Validity of different Cantors

How do we decide if a source for a hymn is valid? Does it depend on the famousness of the cantor in the recording? 


  • That's something that you can't just talk about lightly. You have to consider first how are you judging the hymn....are we talking about differences in a small number of hazzat, or different places to pause, or different syllables to stop at, or the actual text being chanted, or the pitch it's recorded in, or it's the loudness, or is it the constructing (tarkeeb)?!....all these are something to consider. 
  • So if a hymn has a source can it be used normally?
  • :-)

    I am saying it's not that easy to define.
  • I see:/. Thanks anyways
  • Cantors such as Archdeacon Ibrahim Ayad should be your main source (21st century), as he and others have studied at the Higher Institute of Coptic Studies and other cathetical schools (Eklirikeya), all of them under the teachings of Archdeacon Habib Girgis and Muallim Mikhail Al Bataloni.
  • Your understanding is already wrong.
    He is not even an Archdeacon, he shouldn’t necessarily be. Also, he did not learn from Cantor Mikhail the Great.
  • @Jojo_Hanna i believe there was a discussion a while back on the site where someone said he was ordained an archdeacon before the ordination of HH Papa Tawadros (so that he could assume the responsibilities in the rite). Im not sure if that’s accurate bc I also recall the archdeacon of the Cathedral being called Arshidiakon Rushdi. This is all from memory- if anyone has any idea what I’m talking about please let me know!
    (Side note: I think that the archdeacon of the cathedral should be called the Arshiarshidiakon/Archarchdeacon :D)

    Regardless, most churches follow either Mlm. Ayad or HICS for Coptic and Arabic, and (at least on the East coast of the US) Coptic Hymns in English is the de facto authority in English. Also, I believe he briefly studied under Mlm. Mikhail, but not exclusively or extensively.
  • Cantor Ibrahim Ayad is ordained a full deacon by HEM Pakhomios during the time when the throne was empty. He is a consecrated full deacon, so he can administer the Blood.

    He's just another source but by far the clearest and the most well know in the world, being Pope Shenouda's deacon after Archdeacon Fahim refused to leave the old cathedral in Cairo. He actually didn't learn directly from M Mikhail but for sure had early access to them when they were still on records. The thing is thoo, that is not a measure--learning from m Mikhail.

    Coptic hymns in english is an ok source, but not the best TBH. The idea in general is problematic since agreeing on text is problematic. But I won't get into that topic.
  • Muallem Mikhail = Muallem Albair = HCOC
  • no comment :-)
  • Isn’t the official recognized reference HICS? Regardless of personal opinion or preferences, I was always under the impression they are the reference established by the church.
  • @ShereTheLord...That was the goal when it was established, but that was never made true...yet, they are for sure a great source.

    The problem with all this is there are too many local traditions that need to be considered and/or reconciled to truly have an official version of a specific hymn. But, everyone is selfish and mostly egoistic and it's near impossible to agree on something. There was a try a couple of years ago to have a unified set of recordings based on truly studied conclusions concerning rites and hymns... that was hijacked by the bishop in charge and the cantors involved and it was became, we say this in your way, and this in my way, and we are now all happy. 
  • Correct me if I am wrong but Muallem Mikhael taught a few main students including Muallems Tawfīq/ Fahim/Sadek/Farag/Dr.Youssef Mansour who then taught in the Didymus Institute and then we have Ibrahim Ayad who is known to have learned from Muallems Tawfik and Fahim and Muallem Gad who is known to have studied a lot under Muallem Farag.
  • edited March 2021
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