Gad Lewis's reasoning for not changing the lahn

I found a very interesting rebuttal that Muallem Gad Lewis had for adding, for instance, e at the end of epshois so that the lahn has it's beauty and sounds good. He mentions that he has spoken to Ibro about this situation and advised him not to change the hymn in any way, just for pronunciation's sake.

Here it is: 
Please let me know what you think about his reasoning. I, personally, like to display articulate pronunciation, so that others who are trying to follow along with the screen or the book can accurately follow what we are saying, or if I'm saying a response in coptic, follow the coptic.


  • edited November 2017
    This is not his opinion, it's a lot of people's opinion...he basically says "the tune is considered more than the accuracy of pronunciation." That shows in many many hymns and psalies and doxologies in church, either in Coptic or Arabic. M Gad here just uses a secular example of tarab=middle eastern genre of music like Oum Kolthum or Fayza Ahmad or Abdel-halim.
  • ok, i often wondered where the extra vowels came from!
    i thought i was singing wrongly!
    well, i know i make many mistakes in coptic hymns, but now i know this is not one of them!
  • Dear @mnhanna9 and @minatasgeel,
    With all due respect to cantor Gad Lewis, this is not the reason. The reason is that it is inherent in Coptic language pronunciation to have pauses and extra syllables between words and more than two or three consonant letters. Look at the colloquial Egyptian Arabic and the way Egyptians speak English. Unfortunately cantor Ibrahim and others are following a move of westernising, hellenising the Coptic language.
    Oujai khan ebshois
  • I agree, as i believe this may have a connection to the Dammas and kasras and fathas in the arabic language. PLEASE DONT GET MAD IF IM WRONG. I HAVE STARTED READING ARABIC A FEW MONTHS AGO AND HAVENT STUDIED IT IN ANY FORM OF DEPTH YET
  • Dear @mnhanna9
    There is no reason for me to get mad at all. Why would you view me this way?
    No, you didn't get my point. What you mentioned with regards fathas, dammas, and kasras belong to the formal Arabic language, not Coptic. But what I meant is that the Coptic language influences colloquial Egyptian Arabic, with the inherent pauses between consonants and words.. I hope I am clear now..
    Oujai khan ebshois
  • can't i ever get an objective statement from you that's not rooted into the OB argument?! Is it really that hard to consider other people's idea and thinking, even if it doesn't make sense?!!!

    So, did coptic influence syrian, lebanese, lybian...and all other arabic dialects songs that still fall in the tarab ganre?!
  • Dear @minatasgeel,
    Nope, but the example cantor Gad Lewis gave has nothing wrong, grammatically, metrically, or linguistically. He just doesn't know. And also I was not talking particularly about old Bohairic, authentic Bohairic, or Greco-Bohairic! It is interesting why you interpreted it the way you did, but I do believe I know the answer to that..
    Oujai khan ebshois
  • Ophadece,
    Are you so sure Muallem Gad is wrong? 

    I can tell you from my research on Agios Istin, linguistic grammar definitely took a back seat to bilingualism, rhyme and meter. It is completely possible and highly likely that linguistic pronunciation takes a back seat to musical meter and rhythm.

    This doesn't mean what you said is wrong either. Coptic does have inherent mechanisms to deal with consonant strings. Given however, as I said numerous times before, late antique Coptic in the 8-14th century, as well as many cultural and social factors, influenced how people perceived what is right and what is wrong. Wrong grammar back then was not as big of a deal as it is now. Moving towards an environment where grammar holds higher value is not Westernization. It is organic, linguistic development.

    Now even if we take the fact that Coptic is dead and should not be treated like other language (a concept that makes no sense), why do you care if Muallem Gad says don't follow Coptic pronunciation? It's a dead language so it doesn't matter how the language is pronounced or changed. Why resist any pronunciation change of a dead language? (Note I think this is a bad argument but it is inevitable if people consider Coptic dead.)
  • Dear @Remnkemi
    You misunderstood my point. The example that cantor Gad Lewis gave is an Arabic song one, not Coptic. He based his premise on a wrong argument because there was nothing wrong with the example he gave linguistically, metrically or grammatically with regards the Arabic language, as opposed to his claim (following on from others' claims that he was opposing) that Coptic pronunciation is wrong. Anyway, thanks for your opinion because I cannot agree more with what you said. You elaborated on the relationship between the olden ages and the progression of Coptic exactly as I believe.. Well said..
    Oujai khan ebshois
  • Singing is a complex process that can stretch vowels, use hummings, change stresses of words and consonants, i would not disagree with Cantor Gad Lewis on his opinion. I guess it would be good for Coptic hymns to preserve them as is; with no messing around.

    I'm generally disenchanted with the basic premise that cantors don't know what they're singing or doing, and that we have/can/should/ought/must correct/intervene.

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