• 1643 to 1869 -- Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant and Hymnody

    1643 Coptic Music and Culture: Early Research A recently discovered transcription of Coptic music by Father Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680) in his Lingua Ægyptiaca restituta of 1643, in the Rare Book and Special Collections Reading Room at the Library of Congress, reveals that Western scholars were interested in Coptic music as early as the 17th century. [view translation] Father Kircher, a German Jesuit priest, offered ...

  • Maps -- Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant and Hymnody

    Deserta Aegypti, Thebaidis, Arabiae, Syriae etc. ubi accurata notata sunt loca inhabitata per Sanctos Patres Anachoretas, created by Matthaeus Seutter. 17??. Courtesy of the Library of Congress Geography and Maps Division, this Gallery features some maps of Christian Egypt from the end of the seventeenth century to the 1950s, and general maps of Egypt and Cairo until the 1920s. Much like the presentation Timeline ...

  • 1874 to 1922 -- Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant and Hymnody

    1874-1893 Egyptian History: Major Events Pope Cyril V (1874-1927): Following the revivalist spirit of the Pope Cyril IV before him, His Holiness Pope Cyril V established the Theological Seminary in Mahmashah, Cairo in 1893. He also opened the Saint Didymus Institute for the Blind to train blind cantors who would later become Mu'allimīn, or appointed teachers and singers in their local Coptic churches. Mu'allim ...

    • Date: 1874
  • Collection Galleries -- Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant and Hymnody

    And we too, who are sojourners in this place, keep us in Your faith, and grant us Your peace unto the end. Excerpt from The Commemoration of the Saints, The Coptic Liturgy of St. Basil The Coptic Orthodox Christian community is the largest and oldest Christian minority in the Middle East today. While there is no accurate consensus of their size in Egypt, numerous ...

  • Glossary of Terms -- Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant and Hymnody

    Al-Kāhin, Father Armia Toufiles.St. George Coptic OrthodoxChurch of Brooklyn, New York. Photograph by Carolyn M. Ramzy Though the following terms can be found in a series of articles by Ragheb Moftah, Marian Robertson, Margit Tóth and Martha Roy, "Coptic Music," in The Coptic Encyclopedia, [1] they are also listed here for easy reference. 'Arīf: An 'arīf was an early 'school master' who taught in ...

  • Videos -- Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant and Hymnody

    [His Holiness Pope Shenouda III chanting into tape recorder at Ragheb Moftah's funeral], June 18, 2001. Raymond Stock, the author of a recent biographical article on Ragheb Moftah featured in the Biography Gallery, interviewed Moftah in 1996 and 1997 as part of the Library of Congress World Heritage Series. These four video recordings, as well as an interview with Moftah by Dr. Adel Kamel, ...

    • Date: 2001-06-18
  • Newspapers -- Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant and Hymnody

    The Way of the World: Sing Something, Simple, by Peter Simple, April 23, 1931. In April and May of 1931, Ragheb Moftah and Ernest Newlandsmith traveled to England to give a series of lectures at Oxford, Cambridge and other universities, in which they described their work transcribing Coptic music in Egypt since 1927. Newlandsmith also lectured again in England in the summer of 1932. ...

    • Date: 1931-04-23
  • Transcriptions -- Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant and Hymnody

    De Ecclesiae Coptae, by Athanasius Kircher. 1643. Thanks to Ragheb Moftah and other scholars in the field, the entire Coptic hymnody is archived as sound recordings at the Library of Congress, and includes music that has been notated into Western notation for scholarly study. This Web presentation traces the earliest-known transcriptions of Coptic music by explorers and missionaries from the seventeenth through the nineteenth ...

  • Correspondence -- Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant and Hymnody

    Letter from Ragheb Moftah to Ernest Newlandsmith, May 5, 1927 View Correspondence Gallery In the Ragheb Moftah Collection, there are nearly 30 folders containing correspondence, contracts, and telegraph messages between Ragheb Moftah and fellow scholars, family members, and friends who were somehow connected to his project. Moftah, well-known for being a meticulous man, composed many drafts before sending out a letter officially. He communicated ...

    • Date: 1927-05-05
  • Essays -- Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant and Hymnody

    Ernest Newlandsmith's Transcriptions of Coptic Music: A Description and Critique, by Marian Robertson. The essays presented here by Carolyn Ramzy and Coptic scholars Marian Robertson-Wilson and John E. Gillespie – some written especially for this presentation and others previously published – introduce Coptic liturgical music to an audience beyond the confines of academe. For two centuries, this music was handed down by word of ...

  • Books and Articles -- Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant and Hymnody

    Page from The Divine Liturgies of Saints Basil, Gregory, and Cyril. Books, chapters from books, or articles from periodicals having to do with Copts and Coptic music are featured in this Gallery. Ethnographic books by the famous Egyptologist, Edward William Lane, and S.H. Leeder, are reproduced in part or entirely. Rites, Services and Offices of the Coptic liturgy by Evetts, Bute, and Woolley were ...

  • Photographs -- Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant and Hymnody

    Le Caire. Intérieur de la cathédrale cophte / Maison Bonfils (Beirut, Lebanon), [between 1867 and 1899]. Prints and Photographs Reading Room, Library of Congress. The photographs of Ragheb Moftah are sub-divided into topical groups: 1) Moftah with family and colleagues; 2) Moftah and others at Anba Bishoy and Anba Macarius in Wadi al-Natrun – Easter 1995; 3) In the recording studio; 4) Moftah at ...

  • 1925 to Present -- Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant and Hymnody

    1925 Cairo and Environs [Cairo]:Published by the Survey of Egypt, 1925. 1926 The Ragheb Moftah Collection There are two different accounts as to how Ragheb Moftah met Ernest Newlandsmith, the English composer and violinist, in 1926. Newlandsmith was instrumental in getting the entire liturgy of St. Basil and 25 other major and seasonal hymns notated between 1926 and 1936. The most popular account goes ...

  • Biographies -- Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant and Hymnody

    Ernest Newlandsmith, 1875-after 1957 [photogravure]. Reproduced in Newlandsmith, Ernest. A Minstrel Friar: The Story of My Life and Work. London: The New Life Movement, 1927, frontispiece. The seventeenth-century German Jesuit, Athanasius Kircher, made the earliest-known attempt at transcribing a piece of Coptic music. It was not until the early nineteenth century, during Napoleon's expedition to Egypt, that Villoteau transcribed an Alleluia; and, in the ...

  • Music Recordings -- Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant and Hymnody

    The muthallath (triangle), St. Mary and St. George Coptic Orthodox Church, Tallahassee, Florida. Photograph by Carolyn M. Ramzy What does Coptic music sound like? An exclusively vocal tradition, Coptic music is only accompanied by two percussion instruments today.[1] The first instrument is a metal triangle otherwise known in Arabic as muthallath. Among Copts, it is also referred to as a turianta. The muthallath is ...

  • 3100 BC to 1517 -- Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant and Hymnody

    ca. 3500 B.C. Egyptian History: Major Events Settlement begins around the Nile Valley. 3100 Egyptian History: Major Events Pharaoh Menes establishes the first Ancient Egyptian dynasty and unites the Upper and Lower Kingdoms into one centralized monarchy. Hieroglyphic system of writing emerges. 2700 Egyptian History: Major Events Hieratic script emerges alongside Hieroglyphic. ca. 2500 B.C. Egyptian History: Major Events Pyramids of Giza are constructed. ...

  • Moftah -- Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant and Hymnody

    [Ragheb Moftah poses next to his close friend, renowned Coptologist Dr. Aziz Atiya, ca. 1980s]. Photograph. Courtesy of Laurence Moftah. This Gallery is devoted to essays about Ragheb Moftah. Presented here are the following: a recent biography written by Raymond Stock for Turath; a family tree from Moftah's papers in the Ragheb Moftah Collection in the Performing Arts Division; and five essays by Laurence ...

  • About this Collection -- Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant and Hymnody

    With its roots in Ancient Egyptian music, Coptic Christian chant is one of the oldest liturgical genres still performed today. Drawing on the Ragheb Moftah Collection, this presentation explores some of the earliest music transcriptions by explorers, missionaries, and scholars in Egypt, highlighting Moftah's efforts to notate, record, and preserve all Coptic Orthodox hymns. Learn more about current scholarship and what is happening in ...