Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant & Hymnody
The Ragheb Moftah Collection at the Library of Congress
The essays presented here by Carolyn Ramzy and Coptic scholars Marian Robertson-Wilson and John E. Gillespie – some written especially for this presentation and others previously published – introduce Coptic liturgical music to an audience beyond the confines of academe. For two centuries, this music was handed down by word of mouth from one generation of cantors to the next. It was not until the early twentieth century that Ragheb Moftah devoted more than 75 years of his long life to transcribing and recording the entire Coptic liturgy. Moftah’s generous gift of his collection to the Library of Congress in the 1990s serves as the core of this Web presentation and these essays put his life and work into the larger context of Egyptian history and summarize the work of previous scholars.