in the UK
The Liturgy of St. Basil is sung in the Coptic language, directly descended from the language of the pharaohs, and the melodies are also thought to have their roots in ancient Egypt. This book, with musical score and trilingual text, provides fascinating documentation of this ancient tradition. Transcribed here in its entirety for the first time, the liturgy is part of a unique musical tradition transmitted orally through some twenty centuries by generations of singers in Egypt's ancient Coptic Orthodox Church. The cantors appointed to record the liturgy for this compilation are known today as the most accurate bearers of this ancient heritage, and the recordings have been transcribed using Bela Bartok's system of notating all material sung or played, including all ornaments on the music, the small formulae in detail, the extended melismata on vowels, and variations in tempo. The Coptic text of the liturgy is given in full, along with complete translations in English and Arabic. In addition, rubrics have been added to the text describing the actions of the officiants during the course of the liturgy.This unique publication will be of great value to Copts around the world, as well as to musicologists, ethnologists, and students of religious traditions.
The American University in Cairo Press
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