- Music in Arabia
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Music in Arabia
Perspectives on Heritage, Mobility, and Nation
Contributions by Scheherazade Hassan, Ghazi al-Mulaifi, Jean Lambert, Ahmad AlSalhi, Aisha Bilkhair, Yassine Ayari, Majid H. al-Harthy, Kay Hardy Campbell, Khalid Albudoor, Anne van Oostrum, Musallam al-Kathiri, George Mürer, David A. McDonald and Ruth M. Stone
Published by: Indiana University Press
322 Pages, 50 b&w illus., 4 b&w tables, 8 printed music items
- Published: September 2021
$36.00Add to Cart
- Published: September 2021
- Published: September 2021
$100.00Add to Cart
- Published: September 2021
Music in Arabia extends and challenges existing narratives of the region's distinctive but understudied music to reveal diverse and dynamic music cultures rooted in centuries-old heritage.
Contributors to Music in Arabia bring a critical eye and ear to the contemporary soundscape, musical life, and expressive culture in the Gulf region. Including work by leading scholars and local authorities, this collection presents fresh perspectives and new research addressing why musical expression is fundamental to the area's diverse, transnational communities. The volume also examines music circulation as a commodity, such as with the production of early recordings, the transnational music industry, the context of the Arab Spring, and the region's popular music markets. As a bonus, readers can access a linked website containing audiovisual examples of the music, dance, and expressive culture introduced throughout the book.
With the work of resident scholars and heritage practitioners in conversation with that of researchers from the United States and Europe, Music in Arabia offers both context and content to clarify how music articulates identity and nation among multiethnic, multiracial, and multinational populations.
Note on Transliteration
Note on Accompanying Website
1. Introduction, by Virginia Danielson
2. Aspects of the Musical Traditions in the Arabian Peninsula: Distinctive Features, Institutional Preservation, Patrimonial Negotiation, by Scheherazade Hassan
3. The Oil Economy and the Perpetuation of Musical Heritage in Abu Dhabi, by Virginia Danielson
4. (Re)Patriating the Business of Music in Oman: Examples of the Tangible and Intangible in an Omani Arts Economy, by Anne K. Rasmussen
5. Kuwaiti Pearl Diving Music and The Mayouf Mejally Folkloric Ensemble: Beyond an Authorized Heritage Discourse, by Ghazi Al Mulaifi
6. Which Lute was Played in the Sawt of the Gulf before the 20th Century?, by Jean Lambert
7. The Recordings of 'AbdullaIf al-Kuwaiti: 1927-1947, by Ahmad AlSalhi
8. Līwa: A Tale of Adaptation, Survival, and Sustainability, by Aisha Bilkhair
9. The Art of the Tambūra in Qatar: African Identity Reimagined, by Issa Boulos and Yassine Ayari
10. Beyond Aesthetics: Political Diplomacy and Cultural Policy in the Musics of the Sultanate of Oman, by Majid H. al-Harthy
11. Songstresses of Saudi Arabia, by Kay Hardy Campbell
12. Wedding Music: An Ethnography of Male Songs and Dances at Traditional Weddings in the United Arab Emirates, by Khalid Albudoor and Issa Boulos
13. Gender and Genres of Arab Music in the Collection of Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje (1857–1936), by Anne van Oostrum
14. The Oman Center for Traditional Music: 1983-2016, by Musallam al-Kathiri and Majid H. al-Harthy
15. Baloch Cultural Circuits in the Context of the Musical Ethnography of the Gulf Region, by George Mürer
16. Reimagining Protest, Reform, and the Public Sphere in Bahraini Hip-Hop and Heavy Metal, by David A. McDonald
17. Afterword, by Ruth M. Stone
Issa Boulos is Director of the Harper Community Music and Arts Center at Harper College. His compositions are commissioned and performed by nationally acclaimed orchestras and ensembles, and his original scores are featured in documentary films. Virginia Danielson is Associate of the Harvard Music Department and Visiting Scholar at NYU Abu Dhabi. She is author of "The Voice of Egypt": Umm Kulthūm, Arabic Song, and Egyptian Society in the Twentieth Century and editor (with Dwight Reynolds and Scott Marcus) of The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Vol. 6: The Middle East. Anne K. Rasmussen is Professor of Ethnomusicology and Bickers Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the College of William & Mary. She is also Director of the William and Mary Middle Eastern Music Ensemble and past president of the Society for Ethnomusicology. She is author of Women, the Recited Qur'an, and Islamic Music in Contemporary Indonesia and editor (with Kip Lornell) of The Music of Multicultural America: Performance, Identity, and Community in the United States and (with David Harnish) of Divine Inspirations: Music and Islam in Indonesia.
"The volume's wonderful essays are intriguing in the paradoxes they reveal about Arabian heritage projects: the paradox of once oppressed and marginalized musical cultures now 'representing' the nation; the paradox of performing the 'local' by outsourcing its production to diasporic musicians and production facilities abroad; the paradox of proud provincialism shot through with cosmopolitan outlooks; and more. Especially welcome is the contribution of scholars from Arabia, not to mention their deep collaborations with ethnomusicologists from Europe and the US. This is a truly collective endeavor and a model for post-colonial scholarship in this or any other part of the world."~Steve Caton, author of Peaks of Yemen I Summon, Khalid bin Abdullah Abdurahman Al Saud Professor of Contemporary Arab Studies, Harvard University
"Music in Arabia: Perspectives of Heritage, Mobility and Nation is a major contribution to the study of music and other modes of expressive culture in the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf region. It provides multiple readings by younger scholars and established intellectuals, natives to the region and outsiders, on the diverse and rich cultural practices that thrive in this vast area and their articulation with the cosmopolitan, dynamic and changing environment in which they are embedded. The book highlights the centrality of the historical and contemporary transnational circulation across Africa, the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean in the configuration of the cosmopolitan formations that shape the region's expressive practices. It also addresses the safeguarding, folklorization, heritagization and commodification of the traditional arts and their uses in national identity building processes and in cultural diplomacy. It deals with music and dance in gendered spaces, past and present, and the uses of technology and the internet in the production and dissemination of music. Additionally, it offers a critical reflection on alternative spaces where artists who engage in transnational expressive practices such as hip-hop and heavy metal interrogate essentialist representations of identity and the dynamics of democracy, globalization and public protest in the Arab World. Music in Arabia challenges the reader to rethink the conventional conceptual mappings, the ideological underpinnings, and the sound referents associated with 'Arab and Middle Eastern music.'"~Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco, Professor Emerita of the Nova University of Lisbon, President of the International Council for Traditional Music
"The authors here have brought us an authoritative account of the musical traditions of the Arabian Peninsula and Gulf. Here, one can hear the mournful wailing of the pearl diver, the somber plucking of the oud-strings, and the beat of the hand drum, and can see the changing backdrop against which music in the Gulf has been produced and performed. This is a musical world unbounded, pulsing through the coasts and port cities of Arabia and across the water – a tradition with arms stretching in many different directions. Historians of the Middle East ought to pay attention, but so too should historians of music and recording around the Indian Ocean world."~Fahad Bishara, Professor of History and Arabian Peninsula and Gulf Studies, University of Virginia, author of A Sea of Debt: Law and Economic Life in the Western Indian Ocean, 1780-1950
"This instantly indispensable volume will transform scholarly conversations and university courses on musics of the Middle East and the Indian Ocean world. More than an introductory survey, it opens the door to a dynamic ethnomusicology of the Arabian Peninsula, by drawing out its key themes of heritage, nation-building, and the musical constitution of community within, across, and beyond national boundaries."~Andrew Eisenberg, Assistant Professor of Music, NYU Abu Dhabi
"Music in Arabia, a comprehensive collection of solid research on the diverse and ever-changing music traditions of the Arabian Peninsula is beautifully written and a delightful read. The little-known contributions of the region's varied linguistic and ethnic populations to its music, dance and poetic heritage are well-documented, and the collaboration of local and international experts is notable. This is a valuable resource on the 21st Century music of the Peninsula and its Red Sea-Indian Ocean network."~Najwa Adra, Senior Researcher, Institute for Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences
"Music in Arabia is a well put together book, offering an intergenerational, multivocal arrangement of short essays that put up many signposts for future research. . . . This anthology breaks new ground in content and form, and the music traditions discussed coexist and co-resist reformatting or the compression needed to fit neatly together. It is an important contribution."~Amy Horowitz, Indiana University, Journal of Folklore Research
"Music in Arabia is a welcome addition to the growing corpus of studies of culture and heritage in the Arabian Peninsula and Gulf region. . . . In conjunction with emerging scholarship on culture in and around the Arabian Peninsula and Gulf, this valuable work should also open up new avenues of critical scholarship on the Indian Ocean region—a zone of circulation and contact par excellence—akin to recent advances in Mediterranean studies."~Jonathan H. Shannon, Hunter College, CUNY, Journal of Anthropological Research