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What would Black Gospel Music sound like if it blended with Eastern Orthodox liturgical tradition? Though liturgical traditions have a reputation for their timelessness, or at least for not changing, the Eastern Orthodox liturgy of singing and chanting antiphonally has changed over the past 2,000 years, particularly when Orthodoxy has met with other cultures whose own musical talents and understandings are different.
Though the broad outlines of a Russian or Greek liturgy are substantially identical, with the same prayers, the same order of service, the same structure, they do not exactly sound the same, even setting aside the language differences. Saturday night in Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Shawn Wallace, Director of Jazz Studies at Ohio State University, and an Orthodox Christian himself, presented a project long in his heart. How Sweet the Sound was a concert that presented an Orthodox vespers service as blended with, and sung in the style of Black Gospel music.