melody type associated with early Byzantine liturgical chant. The eight echoi (hence, the collective oktoechos) of the Byzantine system were probably derived from Syrian music, and the concept of echos is also found in Armenian, Russian, and Coptic chant. Tradition gives credit to St. John of Damascus (d. 749) for the invention of the eight Byzantine echoi, but the oktoechos is mentioned already in an early 6th-century Syrian source

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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