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The Language of/and Music  


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06/04/2020 10:09 am  

The Language of/and Music

The Egyptians perceived language and music as two sides of the same coin. Both poetry and singing followed similar rules for musical composition. Poetry is written not only with a rhyme scheme, but also with a recurring pattern of accented and unaccented syllables. Each syllable alternates between accented and unaccented, making a double/quadruple meter and several other varieties. Patterns of set rhythms or lengths of phrases of Ancient Egyptian poems, praises, hymns, and songs of all kinds which are known to have been chanted or performed with some musical accompaniment were rhythmic, with uniform meters and a structured rhyme.

Words and language are pervaded by an essential music through the letters and their relations, underlying the highly variable emotional or aesthetic values of tone, pitch, and stress introduced by the voice and the manner of articulation. Further, the typical letter-frequencies and resultant audible vibrations in the instrument of hearing carry rational values equivalent to the natural letter-meanings, so that essential music must have a direct correspondence to the essential poetry which results from these meanings.

Language can be compared to the musical score of a symphony. The written score charts the rhythm, harmony, and intensity patterns of the orchestra as written by the composer. In addition, the score specifies which members of the orchestra will play, and when. The written score is interpreted by a conductor, who adds his or her own variations.

The fundamentals, structure, formations, grammar, and syntax are exactly the same in music and in the Egyptian alphabetical language. [The details of such a comprehensive subject is found in the book The Musical Aspects of The Ancient Egyptian Vocalic Language by Moustafa Gadalla.]