By Dr. Carolyn M. Ramzy
Associate Professor, Carleton University

How is the Instagram Account Organized?

Visit the Coptic Women Sing Too Instagram account here. It is loosely organized around the following themes:
• Meet the Experts
• #MuallimaMondays
• #CopticChats about #CopticChants
• #TarnimaTuesday
• #Tasbeha Thursdays

Meet the Experts is a series of candid interviews with leading and expert Coptic singing women, activists, and scholars. In each of these interviews, Coptic women bring us into their sonic worlds, their own experiences and challenges of singing and teaching Coptic liturgical music.

#Muallima Mondays acknowledge the critical role that Coptic women play in the oral transmission of Coptic music as teachers and cantors within and outside of the Orthodox community. In this series, Coptic singing experts share and teach their favorite hymns.

#CopticChats about #CopticChants holds space to think about and chat about Coptic sounded experiences. These chats provide ethnographic context about Coptic culture and Coptic culture’s religious and cultural interlinks with musicmaking in the Orthodox community.

#TarnimaTuesday explores non-liturgical genres of Coptic music culture, including vernacular spiritual songs known in Arabic as taratīl and taranīm. This genre has long been the mainstay of women’s music making, performance, even composition. As these songs largely take place in community settings outside of Orthodox liturgical services, they are often in the vernacular language of Arabic, or in the North American diaspora, in English.

#TasbehaThursdays explores the genre of praise hymns and canticles often performed in the evening and in preparation of liturgical series. Often known in English as “midnight praises” and recognized as a more informal extension of the Coptic liturgical cannon, Coptic women have a little more room to lead in person. Coptic women have even run their own all-women’s private services online through WhatsApp or Zoom group calls.

In the end, it is our hope that this Instagram account continues to grow, highlighting Coptic women’s musical participation, expertise, and transmission. Feel free to use one of the hashtags, starting with #CopticWomenSingToo and help the movement grow!
Preparatory Stage Girls Conference 2011, Alexandria, Egypt. Photo by Evronia Azer.
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