“Melodies of some Coptic Church rituals and their relation to social events” is the title of the thesis recently defended by Saad Boutros Shanoudi in front of the Helwan University’s Faculty of Music Education. Shanoudi earned a Master Degree in Music for his dissertation, with the faculty’s recommendation to print and publish the thesis at the expense of Helwan University, and to put it on its library as a valuable reference in this field. Mr Shanoudi is head of the deacon choir at the church of Mar-Girgis (St George) in Khamraweya, Shubra, Cairo.
The thesis recommended teaching music at the Coptic Church’s Dedimos Institute for training cantors. It also advised the inception of a department for Coptic Music in Helwan University’s Faculty of Music Education, and to teach Coptic melodies, since Coptic music has historic Egyptian roots. Shanoudi also recommended that ancient Coptic hymns be taught in their original Coptic language to children in Sunday School and to deacons, in order to preserve the correct vocal tones.
Attending the event were faculty members, the priests of Mar-Girgis’s Khamaraweya, and members of the deacon choir there.
The deliberation was intermitted by the singing of some Coptic hymns to the tunes of the oud, cymbals, and triangle, which are the main Coptic musical instruments. Coptic attendants spontaneously joined in the singing, while the faculty staff read it off the musical notes.
4 December 2017