14. The Enduring Ancient Egyptian Musical System – Theory and Practice


Fundamentals (theory and practice) of music, musical instruments, playing techniques, functions, etc.

You can find more information about our author, Moustafa Gadalla, by clicking on this link.

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Short Description

This new expanded edition explains the cosmic roots of Egyptian musical and vocal rhythmic forms. Learn the fundamentals (theory and practice) of music in the typical Egyptian way: simple, coherent, and comprehensive.It provides discussions and details of an inventory of Ancient Egyptian musical instruments explaining their ranges and playing techniques. It also discusses Egyptian rhythmic dancing and musical harmonic practices by the Ancient Egyptians and other miscellaneous items.

Long Description

This Expanded Edition of the book: The Enduring Ancient Egyptian Musical System is divided into seven parts containing a total of 22 chapters and five appendices.

Part I: Prelude consists of one chapter:

Chapter 1: The Egyptian Musical System will cover a quick background overview of the Egyptian musical system, as evident in its archaeological findings.

Part II: The Harmony of The Spheres consists of four chapters—2 through 5:

Chapter 2: The Archetypal Cosmic Musical System will cover the basis  and  role of the harmony of the spheres   in adopting the diatonic musical scale as the archetypal musical system.

Chapter 3: Music All the Time (24 hours, 7 days) will cover and explain the correlations between the hours of the days of the week and their corresponding musical notes.

Chapter 4: Energizing the Diatonic Week will cover the natural musical scale, its two energy Centers, and the Egyptian Dorian D-scale.

Chapter 5: The Harmonic Three Components will cover the primary basics of the Egyptian harmonic canon, the three primary quantal vowels/sounds, and the triadic musical/linguistic core.

Part III: The Musical Notes consists of two chapters—6 and 7:

Chapter 6: The Derivatives of The Perfect Fifth will cover how the Perfect Fifth progression creates all harmonic musical notes; and how the natural progression of the Perfect Fifth leads to the determination of the Egyptian musical measuring units.

Chapter 7: The Musical Measuring Unit will explain how the Egyptian musical measuring units is the only measuring unit for all natural harmonic tones—east and west; its application to the twin-scale [authentic and plagal]; and its application to both the cyclic and divisive methods of instrument tuning.

Part IV: The Egyptian Musical Composition Code consists of six chapters—8 through 13:

Chapter 8: The Musical Framework Varieties will cover the overall tone system, giving an example of a scale based on the cyclic framework, and another based on the divisive framework.

Chapter 9: Modes and Musical Structural Forms will cover the musical ethos—moods and modes and the overall  basic design characteristics of modes.

Chapter 10: The Musical Lyrics will cover the Egyptian vocal musical themes; and the major parts of human-generated (vocal) sounds and its equivalent in musical instruments.

Chapter 11: The Seamless Language of/and Music will cover the intimate relationship between the Egyptian alphabetical language and the musical system; the significance of musicality in Ancient Egyptian literature; the utilization of letters as musical notes; the modulation of individual sound values; and the intimate relationships between music pulsation and the rhythmic flow of syllable streams.

Chapter 12: The Musical Performance will cover the significance and roles of the fingers and their knuckles in producing and directing musical performances; as well as the varied methods for maintaining the rhythmic timing/ tempo—including the use of syllables.

Chapter 13: The Egyptian Tonal Writing System will cover the preeminence of Ancient Egyptian tonal writings as well as the primary writing components of lyrical/musical texts.

Part V: The Egyptian Musical Instruments consists of four chapters—14 through 17:

Chapter 14: The Wealth of Instruments will cover the general characteristics of Egyptian instruments as well the major components of the musical orchestra.

Chapter 15: Stringed Instruments will cover various Ancient Egyptian stringed instruments such as lyres, tri-gonon (zither), harps (including playing techniques); The All-Encompassing Capacities of Ancient Music; string instruments with  neck such as the short-neck Lute; the long-neck Egyptian guitars; and Bowed Instruments [Kamanga, Rababa].

Chapter 16: Wind Instruments will cover the end-blown flute; transverse flute; pan flute; single reed pipe (clarinet); double pipe; double clarinet; double oboe; arghool; others (bagpipe and organ); and horns/trumpets.

Chapter 17: Percussion Instruments will cover  the membranophone instruments such as drums and tambourines; and the non-membranophone (idiophone) instruments such as percussion sticks, clappers, sistrums/sistra, cymbals, castanets, bells (chimes), xylophone and glockenspiel and human parts (hands, fingers, thighs, feet, etc.).

Part VI: Maintaining The Heavenly Rhythms consists of four chapters—18 through 21:

Chapter 18: The Universal Harmony will cover the role of music in maintaining the universal balance; the significance of alternating performance theme of balanced polarity; and the Dorian musical suites.

Chapter 19: Rhythmic Dancing will cover the significance of dancing as well as dancing types and formations.

Chapter 20: The Harmonic Practices will cover the profession of musicians in Ancient (and present-day) Egypt; the temple musical activities; and the applications of music in various public activities.

Chapter 21: The Harmonic Sound Man will cover the application of music in the various stages of human lives—from cradle to grave.

Part VII: Postlude consists of one chapter—22:

Chapter 22: And the Beat Goes On will cover the endurance of the Ancient Egyptian musical traditions into present times.

Appendices A through E provide expansions on some topics that were discussed in the various chapters.

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