Lahn (plural alhan)

LAHN (plural alhan)

Arabic of Coptic /,oc, adopted from Greek ekhos, a term used in Coptic books and manuscripts to specify the music to be sung to a given text. Sometimes translated into English as “air,” “tone,” “melody,” or “mode,” it refers basically to either a certain melody or melody type that is readily by the people and known by a specific, often descriptive name, such as al-Farah (. . . of joy) and al-Huzn (. . . of sorrow).

Two leading Alhan to be cited as melody types are and WATUS. Lahn may have some affinities yet to be elucidated with the Byzantine echos and the Arabic maqam. For a more complete discussion, see MUSIC: DESCRIPTION OF THE CORPUS, and MUSIC: HISTORY.