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THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH.         295
Each of the vowels is given separate from the others, and the effect is ludicrous in the extreme. The Copts do worse than this; after mincing a word into such minute fragments, they go back and re-mutilate the first syllable, then again the second, then perhaps the first two, and so on for a long time before they give the word complete like the Syrians.
The Copts have no musical notation whatever, and it is a most curious fact in music, that they should be able to recollect such lengthy songs, devoid of any apparent melody, or sequence, and hand them down traditionally, from genera­tion to generation; they must possess either phenomenal memories, or an insight to a connec­tion of ideas iu their songs, which has escaped European perception. These remarkable descend­ants of the ancient Egyptians, hate other Chru-tian sects with much more fervor than they do the Mohammedans.
Of the Abyssinian Church we have already spoken (see chapters on "African Music");— there is little more to add. They have different modes of singing for different grades of sacred festivals. Eesponses made by the people or the choir, enter largely into their mass. The number of choristers is from eight to twelve, and they have all powerful voices; this is in fact a prime necessity, as at the door of the church, during service, a constant din of drums, cymbals, and sistrums is kept up.
On certain days, the priests and people have a






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III