Topics rage from architectural design and materials, Byzantine musicology, psalmody, medieval music notation, reconstructions of ritual and modern performance to the science of acoustics, computer modeling, and auralizations.

Meetings are scheduled on select Mondays in Cummings Art Building, room 103.  Light fare will be served.


Bissera V. Pentcheva
Department of Art & Art History

This seminar stems from the collaborative research project “Icons of Sound” that I co-direct, for more information, visit:


The University Seminars Program of the Onassis Foundation (USA)

Department of Art and Art History

Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies

Stanford Global Studies Division