Issue 4215 - Perunal .... (Church Music)
- Dear Editor,
Only to state, we have registered Musical books of the Syrian Ortodox Church of Antioch in occidental musical notes that can supply those who think of bringing back the original hymns and songs of our dear Church in our site here in Brazil.
Please chech www.igrejasiriansantamaria.org.br where in the item Cultura (Culture) you will find such registers.
Any musician that knows a little bit of the musical notes can clearly play such hymns on any instrument.
This work was done by my father deacon Abrohom Gabriel Sowmy (1913 - 1996) and my brother Deacon Bassim Ibrahim GAbriel Sowmy (1946) during more than 20 years and in it also are registered in Aramaic the hymns to be chanted.
In the same site you can hear also the voice of my father singing some solos of our church.
My father was one of the orphans of the 1914-1922 massacre and was cared by our church, he studied with the great bishop Filoxinos Youhanon Dolabani and was also a seminarist in St Mark Monastery at Jerusalem, afterwards he turned to be a British Officer for 19 years under the British Mandate in Palestine, and during this time he studied ARchitectur turning to be a Civil Engeneer. After the death of his brother in the fight between Arabs and Jews, 1948, he left the Middle East and travelled to Brazil where he established himself as a Civil Engeneer building more that 400 houses and apartaments.
Here in Brazil he projected and constructed the first Syrian Orthodox Church in São Paulo - the St. John Church - that was consecreated in 1958 by the late Patriach Mar Ignatius Yacoub III, here also he wrote 18 books - 14 in Aramaic, 2 in Arabic language and one in English.
Really it is important to preserve such treasure to humanity and now we are preparing to publish in the same site the last part of the work done by the members of my family that includes diferent musics of the HOLY MASS, and other ceremonies.
Complementing my idea, is that our Holy Church had in history been the most persecuted in the Middle East and thus the preaching or evangelization was cut down by the force of sword; Thanksgod that we preserved our music and traditions and now can proceed a clear revival of the Church fabulous treasures.
Three points are very important to be elucidated:
The first one is that our Church always gave a good level of liberty to the parishers participate and create good happy situations so new musical manifestations must be wellcome, and on the contrary we must not condemn our priests or bishops for mantaining this practice.
But it is important to consider that many travellers in ancient times testify that they visited our churches and there saw orchestras with 15 different instruments playing with church choires.
It is important to say also that many of our hymns are in use in different churches such as the Syrian Catholic Churck, the Maronite Church, the Chaldean Church and also in some cases the Nestorian Church.
Aniss Ibrahim Sowmy
Syrian Orthodox Church in São Paulo - Brazil.