Seven Pillars of Wisdom: Musical Themes

1. Themes from Schuyler’s handwritten notes are transcribed.  Facsimiles of the originals can be found in the corresponding tile.

2. Letters from Schuyler’s musical alphabet are added to themes for clarity.

3. Endnotes correspond to sources in the Works Cited document.

Themes from Handwritten List2

1. “Arab Revolt”

In List:

Handwritten:3

First appearance:

Audio:

Meaning: Lawrence’s book describes his time encouraging and fighting in the Arab Revolt from 1916-1918.  The British government aided the revolt in order to destabilize the Ottoman Empire

Movements: Prologue; 5; 6; Epilogue 1

2. “Seven Pillars”/“Seven Pillars of Wisdom”

In List:

Handwritten:3

First appearance:

Audio:

Meaning: This is the title of Lawrence’s memoir.  This title comes from Proverbs: “Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars.”  After the initial appearance in the Prologue, it always reappears without the ending portion spelling “of wisdom”.

Movements: Prologue; 6; Epilogue 1; Epilogue-Finale

3. “Ottoman Empire”

In List:

Handwritten:3

First appearance:

Audio:

Meaning: Covering much of the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and North Africa, the Ottoman Empire was a major power for centuries.  By Lawrence’s lifetime, it has become significantly destabilized.  Lawrence’s book describes the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire, which was encouraged and aided by the British government in an effort to fully destabilize the empire.

Movements: Prologue; 3; 6; Epilogue 1; Epilogue-Finale

4. “T. E. Lawrence”

In List:

Handwritten:6

First appearance:

Audio:

Meaning: Author

Movements: Prologue; 1; 6; 7; Epilogue 1; Epilogue-Finale

5. “Black and White”

In list:

Handwritten:3

First appearance:Audio:

Meaning: From the Introduction, Chapter 3, of Lawrence’s book, regarding the local Arabic-speaking people: “They were a people of primary colors, or rather of black and white, who saw the world always in contour. They were a dogmatic people, despising doubt, our modern crown of thorns…They knew only truth and untruth, belief and unbelief…”

Movements: Prologue; 1; 5; 6; 7; Epilogue 1

6. “Truth and Untruth”

In list:

Handwritten:3

First appearance:Audio:

Meaning: From the Introduction, Chapter 3, of Lawrence’s book, regarding the local Arabic-speaking people: “They were a people of primary colors, or rather of black and white, who saw the world always in contour. They were a dogmatic people, despising doubt, our modern crown of thorns…They knew only truth and untruth, belief and unbelief…”

Movements: Prologue; 1; 6; Epilogue 1

7. No label       

In list:

Handwritten:3

First appearance:

Audio:

Movements: Prologue; 4; Epilogue 1

8. “Sudanese”

In List:

First appearance:Audio:

Movements: Prologue; 3

9. “Ar-Rum”

In list:

First appearance:Audio:

Meaning: The 30th Surah of the Quran.  Title translates literally as “The Romans”, but typically refers to “The Greeks” or the “The Byzantines”.   Topics include the monotheism and the defeat of the Byzantines by the Persians in 613 outside Antioch, Turkey.

Could also reference Wadi-Rum, where Lawrence was based. Now part of Jordan. 

Movements: 1; 6; Epilogue-Finale

10. No label

In list:

First appearance:Audio:

Movements: 1; 5

11. No label in list; labelled in score as “Sublime Porte”

In list:

First appearance:Audio:

Meaning: Also known as the Ottoman Porte or High Porte, this was the gate and building that housed the Ottoman Empire’s government.

Movements: 1; 5

12. “Anatolia”

In list:

Handwritten:5

First appearance:Audio:

Meaning: Name for Asia Minor, which is most of modern-day Turkey and was part of the Ottoman Empire in Lawrence’s lifetime.

Movements: 1

13. No label

In list:

First appearance:Audio:

Movements: 1; 4; Epilogue 1

14. No label

 In list:

First appearance:

Audio:

Movements: 1

15. No label

In list:

First appearance:Audio:

 Movements: 1; 5

16. No label

In list:

First appearance:

Audio:

Movements: 1; 4; 5; Epilogue 1

17. No label

In list:

First appearance:Audio:

Transformed Version:

Audio:

Movements: 1

Transformed Version: 5; 6; Epilogue 1

18. No label

In list:

First appearance:

Audio:

Movements: 1; 5; 6; 7

19. No label

In list:

First appearance:

Audio:

Movements: 1; 3; 6; Epilogue 1; Epilogue-Finale

20. No label

In list:

First appearance:

Audio:

Movements: 2

21. No label

In list:

First appearance:

Audio:

Movements: 2; 4; Epilogue 1

22. No label

In list:

First appearance:

Audio:

Movements: 2; 5; Epilogue 1

23. No label

In list:

First appearance:

 Audio:

Movements: 4; 5

24. “The New Asia”

In list:

Handwritten:3

First appearance:

Audio:

Meaning: From Lawrence’s epilogue: “I had dreamed, at the City School in Oxford, of hustling into form, while I lived, the new Asia which time was inexorably bringing upon us.  Mecca was to lead to Damascus; Damascus to Anatolia; and afterwards to Baghdad; and then there was Yemen.  Fantasies, these will seem, to such as are able to call my beginning an ordinary effort.”

Movements: 4; 6

25. “Tafta Hindi”

In list:

First appearance:

Audio:

Meaning: Traditional middle Eastern folk song; text is about Indian taffeta for sale

Movements: 4; 5; Epilogue 1

26. Djinn and Ifrit

In list:

 Handwritten:5

First appearance:

Audio:

Meaning: In the Quran, djinn are beings similar to angels made of smokeless fire.  Ifrit is a type of demon or spirit of the dead in Islamic mythology.

Movements: 4

27. “Red Victory”

In list:

Handwritten:3

First appearance:

Audio:

Meaning: From Lawrence’s Introduction, Chapter 5: “Rebellion was the gravest step which political men could take, and the success or failure of the Arab revolt was a gamble too hazardous for prophecy.  Yet, for once, fortune favored the bold player, and the Arab epic tossed up its stormy road from birth through weakness, pain and doubt, to red victory. “

Movements: 7; Epilogue 1

28. “Al-Baqarah”

In list:

Handwritten:3

First appearance:

Audio:

Meaning: Al-Baqarah is the title of the 2nd Surah of the Quran.  The longest Surah, its topics include the idea of truth, the qualities of a God-fearing believer, and the subject of warfare in Islam.

Movements: 3; Epilogue 1

29. “Al-Taghabun”/“mutual disillusion”

In list:

Handwritten:3

First appearance:

Audio:

Meaning: Al-Taghabun is the title of the 64th Surah of the Quran.  The title translates as “mutual loss and gain” more than “mutual disillusion”. Topics include obedience and good morals; “mutual loss and gain” refers to the day of judgement.

Movements: Epilogue 1

30. “Inshallah”

In list:

Handwritten:3

inshallah-typed

First appearance:

Audio:

Meaning: Common phrase in Arabic that translates as “if Allah wills it”.

Movements: 7; Epilogue-Finale

31. “Allah”

In list:

Handwritten:5

First appearance:

Audio:

Meaning: The term for God in Islam.

Movements: Epilogue 1

32. “Al-Hashr”/“The Exile” and “Deraa”

In list:

Handwritten:3, 6

al-hashr-typed

     

First appearance of Deraa:

Audio:

First appearance of both:

Audio:

Meaning of Al-Hashr: Al-Hashr is the 59th Surah of the Quran.  Title translates as “exile” or “banishment”. Topics include the exile of the Jewish Banu Nadir tribe and the attributes of God.

Meaning of Deraa: Chapter 80 of Lawrence’s book describes an incident in which he was captured and tortured by Turkish troops in Deraa.  The description of this incident is controversial, as most scholars believe it did not actually happen.  Based on Lawrence’s recorded travels, he would not have even been in Deraa at that time. 

Movements: 5 (Deraa only); 7 (combined); Epilogue 1 (combined)

33. “Those who drag forth”

In list:

Handwritten:3

First appearance:

Audio:

Meaning: This is the translation for the 79th Surah of the Quran, also titled An-Naziat. The phrase is a reference to angels that take souls at death.

Movements: 4; Epilogue 1; Epilogue-Finale

34. “At-Takwir”/“overthrowing”; Al-Koran; and Jehad

In list:

Handwritten:3

 

 

 

First appearance:

Audio:

Meaning of Al-Takwir: The 81st Surah of the Quran. The title translates as “The Overthrowing”, and it tells the signs of the day of judgement.

Meaning of Al-Koran: The holy text of the Islamic faith.  Alternative spelling is Quran or Qur’an.

Meaning of Jehad: Alternate spelling jihad.  Its literal meaning is a struggle.  Can refer to a struggle or fight against enemies of Islam, the struggle to build a good Islamic society, or to the individual’s spiritual struggle against sin.

Movements: 6; Epilogue-Finale

35a. “Mecca”

In list (a-c):Handwritten:3

First appearance:

Audio:

Meaning: Islam’s holiest city and the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad.  In T.E. Lawrence’s book, the Arab Revolt begins with the Sherif of Mecca’s son Feisal, who is able to recruit fighters from many tribes. 

Movements: 3; 7

35b. “Saba”

Handwritten:3

First appearance:

Audio:

Meaning: The 34th Surah of the Quran.  Topics include the lives of Solomon and David, the people of Sheba, and warnings and promises about the day of judgement. Also literally translates as “morning” and is a girl’s name of Arabic and Greek origin.

Movements: 3

35c. “Blood”

Handwritten:5

First appearance:

Audio:

Meaning: From the Introduction, Chapter I, in Lawrence’s book: “Blood was always on our hands: we were licensed to it. Wounding and killing seemed ephemeral pains, so very brief and sore was life with us. With the sorrow of living so great, the sorrow of punishment had to be pitiless.”

Movements: 3

*Despite being listed together, these themes do not actually appear together.

36. “Al-Tahrim”/”The Banning”

In list:Handwritten:3

First appearance: Does not seem to appear.

Meaning: The 66th Surah of the Quran.  Title translates as banning or prohibition. Topics include repentance and struggle against the unrighteous.

Movements: N/A

37. “Auda Abu Tai”

In list:

First appearance:

Audio:

Meaning: Auda Abu Tai (alternate: Auda Abu-Tayeh) was an important figure in the Arab Revolt and in Lawrence’s book.  He was initially recruited to help seize Akaba (Seven Pillars, Book III, Chapter 38).

Movements: 7

Themes Not in Handwritten List:

38. The Questor (movement 4, marked in score)

First appearance:

Audio:

Movements: 4

39. The beating of Lawrence (movement 5, marked in score)

First appearance:

Audio:

Meaning: This is a reference to the (disputed) torture of Lawrence in Deraa (see #32).  In the book, Lawrence counts the number of times he is hit; the numerous repetitions of this 1-measure theme may be intended to depict that. 

Movements: 5

Themes from Handwritten Notes but not List

40. Aqaba

Handwritten:4

First appearance:

Audio:

Meaning: The port of Aqaba (or Akaba), played an important role in the early part of the Arab Revolt.  Auda Abu Tai was recruited by Feisal to help take this port, which was notoriously difficult to access by land and well-defended by sea.  It was of strategic importance as the only Turkish port in the Red Sea and the nearest port to the Suez Canal and the Hejaz Railway.

Movements: 3

Unused Themes from Handwritten Notes

Most appear in the notes on the September 1964 program, and seem to focus more on the topic of Lawrence’s homosexuality than her final score.

41. Arab Epic (I)4

42. Sublime Porte (alternate version)5

43. Strange (II)4

Meaning: From Lawrence’s Introduction, Chapter 1: “The men were young and sturdy; and hot flesh and blood unconsciously claimed a right in them and tormented their bellies with strange longings….Man in all things lived candidly with man.”  In an earlier version of the list of movements, Schuyler listed “The Evil of My Tale” as the second movement and subtitled it “The strange passions of the fighters”.  The ending sentence of that quote was also written on the bottom of the same sheet that this theme, along with the “Queer” and “Homosexual” themes were written.

44. Queer4

Meaning: There has been much written about Lawrence’s rumored homosexuality.

45. Homosexual4

Meaning: See #45.

46. Dust4

47. Desert4

48. No label, VI4

Meaning: Spells Emir Feisal

49. Feisal6

Meaning: Son of the Sherif of Mecca, an important figure in the Arab Revolt, and a major character in Lawrence’s book.  In an earlier version of Schuyler’s list of movements, “Fire and Reason” is subtitled “A portrait of Feisal, the leader at the heart of the movement”.

50. Camel4

51. Passions4

Meaning: See #44.

52. Clashing3

Meaning: From the preface to the Introduction: Chapters I-VII in Lawrence’s book: “Yet none the less the rebellion of the Sherif of Mecca came to most as a surprise, and found the Allies unready.  It aroused mixed feelings and made strong friends and strong enemies, amid whose clashing jealousies its affairs began to miscarry.”

53. “Al-Mulk”/“The Sovereignty”3

Meaning: The 67th Surah of the Quran.  Title translates as “the Sovereignty” or “the Kingdom”. 

54. “Al-Qamr”/“The Moon”3

Meaning: The 54th Surah of the Quran.  Title (often spelled Qamar) translates as “moon” and is a common Arabic name.

55. Death3