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The Sound and Form of The Egyptian Masonic Symphony

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The Sound and Form of The Egyptian Masonic Symphony

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) described architecture as “frozen music”. In Ancient Egypt, architecture
was animated visual music—definitely not frozen. Egyptian
architecture and art followed the principles of harmonic dynamic design that equally applies to sound and form.

Sound and form are two sides of the same coin, and their
relationship is equated to the metaphysical and physical aspects of the universe.

Here is just a simple example:
The Generative 1:2 Rectangle—The Double Squares

As stated earlier, the circle is the archetype of creation in Ancient Egypt. Dividing the circle by its diameter produces the 1:2 ratio, which is the musical octave. The manifested world through this division is symbolized by the inscribed two equal squares, representing the balance between our physical and metaphysical worlds [see diagram below].

The 1:2 geometric outline of the twin squares represents the diapason; the octave. The octave represents renewal or self-replication.

In Egyptian architectural design, the 1:2 double square rectangle assumed great importance in the elements or the general outline of the plan. Such outlines represented the octave and served as the renewal place for the physical and metaphysical well-being of the pharaoh.

• The earliest surviving of such 1:2 rectangular complexes is the Zoser Complex (2630–2611 BCE) at Saqqara. This vast sanctuary is in the form of a double square (1,000 x 500 cubits) whose walls are oriented exactly along the cardinal directions. It contains the Step Pyramid, several buildings, colonnades, and temples.

It was a very active site for all successive Pharaohs. The main function of the Zoser sanctuary was to serve as the Heb-Sed site.

Heb-Sed was the most important festival, from the point of view of the Kingship. Being a divine medium, the Egyptian King was not supposed (or even able) to reign unless he was in good health. The Heb-Sed festival was a rejuvenation of the King’s vital force.

This vast sanctuary set the pattern for later holy places in Egypt and elsewhere, such as:

• The Festival Hall (Akh-Menu) of Tuthomosis III at the Karnak Temple was also used for the Heb-Sed Festival. It also consists of double-square outlines.

• On the vertical plane, the doorways of the Ancient Egyptian temples were also proportioned 1:2.

The Neb (Golden) Proportion is obtained from the diagonal of by a rectangle with sides of 1:2—the root-five diagonal. [More details later in this book.]


[An excerpt from The Ancient Egyptian Metaphysical Architecture by Moustafa Gadalla]
Book is available now in English, German and Dutch. Presently being translated into Spanish, French, Italian, Russian and Japanese]


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