Music West Asia
by
Eliot Bates
  • LAST MODIFIED: 29 June 2011
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199757824-0075

Introduction

There is no single accepted way to define the boundaries of a region referred to alternatively as West Asia, the Middle East, the Near East, the Arab world, or the Eastern Mediterranean, in part because boundaries have been in constant flux, and in part because many locales within the region are profoundly connected to other places in the world. This article surveys the research on the music of the Turkish-, Armenian-, Azeri-, Hebrew-, and Kurdish-speaking world, as well as the Arab world east of the Maghreb—roughly synonymous with the territory within present-day Egypt, Israel, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Bahrain, Oman, and Yemen. Also included are works on diasporas originating from this region. The West Asian region, paradoxically, can be characterized by both the extreme heterogeneity of local musical forms and instruments and the strong connections between the practices, instruments, and theoretical systems of the urban areas. Just within Turkey, the British zoologist/musicologist Laurence Picken discovered over one thousand unique folk instruments and repertoires that seemingly were performed solely in one locale (see Picken 1975, cited under Rural, Folk, and Traditional Musics). In contrast, Ottoman art music from Istanbul is central to Arab conservatory curricula, popular songs from Beirut and Cairo are regularly translated into Hebrew or Turkish, and instruments such as the oud, ney, zurna/mizmar, kanun, and bendir/daf are performed throughout the region. Several phenomena support the idea that there are significant cultural and musical interrelations within the region that distinguish West Asian musics from those of Central Asia and North Africa. Numerous manuscripts dating to the 10th century survived and were translated into local languages, contributing to an early widespread standardization of the conceptualization of modal theory. Centuries of Ottoman rule contributed to a circulation of musicians, instruments, and musics throughout West Asia. More recently, the region has continued to be actively connected via radio, TV, circulating sound recordings, and cross-cultural collaborations at festivals. Yet this has not resulted in a homogenization of musical practice. The formalized melodic modal systems in Turkey (makam), Egypt-Syria-Lebanon (maqām), and Azerbaijan (muqâm) share similar names but feature numerous differences regarding intonation, modulation, and the ontology of melodic modes; the rhythmic/metrical systems (iqaʾ in Arabic, usul in Turkish) feature even more divergences. In the aftermath of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the rise of nationalist movements were accompanied by strong upheavals in musical aesthetics, resulting in new genres (e.g., arranged folk music in Turkey, ughniyah in Egypt, Shirei Eretz Yisrael in Israel). Both local and foreign scholars have conducted considerable research in West Asia, with an overwhelming focus on music in Turkey (primarily on rural Anatolian folk musics and Ottoman urban art music), Egypt (focused on the development of the Cairo record industry and modern music institutions, and on the first generation of star performers), and Israel (focused on the oral transmission of religious music, and the post-1950s development of popular and ethnic music styles). Other scholars have created critical editions of important historical texts originally written in the Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Turkish languages. However, much of the musical life in the region remains unstudied or understudied. With the exception of works about Yemen, few scholarly studies investigate the Arabian Peninsula, and only a handful of scholars have done work in Jordan, Iraq, and Azerbaijan, nor have many considered rural folk music in Egypt or Syria and non-Turkish-language musics in Turkey.

General Overviews

The Middle East volume of the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music (Danielson, et al. 2001) has become, since its publication, the de facto reference work on music in the region. Shiloah 1993 is one of the more referenced bibliographies, at least for English-language material. Poché, et al. 2000 is a comprehensive bibliography of French-language research, while Bohlman 1987 provides a useful survey of 19th-century European writings on music in West Asia. There are also several excellent collections of essays: Farmer 1997 consists of most of Henry George Farmer’s shorter essays; Nooshin 2009 contains essays exploring issues of power, gender, and nation; and Zuhur 1998 and Zuhur 2001 feature numerous articles about aesthetics in performing arts.

  • Bohlman, Philip V. Middle East. In Grove Music Online.

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    A survey of major concepts concerning the music of North Africa and Central and West Asia. Available online by subscription.

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    • Bohlman, Philip V. 1987. The European discovery of music in the Islamic world and the “non-Western” in 19th-century music history. Journal of Musicology 5.2: 147–163.

      DOI: 10.1525/jm.1987.5.2.03a00010Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      A concise survey of European writings on music from North Africa and West Asia, starting with Villoteau and extending through Ambros.

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      • Danielson, Virginia, Scott Lloyd Marcus, and Dwight Fletcher Reynolds. 2001. The Garland encyclopedia of world music. Vol. 1, The Middle East. New York: Routledge.

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        Within these 1,100-plus pages are dozens of articles ranging from the general (S. Q. Hassan’s “Musical Instruments in the Arab World”) to the specific (Martin Stokes’s “Turkish Rock and Pop Music”), with a much stronger emphasis on Egypt, Turkey, and Iran than on other countries. The chapters by Irene Markoff, Scott Marcus, and Michael Frishkopf contain previously unpublished material and stand out as the best works in the collection. The index is indispensable.

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      • Farmer, Henry George. 1997. Studies in Oriental music. 2 vols. Frankfurt am Main: Institute for the History of Arabic-Islamic Science at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe Univ.

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        Two-volume collection containing most of Farmer’s shorter writings on music in West Asia, including articles about particular textual sources; specific instruments, modes and musical genres; and Farmer’s account of the 1932 Cairo Congress.

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      • Nooshin, Laudan. 2009. Music and the play of power in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. Farnham, UK: Ashgate.

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        The articles in this edited collection pertaining to West Asia include Lohman’s analysis of Uum Kulthum’s “Concerts for Egypt;” Stokes’s article on microphones and the first Egyptian crooner, ʿAbd al-Halim Hafiz; Frishkopf’s work on the ideological debates transpiring in Egypt concerning mediated broadcast of Qurʾanic recitation; and Kay Shelemay’s “The Power of Silent Voices: Woman in the Syrian Jewish Musical Tradition.”

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      • Poché, Christian, Jean Lambert, and Monique Brandily. 2000. Musiques du monde arabe et musulman: Bibliographie et discographie. Paris: Librairie Orientaliste P. Geuthner.

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        Excellent bibliography of French-language publications on Arab music and, more broadly, music in the world of Islam.

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      • Shiloah, Amnon. 1993. West Asia. In Ethnomusicology: Historical and regional studies. Edited by Helen Meyers, 260–273. New Grove Handbooks in Music. New York: Norton.

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        Survey of academic research on musics in North Africa and West Asia, with a stronger focus on historical studies. A frequently referenced bibliography.

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      • Zuhur, Sherifa, ed. 1998. Images of enchantment: Visual and performing arts of the Middle East. Cairo: American Univ. in Cairo Press.

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        Chapters of note within this edited collection: Kay Hardy Campbell’s article on folk music in Saudi Arabia (one of the only extant writings on music in Saudi Arabia); an article by Selim Sednaoui on Western classical music performance in Egypt; a brief interview with New York–based Palestinian oud artist Simon Shaheen; and several pieces on dance and film.

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      • Zuhur, Sherifa, ed. 2001. Colors of enchantment: Theater, dance, music, and the visual arts of the Middle East. Cairo: American Univ. in Cairo Press.

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        There are several good chapters in this edited collection that aren’t found anywhere else: Michael Frishkopf’s article on tarab within Egyptian Sufi practices; Sherifa Zuhur’s chapter on the composer/oudist/singer Farid al-Atrash; Philip Schuyler’s writings on a contemporary Yemeni operetta; and Niel van der Linden’s work on classical Iraqi maqām.

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      Source Studies

      Extant manuscripts on music in West Asia date back to at least the 8th century, while numerous mentions of music are found in even earlier sources. The volumes of d’Erlanger 1930–1949 were the first published critical editions of writings spanning the 10th through 15th centuries. George Sawa has conducted the most extensive source studies of early Abbasid sources (Sawa 2004 and Sawa 2009), including writings by al-Farabi, al-Isbahani, and al-Kindi. Amnon Shiloah’s two-volume work (Shiloah 1979 and Shiloah 2003) describes hundreds of lesser-known Arabic language sources from the Abbasid era through the present. Israel Alder conducted a similar study of Hebrew-language sources (Adler 1975, Adler 1989). Popescu-Judetz 2002 and Popescu-Judetz and Neubauer 2004 are critical editions of Ottoman writings. See also works under Urban Art Music in the Ottoman Era.

      • Adler, Israel. 1975. Hebrew writings concerning music, in manuscripts and printed books from Geonic times up to 1800. Répertoire International Des Sources Musicales (RISM). Munich: G. Henle Verlag.

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        Contains several hundred annotated manuscripts derived from biblical sources, rabbinical interpretations, religious poetry, and other sources. See also Adler 1989.

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      • Adler, Israel. 1989. Hebrew notated manuscript sources up to circa 1840: A descriptive and thematic catalogue with a checklist of printed sources. 2 vols. Répertoire International Des Sources Musicales (RISM). Munich: G. Henle Verlag.

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        The primary historical reference on Hebrew songs. In tandem with Adler 1975, represents the most complete catalogue of library and archive-held historical texts.

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      • d’Erlanger, Baron Rodolphe. 1930–1949. La Musique Arabe. 6 vols. Paris: P. Geuthner.

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        Volumes 1 and 2 contain a translation and critical analysis of al-Farabi’s Kitābu l-Mūsīqī al-Kabīr (Grand treatise on music), Volume 3 focuses on two works by Safi al-Din ʿAbd al-Muʾmin al-Urmawi, Volume 4 analyzes an anonymous theory text dedicated to Sultan Mehmed II (d. 1481) and al-Ladhiqi’s writings. In Volume 5, d’Erlanger attempts to synthesize the musical-theoretical aspects of the previous volumes to derive a standardized theory of Arab music, which is elaborated through notations of 119 taqsim (instrumental improvisations). Although Wright 1978 (cited under Melodic Modal Theory [Maqām]) and Sawa 2009 are more thorough editions of al-Farabi’s and Safi al-Din’s writings, d’Erlanger’s is still the only extant translation of al-Ladhiqi, and his analysis of Arab modal theory was a monumental undertaking that continues to be relevant to Arabic music historiography.

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        • Popescu-Judetz, Eugenia. 2002. Tanburî Küçük Artın: A musical treatise of the eighteenth century. Istanbul: Pan Yayıncılık.

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          A critical edition of the Mûsikî Edvârı, a mid-18th-century writing by the Istanbul-based, ethnically Armenian court musician and music theorist Tanburî Küçük Artın. The original was written in Turkish with Armenian script; this edition provides a full transliteration into modern Turkish, along with staff notation of all the musical diagrams originally notated in Armenian script and extensive critical commentary in English.

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        • Popescu-Judetz, Eugenia, and Eckhard Neubauer. 2004. Seydī’s book on music: A 15th century Turkish discourse. Frankfurt am Main: Institute for the History of Arabic-Islamic Science at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe Univ.

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          Little is known about Sheikh Seydi, except that the book presented here was completed some time around 1500 CE. It survives as the most extensive example of what Popescu-Judetz terms the “Anatolian” school of musical writing, in contrast to the Arab-Persian school exemplified by Safi al-Din and al-Maragi. This book contains reproductions of the original text and translation into English, with extensive notes on the translation process and on the known musical vocabulary of the time.

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        • Sawa, George. 2004. Music performance practice in the early ʿAbbāsid era 132–320 AH/750–932 AD. Ottawa: Institute of Mediaeval Music.

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          Extensive analysis of the writings of al-Farabi and al-Isbahani. Covers their contributions to the understanding of rhythmic and modal theory, performance contexts, performance practice, and the aesthetics of music. Revised version of the work originally published in 1989.

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        • Sawa, George. 2009. Rhythmic theories and practices in Arabic writings to 339 AH/950 CE: Annotated translations and commentaries. Ottawa: Institute of Mediaeval Music.

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          The authoritative English-language translation of the music-related writings of al-Farabi, al-Isbahani, and al-Kindi, many of which had not been accessible until now. Contains a valuable glossary, tables of melodic and rhythmic modes, and discussion of the pedigree of each source.

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        • Shiloah, Amnon. 1979. The theory of music in Arabic writings (c. 900–1900): Descriptive catalogue of manuscripts in libraries of Europe and the U.S.A. Répertoire International Des Sources Musicales (RISM). Munich: G. Henle Verlag.

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          This catalog builds on the work of H. G. Farmer (The Sources of Arabian Music), including significantly more previously unknown sources.

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        • Shiloah, Amnon. 2003. The theory of music in Arabic writings (c. 900–1900): Descriptive catalogue of Manuscripts in Libraries of Egypt, Israel, Morocco, Russia, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, and supplement to B X. Répertoire International Des Sources Musicales (RISM). Munich: G. Henle Verlag.

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          Companion to Shiloah 1979, adding 185 sources not in the previous work.

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        Journals

        This section contains peer-reviewed journals in which either much of the content specifically pertains to musical practices in West Asia (Turkish Music Quarterly, Music and Anthropology, Asian Music), or is written primarily by scholars based in Israel (Min-Ad) or Turkey (Journal of Interdisciplinary Music Studies, Musıkişinas).

        Multimedia

        Many record labels, based both in West Asia as well as in North America, Europe, and Japan, have released recordings of music from West Asia. However, two labels in particular stand out: Kalan Müzik Yapım (Istanbul) and Traditional Crossroads (New York). Their recordings are of a very high quality, and in many cases the extensive liner notes are the best-researched and most authoritative textual source on the kind of music in question.

        • Kalan Müzik Yapım.

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          Turkish record label with an extensive catalog of releases, including archival reissues of urban and rural music from the TRT (Turkish Radio and Television) archive, TV and film soundtracks, digital remasters of wax cylinders and early flat disc recordings, and contemporary releases of urban art music, Turkish folk music, and Anatolian ethnic (e.g., Kurdish, Laz, Syriac, Zaza, Armenian) music. The archive series and deluxe edition CDs typically contain extensive liner notes, in English, Turkish, and other languages.

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          • Traditional Crossroads.

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            US record label that has released the most significant contemporary and historical Armenian recordings, as well as other archival reissues of recordings made in Istanbul in the early 20th century, and new recordings of early Ottoman music. Most archival CDs contain extensive liner notes.

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            Turkey and the Ottoman Empire

            The Ottoman Empire was a multiethnic and multilingual empire that at its zenith encompassed West Asia from the Mediterranean to the Caspian Sea, most of North Africa, and the Slavic, Greek, and Hungarian regions of Europe. Following the defeat of the Ottomans in World War I, the Republic of Turkey was established in 1923 as a secular monolingual nation, and an essential part of the nationalism project was the collection, dissemination, and arrangement of songs resulting from folklore expeditions to rural Anatolia (the part of Turkey on the Asian subcontinent). At the same time, Ottoman art music, once an urban phenomenon in which many Turks, Greeks, Armenians, Jews, and Rom (“gypsies”) participated, became associated with Ottoman “backwardness” and temporarily lost its institutional support. Popular music in Turkey has drawn extensively on late Ottoman song genres, however, and art music has seen something of a revival since the 1990s. The two-volume encyclopedic dictionary Öztüna 2006 is an extremely useful reference for topics pertaining to Ottoman and early Republican-era Turkish music. Two works that attempt to introduce both rural and urban music practices to a general readership are Bates 2010 and Reinhard and Reinhard 1984. Ünlü 2004 is a reference for the history of the first fifty years of sound recording in Turkey.

            • Bates, Eliot. 2010. Music in Turkey: Experiencing music, expressing culture. Global Music Series. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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              Introductory text on music in Istanbul, focusing on three interrelated themes: the role of music in forming a national consciousness about local and regional cultures, the creative revitalization and modernization of traditional music through recorded arrangements, and musical instrument performance and construction.

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            • Öztuna, Yılmaz. 2006. Türk mûsikîsi: Akademik Klasik Türk san’at mûsikîsi’nin ansiklopedik sözlüğü. Ankara, Turkey: Orient Yayınları.

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              A well-documented encyclopedic resource on Ottoman and early Turkish Republican-era urban art music. Among the most useful entries are the biographies of individual composers and survey of their composed works, the entries on Ottoman music pedagogy institutions, and those on instruments. In Turkish.

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            • Reinhard, Kurt, and Ursula Reinhard. 1984. Musik der Türkei. 2 vols. Wilhelmshaven, Germany: Heinrichshofen Verlag.

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              The first volume surveys urban art music and instruments, including Mevlevi sacred music and Ottoman art music forms, based primarily on historical sources. The second volume surveys regional folk music styles, based on the Reinhard’s multi-decade field research in southeastern Anatolia and along the Black Sea coast. The two-volume set also serves as a useful bibliographic reference to pre-1980 German-language publications about Turkish folk music.

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            • Ünlü, Cemal. 2004. Git zaman, gel zaman: Fonograf, gramofon, taş plak. Istanbul: Pan Yayıncılık.

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              The only substantive account of the pre-1950 recording industry in Turkey. An invaluable reference work on domestically and foreign-produced wax cylinders and 78 RPM discs. In Turkish.

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            Urban Art Music in the Ottoman Era

            A considerable amount of careful research concerns the changing nature of music education and the institutional support of art music during the late Ottoman era; Aksoy 2008 and Behar 1998 are the best works in this regard. Wright 1988 and Feldman 1996 both deal with aspects of musical change. Two Ottoman composers in particular have attracted much scholarly attention. The Moldovan prince Dimitrie Cantemir (b. 1673–d. 1723), who came to Istanbul as a hostage, ended up being a prolific composer, and his notations and writings on art music (collectively known as the Edvâr) document a critical moment in Ottoman music history (see Popescu-Judetz 1999, Wright 2000). Of the biographies of Tanburi Cemil Bey (b. 1875–d. 1916), perhaps the most important composer of the late Ottoman period, the biography by his son stands out for its personal insights (Mesut Cemil 2002).

            • Aksoy, Bülent. 2008. Geçmişin musiki mirasına bakışlar. Istanbul: Pan Yayıncılık.

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              A collection of essays on topics of Ottoman music historiography, the development of modern Turkish musicology, and changes to the performance practice of Ottoman art music within the context of radio orchestras and other new institutions. In Turkish.

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            • Behar, Cem. 1998. Aşk olmayınca meşk olmaz: Geleneksel Osmanlı/Türk müziğinde öğretim ve intikal. Istanbul: Yapı Kredi Yayınları.

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              Meşk was a social institution as much as it comprised a primarily pedagogical context for the transmission of Ottoman music. Through tracing the history of music pedagogy, Behar shows the changing affect, effect, and ethical conceptualization and practice of meşk. In Turkish.

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            • Cemil, Mesut. 2002. Tanburî Cemil’in hayâtı. Edited by Uğur Derman. Istanbul: Kubbealtı Neşriyati.

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              Tanburi Cemil Bey was one of the first composer/instrumentalists in Turkey to record a substantial body of wax cylinders, and his recordings continue to be a primary reference for the proper interpretation of makam. This insightful biography is written by his son, also a noted composer. In Turkish.

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            • Feldman, Walter. 1996. Music of the Ottoman court: Makam, composition and the early Ottoman instrumental repertoire. Intercultural Music Studies. Berlin: VWB-Verlag für Wissenschaft und Bildung.

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              There are copious interesting anecdotes on music in 16th- to 18th-century Istanbul contained in this volume, and the sections on the peşrev musical form and on the changing importance and status of particular musical instruments are particularly strong.

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            • Popescu-Judetz, Eugenia. 1999. Prince Dimitrie Cantemir: Theorist and composer of Turkish music. Istanbul: Pan Yayincilik.

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              An accessible introduction to the musical life of Cantemir and his multifaceted contribution to Ottoman music historiography. Contains fifty notations of Cantemir’s compositions, mostly taken from the Edvâr, as well as several useful catalogs of writings and compositions.

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            • Wright, Owen. 1988. Aspects of historical change in the Turkish classical repertoire. Musica Asiatica 5:1–108.

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              Wright outlines a method for reconstructing melodies found in the 17th-century collections of Cantemir and Ali Ufki, and compares his reconstructions of several works with notations found in early-20th-century Turkish collections to demonstrate the ways in which Ottoman-era repertoire has undergone significant change during centuries of transmission.

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              • Wright, Owen. 2000. Demetrius Cantemir: The collection of notations. Vol. 2, Commentary. SOAS Musicology Series. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.

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                The first volume, published in 1992, contains the complete notations of Cantemir. This second volume is an exhaustive technical analysis of these notated works, organized by makam, usul, and aspects of musical form.

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              Urban Art Music in the Republican Era

              The establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 not only constituted a radical change in the political structure of the region, it also initiated an era of reform in cultural institutions. O’Connell 2000 looks at pedagogical reforms in the 1920s. Teikelioğlu 2001 discusses government cultural reform projects in the 1930s. Beken 2003 provides one of the few ethnographic studies of art music performance, and the aesthetic issues Beken discusses in part have their genesis in the modernization processes discussed by O’Connell and Tekelioğlu. Taşan 2000 was the first work to bring to light the considerable number of female composers who created Ottoman urban art music.

              • Beken, Münir. 2003. Aesthetics and artistic criticism at the Turkish gazino. In Special issue: Music in the Middle East. Edited by Philip Schuyler. Music and Anthropology 8.

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                The gazino is a context for the performance of fasıl (light art music) with roots dating to the 19th century. Beken’s is one of the only extant ethnographic, field research–based studies on the performance of urban art music in Turkey.

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                • O’Connell, John Morgan. 2000. Fine art, fine music: Controlling Turkish taste at the Fine Arts Academy in 1926. Yearbook for Traditional Music 32:117–142.

                  DOI: 10.2307/3185245Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                  Discussion of aesthetics debates that accompanied the modernization of music education in Turkey, focusing on the dichotomy between alaturka (music in a “Turkish” style) and alafranga (music in a “French” or foreign style).

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                  • Taşan, Turhan. 2000. Kadın besteciler. Istanbul: Pan Yayıncılık.

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                    Biographies of female composers during the late Ottoman and early Turkish Republican era, with a large collection of notated scores. In Turkish.

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                  • Tekelioğlu, Orhan. 2001. Modernizing reforms and Turkish music in the 1930s. Turkish Studies 2.1: 93–108.

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                    Tekelioğu analyzes the discourses around the rise and fall of the music magazine Nota (founded in 1930) to show how one particular model of musical synthesis became adopted in early Republican Turkey.

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                    Music Theory (Makam/Usul)

                    Ottoman art and music, as well as many forms of urban and rural folk music found in present-day Turkey, are theorized through the makam (melodic mode) and usul (rhythmic/metrical mode) systems. Özkan 1984 is frequently reprinted and is the most commonly used reference for makam/usul. Kutluğ 2000 is extremely difficult to find, but it is regarded by many contemporary musicians as the most accurate and comprehensive work (for example, Kutluğ notates over 500 makam, while Özkan 1984 provides varying degrees of detail about 130). For English-language work, Signell 1977 provides a good introduction to the concepts of the theoretical system and the sorts of discrepancies between theory and practice, and Popescu-Judetz 2007 supplements this with a more reference-style catalog of makams. Yahya 2002 is one of the few works to show how makam unfolds within taksim (instrumental improvisations), as well as contributing a nuanced understanding of the melodic contours of several makams.

                    • Kutluğ, Yakup Fikret. 2000. Türk musikisinde makamlar: İnceleme. Istanbul: Yapı Kredi Yayınları.

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                      The most comprehensive work on Ottoman and Turkish melodic modal theory. Contains extensive analysis of the work of earlier theorists (e.g., Ezgi and Arel), as well as new findings concerning the structuring of melodic modes (makam) and the relation between the modal structures of urban art music and Turkish folk music. In Turkish.

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                    • Özkan, İsmail Hakkı. 1984. Türk mûzikisi nazariyati ve usûlleri: Kudüm velveleleri. Istanbul: Ötüken Nesriyat.

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                      In Turkey, this work is the most widely used single reference book on the theoretical premises of the makam system, and most conservatory-style music theory education follows a similar analytical structure. Contains analysis (of varying degrees of detail and accuracy) of 150 makam, notation of 120 works in the sanat müziği repertoire, and a section on the usul metric system. In Turkish.

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                    • Popescu-Judetz, Eugenia. 2007. A summary catalogue of the Turkish makams. Istanbul: Pan Yayıncılık.

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                      A useful companion work to Signell 1977.

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                    • Signell, Karl L. 1977. Makam: Modal practice in Turkish art music. Seattle, WA: Asian Music Publications.

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                      To date, the only book-length English-language work on the makam system of Turkish urban art music. Signell’s work compares the oft-cited theoretical works by early Republican-era scholars Ezgi and Arel to the contemporary performance practice of makam as taught by Tanburi Necdet Yaşar. The work doesn’t offer a comprehensive catalogue of makams (see Popescu-Judetz 2007), but it successfully conveys many nuances of the conceptualization of makam.

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                    • Yahya, Gülçin. 2002. Unlü virtüöz Yorgo Bacanos’un ud taksimleri: Taksim notaları, analiz ve yorumlar. Ankara, Turkey: T.C. Kültür Bakanlığı Yayınları.

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                      Yorgo Bacanos (b. 1900–d. 1977) was highly regarded for his renditions of makam, and Yahya’s transcriptions and critical commentary offer one of the few substantive accounts of the performance practice of melodic mode in contemporary urban art music. In Turkish.

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                    Rural, Folk and Traditional Musics

                    Rural and traditional music in the Turkish language has attracted an immense amount of indigenous and foreign research since the 1930s, when the Turkish government hired Béla Bartók to conduct a study of village music in Southeastern Anatolia and train local folklorists, as recounted in Bartók 2002 and Saygun 1976. One of the most extensive subsequent collaborative studies is Picken 1975, a survey of over one thousand local folk instruments from rural Anatolia. There is a long tradition of regional surveys among Turkish scholars; Öztürk 2006 is one of the best of such works. One topic that has received particular attention in numerous works—Başgöz 2008, Erdener 1995, and Reinhard and Pinto 1989 being the most notable—is the music of aşık poets, regarded within Turkey as one of the oldest surviving musical traditions. One work that explores issues of creativity within folk music practice is Markoff 1990–1991.

                    • Bartók, Béla. 2002. Turkish folk music from Asia Minor. Edited by Peter Bartók. Homosassa, FL: Bartók Records.

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                      Bartók was one of the first folklorists to do in-depth field research into musical practice in rural Anatolia, and this book collects together most of his writings and notations about his collecting expedition in the Adana Region of southeastern Anatolia. This work continues to be influential on contemporary folklore in Turkey. Originally published in 1976.

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                    • Başgöz, İlhan. 2008. Hikâye: Turkish folk romance as performance art. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press.

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                      The culmination of over four decades of folklore field research, this book considers the hikâye genre of folk romance literature sung by aşık poets throughout Turkey. Beautifully written and exhaustively researched, Başgöz’s work provides unprecedented insight into storytelling, aşık literature, and the structuring of narrative performance.

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                    • Erdener, Yildiray. 1995. The song contests of Turkish minstrels: Improvised poetry sung to traditional music. Milman Parry Studies in Oral Tradition. New York: Garland.

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                      A detailed and vivid ethnographic account of the aşık singing traditions found in the Eastern Anatolian city of Kars, including extensive biographical information and song text analysis.

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                    • Markoff, Irene. 1990–1991. The ideology of musical practice and the professional Turkish folk musician: Tempering the creative impulse. Asian Music 22.1: 129–145.

                      DOI: 10.2307/834293Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                      Markoff’s article concerns the conceptualizations held by professional folk musicians of the meaning of and relation between interpretation, authenticity, regional performance practice, and creativity.

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                      • Öztürk, Okan Murat. 2006. Zeybek kültürü ve müziği. Istanbul: Pan Yayıncılık.

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                        An excellent study of the Zeybek, an Aegean-region culture and set of musical practices. Öztürk provides a nuanced history of the region and the 19th-century development of Zeybek culture, surveys past folklore research in the area, and conducts a thoughtful analysis of rhythmic and modal aspects of Zeybek instrumental music. In Turkish.

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                      • Picken, Laurence Ernest Rowland. 1975. Folk musical instruments of Turkey. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                        The seminal work on musical instruments in West Asia, with detailed analyses of hundreds of localized folk music instruments, their repertoires, organological details, performance contexts, and quotes from instrumentalists. The work, atypical for the 1950s, went far beyond museum work and incorporated multiyear field research done by Picken with a team of local scholars, particularly Halil Yönetken, who went on to become an important folklorist in Turkey.

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                      • Reinhard, Ursula, and Tiago de Oliveira Pinto. 1989. Sänger und Poeten mit der Laute: Türkische âşik und ozan. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag.

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                        Analysis of recordings of aşık poets from Central and Eastern Anatolia, some of which were recorded in Turkey by Kurt and Ursula Reinhard in the 1950s and 1960s, others recorded in Germany at aşık festivals in the 1980s. The book is strong on musical motivic analysis and textual topic frequency charts, but provides little information concerning performance contexts, life histories, or the reception of aşık poetry within modern Turkey or Turkish diasporas. In German.

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                      • Saygun, Ahmed Adnan. 1976. Béla Bartók’s folk music research in Turkey. Edited by Laszlo Vikar. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó.

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                        Saygun was Bartók’s assistant during the seminal 1936 expedition to Adana, and he published this account unaware of the American publication of Bartók’s trip (Bartók 2002). It is thus a fascinating complement to Bartók’s account, containing scores, analysis, photographs, and letters not found in the American volume.

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                        Modernization

                        Most pre-1986 writings tended to treat rural music practices and traditional folk culture as an unchanging phenomenon. Starting with Markoff 1986, however, scholars began to pay attention to the specific mechanisms through which traditional folk music performance practice changed, either due to changes in pedagogy (Markoff 1986), to instrument construction (Stokes 1992), or to recording and arranging techniques (Bates 2010).

                        • Bates, Eliot. 2010. Mixing for parlak and bowing for a büyük ses: The aesthetics of arranged traditional music in Turkey. Ethnomusicology 54.1: 81–119.

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                          Through an analysis of the process whereby Black Sea traditional repertoire is arranged and digitally recorded and edited, Bates explores the development of two new traditional musical aesthetics in Istanbul.

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                          • Markoff, Irene Judyth. 1986. Music theory, performance and the contemporary baglama specialist in Turkey. PhD diss., Univ. of Washington.

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                            A carefully researched account of the 20th-century institutionalization of Turkish folk music pedagogy and standardization of musical aesthetics. Through transcriptions and analyses of multiple versions of the same songs, Markoff theorizes the process saz players use to spontaneously elaborate melodies. Her discussion of regionally specific tavır (performance practices) was the first account of an issue that continues to be important.

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                            • Stokes, Martin. 1992. The media and reform: The saz and elektrosaz in urban Turkish folk music. British Journal of Ethnomusicology 1:89–102.

                              DOI: 10.1080/09681229208567201Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                              Stokes compares the “rational” discourse surrounding formalized instruction in the long-necked bağlama-saz with the development of a new playing technique for an electric version of the saz.

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                              Turkish Pop, Arabesk, Rock, and Hip-Hop

                              Istanbul, as a cosmopolitan European city, has experienced many waves of popular music, including the tango craze in the 1930s, and then other transnational popular styles, such as rock in the 1950s (Özer 2003), disco in the 1970s, and hip-hop in the 1990s (Solomon 2005). However, as noted in Stokes 1999, many indigenous popular music styles developed within the Istanbul-based Turkish recording industry, including arabesk, a genre that drew on fasıl light art music (Tekelioğlu 1996), Arab popular music, and dance music from Southeastern Anatolia (Stokes 1992). Akkaya and Çelik 2006, a collection published in Turkey, contains remarkable interviews with singers and musicians at the heart of the Turkish pop industry in the 1960s and 1970s.

                              • Akkaya, Ayhan, and Fehmiye Çelik, eds. 2006. 60’lardan 70’lere: 45’lik şarkılar. Istanbul: bgst Yayınları.

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                                In-depth interviews with singers, musicians, producers, and music critics who were at the center of the popular music industry of Turkey in the 1960s and 1970s. In contrast to most Turkish popular music studies criticism, this work provides an intimately personal account of the development of the industry. In Turkish.

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                              • Özer, Yetkin. Crossing the boundaries: The Akdeniz scene and Mediterraneanness. In Mediterranean mosaic: Popular music and global sounds. Edited by Goffredo Plastino, 199–220. New York: Routledge, 2003.

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                                Özer considers the effects of the 1980 military coup on popular music production in Turkey, and traces the development of a depoliticized “Mediterranean sound” in the genre known as Anadolu rock (Anatolian rock).

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                              • Solomon, Thomas. 2005. “Listening to Istanbul”: Imagining place in Turkish rap music. Studia Musicologica Norvegica 31:546–567.

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                                Analysis of how the lyrics and music videos of the Istanbul rap group Nefret “re-imagine the urban landscape, and in the process imagine their own local identities in the globalizing city” (p. 62).

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                                • Stokes, Martin. 1992. The arabesk debate: Music and musicians in modern Turkey. Oxford Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology. Oxford: Clarendon.

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                                  The first ethnography of the arabesk popular music genre and one of the first cultural anthropological studies of music in Turkey. The Arabesk Debate had a large impact on the structure of Turkish music scholarship and on the kinds of music genres that received attention. Stokes situates arabesk within narratives of post-1950s migration and post-1960s media industry privatization.

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                                • Stokes, Martin. 1999. Sounding out: The culture industries and the globalization of Istanbul. In Istanbul: Between the global and the local. Edited by Çağlar Keyder, 121–142. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

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                                  Discusses aspects of the Turkish music industry in relation to the sociopolitical changes unfolding in Istanbul in the 1990s.

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                                • Tekelioğlu, Orhan. 1996. The rise of a spontaneous synthesis: The historical background of Turkish popular music. Middle Eastern Studies 32.2: 194–215.

                                  DOI: 10.1080/00263209608701111Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                  Tekelioğlu’s thesis is that discourses about “spontaneous synthesis” and cultural politics that were prevalent at the time of the formation of the Turkish Republic laid the foundation for the development of Turkish arabesk and popular musics.

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                                  The Mashriq (Levant) and Egypt

                                  The Mashriq (also known as the Levant) consists of the Arab countries east of Egypt and north of the Arabian Peninsula. Egyptians considered themselves ethnically distinct from Arabs until the 20th century, but following the launch of an Arab nationalism movement in Damascus in the 1910s and Nasser’s rise to power in Egypt after World War II, many Egyptians embraced an Arab identity. Part of the musical manifestation of Arab nationalism was the development of an Arab recording, film, and broadcast industry centered in Cairo and Beirut, along with new forms of transnational popular song.

                                  Arab Music

                                  Two vital works on Arab music are al Faruqi 1981, which helps the beginning and expert researcher alike with understanding both historical treatises and contemporary research, and Racy 2003, which provides a passionate account of the aesthetics of tarab, an ecstatic state that connects listeners and performers. A key moment in the standardization of modal and rhythmic theories and the development of Arab music as a transnational phenomenon was the 1932 Cairo Congress; Racy 1991 is a good introduction, while Vigreux 1992 contains the entirety of the proceedings and commentary by scholars from several countries. Doubleday 1999 is one of the few considerations of issues of gender in relation to musical instruments. See also works listed under Source Studies.

                                  • Doubleday, Veronica. 1999. The frame drum in the Middle East: Women, musical instruments and power. Ethnomusicology 43.1: 101–134.

                                    DOI: 10.2307/852696Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                    An expansive article looking at issues of gender and power in asynchronous settings, ranging from frame drums in Mesopotamian iconography to female musicians depicted on Ottoman miniatures to the role of daff playing within the heterodox Iraqi Yazidi community.

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                                    • al Faruqi, Lois Ibsen. 1981. An annotated glossary of Arabic musical terms. Westport, CT: Greenwood.

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                                      Exhaustive glossary based on hundreds of historical and contemporary sources written in Arabic, English, and French. Also extremely useful are two appendixes: a listing of English-language musical terms with all known Arabic equivalents, and a listing of Arabic word roots.

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                                    • Racy, Ali Jihad. 1991. Historical worldviews of early ethnomusicologists: An East-West encounter in Cairo, 1932. In Ethnomusicology and modern music history. Edited by Stephen Blum, Philip Bohlman, and Daniel Neuman, 68–91. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press.

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                                      The 1932 Cairo Congress was a seminal event in modern Arab music history—the only moment when some of the greatest living musicians from North Africa and West Asia (i.e., Turkey, Iraq, the Gulf states, and the Levant) were brought together to perform, record, and discuss issues about the structure of maqām-based musics with foreign scholars. Racy’s work introduces the congress to nonspecialist readers; to read the entire proceedings (in French), see Vigreux 1992.

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                                    • Racy, Ali Jihad. 2003. Making music in the Arab world: The culture and artistry of tarab. Cambridge Middle East Studies. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                      Racy is a highly acclaimed performer of Arab music (primarily on buzuq and nay), and this book is the culmination of several decades of research into the contemporary performance practice of music in Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria. Tarab is a form of ecstatic state that connects listeners and performers, and Racy explores this complex topic from historical, social, musical, and lyrical perspectives.

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                                    • Vigreux, Philippe, ed. 1992. Musique Arabe: Le Congrès du Caire de 1932. Cairo: CEDEJ.

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                                      The 1932 Cairo Congress was perhaps the most significant moment in modern Arab music history, bringing together scholars and musicians from the Arabic-speaking world (from Morocco to Iraq) and Turkey with European composers (Bartók, Hindemith), comparative musicologists (Horbostel, Sachs) and historians (Farmer, d’Erlanger). Contains the published text of the 1932 congress and a colloquium organized by S. Q. Hassan in 1989. In French.

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                                      Pre-Abbasid and Abbasid Period Arab Music

                                      A considerable body of writing pertains to Arab and Persian musical theory and practice from the 7th through the 13th centuries. Shehadi 1995 is perhaps the most cogent introduction to the philosophies of music, covering eleven Arab and Persian philosophers. Henry George Farmer, in addition to doing source studies, published two influential works; Farmer 1929 is chronological and narrative in nature, Farmer 1930 proposes his theory of the Arabian musical influence on European monophonic and polyphonic practices. See also Source Studies.

                                      • Farmer, Henry George. 1929. A history of Arabian music to the XIIIth century. London: Luzac.

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                                        A chronological narrative account of music in Arab society from prior to the birth of Islam until the fall of the Abbasid dynasty in 1258. Available online.

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                                        • Farmer, Henry George. 1930. Historical facts for the Arabian musical influence. London: W. Reeves.

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                                          Farmer wrote this work in response to an ongoing debate about the origins of European music theory and instruments. The first part of the work contains his argument that it was through Arab scholars that ancient Greek theory became known in Europe, and that notational systems, numerous musical instruments, and even the early polyphonic practice of organum were of Arab origin. The second part provides an annotated bibliography of Arabic and Persian language sources. Available online.

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                                          • Shehadi, Fadlou. 1995. Philosophies of music in Medieval Islam. Brill’s Studies in Intellectual History. Leiden, The Netherlands, and New York: E.J. Brill.

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                                            An accessible introduction to the musical philosophy of eleven influential philosophers from West Asia, focusing on the medieval period in Islam beginning with al-Kindi (d. 870) and ending with Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406).

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                                          Melodic Modal Theory (Maqām)

                                          Wright 1978 is a synthesis of numerous sources that provides a generalized 13th-century theory of melodic mode. Marcus 1989 focuses on 19th- and 20th-century Egyptian writings on maqām (Turk. makam), which the author contrasts with the performance practice of Cairo during the 1970s and 1980s. Most of the works cited under Source Studies also pertain to historical conceptualizations of maqām theory.

                                          • Marcus, Scott Lloyd. 1989. Arab music theory in the modern period. PhD diss., Univ. of California, Los Angeles.

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                                            The publication of this dissertation was a seminal moment in Arab music historiography, as Marcus’s project tracks the changes to the conceptualization and practical realization of Arab music theory, beginning with theoretical sources from the 1840s and culminating in the performance practice of contemporary Cairo. It is the only work in English to critically assess modern period Arab scholarship on maqām (melodic modes).

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                                            • Wright, Owen. 1978. The modal system of Arab and Persian music, A.D. 1250–1300. Oxford; New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                              A highly technical analysis of Safi al-Din ʿAbd al-Muʾmin al-Urmawi and Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi’s 13th-century writings, which lay out the systematist approach to the theorization of melodic mode. Wright suggests that these works support the argument for a common origin for both Arab and Persian music.

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                                            Egypt

                                            Most foreign scholarship on music in Egypt has been situated in Cairo and dealt with contemporary topics. El-Shawan 1980, El-Shawan 1984, and Racy 1976 primarily explore changes in the institutional support of music in Egypt and the development of ensemble aesthetics. Van Nieuwkerk 1995 provides an ethnography of professional dancers in Cairo. The Cairo recording industry formed around the work of a small number of star performers who were often also composers and instrumentalists, and subsequently scholars have written biographical works with musical analysis concerning Muhammad ʿAbd al-Wahhab (Azzam 1990), Umm Kulthum (Danielson 1997), and Muhammad Fawzy (Frishkopf 2008). An excellent introduction to music in Egypt, and one of the few works to cover instrumental music performance outside of Cairo, is Marcus 2007. Finally, Reynolds 1995 considers the performance of oral epic poetry in a Nile Delta village.

                                            • Azzam, Nabil Salim. 1990. Muḥammad Abd al-Wahhāb in modern Egyptian music. PhD diss., Univ. of California, Los Angeles.

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                                              A chronological account of the life and works of the important composer, singer, and oudist Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Wahhab (b. 1907–d. 1991), based on interviews and secondary sources.

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                                              • Danielson, Virginia. 1997. The voice of Egypt: Umm Kulthūm, Arabic song, and Egyptian society in the twentieth century. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                Umm Kulthum (b. 1904–d. 1975) was one of the first superstar singers in the Arab world. Danielson is the only author who has adequately assessed the extent of Umm Kulthum’s legacy—one that goes far beyond a corpus of influential performances and recordings—by contextualizing Umm Kulthum’s life within 20th-century Egyptian nationalism and Gamal Abdel Nasser’s rise to power, and as a formidable force within the nascent Cairo recording industry.

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                                              • El-Shawan, Salwa. 1980. The socio-political context of al-Mūsīḳa al-ʿarabiyyaii in Cairo, Egypt: Policies, patronage, institutions, and musical change (1927–77). Asian Music 12.1: 86–128.

                                                DOI: 10.2307/833799Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                Survey of changes to the performance, recording, and distribution of traditional music in Cairo.

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                                                • El-Shawan, Salwa. 1984. Traditional Arab music ensembles in Egypt since 1967: “The continuity of tradition within a contemporary framework”? Ethnomusicology 28.2: 271–288.

                                                  DOI: 10.2307/850761Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  El-Shawan compares the pedagogical and performance practice aspects of traditional ensemble formations found in pre-1940s Egyptian music, the takht and firqah, with Firqat al-Musiqà al-ʿArabiyah, the government ensemble founded in 1967.

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                                                  • Frishkopf, Michael. 2008. Nationalism, nationalization, and the Egyptian music industry: Muhammad Fawzy, Misrphon, and Sawt al-Qahira (SonoCairo). Asian Music 39.2: 28–58.

                                                    DOI: 10.1353/amu.0.0009Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                    Extending and nuancing the macro-scale historical work done by Racy 1976 and El-Shawan 1980, Frishkopf provides a detailed account of Muhammad Fawzy, a nationalistic composer/singer who founded the first record manufacturing plant in the Arab world and transformed the popular music world of Egypt.

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                                                    • Marcus, Scott Lloyd. 2007. Music in Egypt: Experiencing music, expressing culture. Global Music Series. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                      An introductory text on the music of contemporary Egypt designed for the nonspecialist reader, but which contains considerable primary research not published anywhere else on the madh Sufi chant genre and Upper Egyptian mizmar ensembles. Marcus provides an accessible introduction to the Egyptian conceptualization of maqām through focusing on one mode, maqām Rast (perhaps the most ubiquitous melodic mode), the mode of all the examples on the listening CD.

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                                                    • Racy, Ali Jihad. 1976. Record industry and Egyptian traditional music: 1904–1932. Ethnomusicology 20.1: 23–48.

                                                      DOI: 10.2307/850819Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                      An adaptation of Racy’s doctoral dissertation, this article provides an overview of the early history of recording practices in Egypt, the role that wax cylinder recordings played in Cairo culture, and the transnational entrepreneurial companies that helped form the early Egyptian music industry.

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                                                      • Reynolds, Dwight Fletcher. 1995. Heroic poets, poetic heroes: The ethnography of performance in an Arabic oral epic tradition. Myth and Poetics. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press.

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                                                        One of the few folklorists to study oral traditions in the Arab world, Reynolds conducted fieldwork in the Nile Delta town of al-Bakatush and recorded the Sīrat Hanī Hilāl oral epic. His book beautifully depicts the texts and performance contexts of Sīrat Hanī Hilāl, while regularly questioning whether or not the entire tradition may die out within a matter of years due to shifts in mainstream attitudes towards the “gypsy” ethnicity of the poets.

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                                                      • van Nieuwkerk, Karin. 1995. A trade like any other: Female singers and dancers in Egypt. Austin: Univ. of Texas Press.

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                                                        An ethnographic study of professional dancers in Egypt. Major issues in van Nieuwkerk’s work include the differences in perceived honor and shame between dancers who work in hotels, in cheaper nightclubs, and on Mohammed Ali Street in Cairo; and a nuanced analysis of gender, particularly the ways in which female entertainers contradict prevalent conceptualizations of femininity in contemporary Cairo.

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                                                      Syria and Jordan

                                                      The few major publications on music in Syria and Jordan are diverse in subject matter. Racy 1996 investigates Bedouin music within the changing sociopolitical landscape of Syria and Jordan; Shannon 2006 focuses on contemporary Aleppo and manifestations of Sufism and tarab; Shelemay 1998 explores the issue of memory among Syrian Jews in Syria and New York; and Van Aken 2006 examines the performativity of the dabkeh line dance among Palestinian immigrants in Jordan.

                                                      • Racy, Ali Jihad. 1996. Heroes, lovers, and poet-singers: The Bedouin ethos in music of the Arab Near-East. Journal of American Folklore 109.434: 404–424.

                                                        DOI: 10.2307/541183Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                        Racy suggests the need to theorize Bedouin music through a nomadic-rural-urban continuum, as well as in relation to ethical values in the locality where the music is performed. This work is based on field research Racy and others conducted in Bedouin villages throughout the Levant, and on Bedouin communities in Beirut and other urban centers.

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                                                        • Shannon, Jonathan Holt. 2006. Among the jasmine trees: Music and modernity in contemporary Syria. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan Univ. Press.

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                                                          A cultural anthropological approach to music in contemporary Aleppo, including considerations of the Sufi ritual practice known as dhikr, the “sentimental” affect of tarab, and the music of one of the most popular tarab singers, Sabah Fakhri.

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                                                        • Shelemay, Kay Kaufman. 1998. Let jasmine rain down: Song and remembrance among Syrian Jews. Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                          An ethnography of pizmonim, a repertory of songs sung by Syrian Jews. Shelemay begins with a historical investigation of revitalization of pizmonim in 19th-century Aleppo, then moves to an ethnography of Syrian Jewish communities abroad, particularly in Brooklyn, New York. Her central concern is how pizmonim “as an expressive form preserves conscious memories and provides a means for accessing unconscious memories” (p. 7).

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                                                        • Van Aken, Mauro. 2006. Dancing belonging: Contesting dabkeh in the Jordan Valley, Jordan. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 32.2: 203–222.

                                                          DOI: 10.1080/13691830500487431Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                          The dabkeh is the national dance of Jordan; Van Aken’s article pertains to fourth-generation Palestinian immigrants living along the East Bank of the Jordan River, and how dancing dabkeh is for them a performance of identity, difference, and belonging.

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                                                          Lebanon

                                                          Fairouz is the best-known Lebanese performer of the 20th century, and her career and varied musical repertoire have attracted quite a bit of scholarship. Habib 2005 focuses primarily on musical aspects of Fairouz, while Stone 2008 analyzes commentary on Fairouz that pertains to issues of nationalism and popular culture. Racy 1986 is one of the few works concerning other aspects of the contemporary musical culture in Lebanon.

                                                          • Habib, Kenneth Sasin. 2005. The superstar singer Fairouz and the ingenious Rahbani composers: Lebanon sounding. PhD diss., Univ. of California, Santa Barbara.

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                                                            Habib begins with a chronological account of the lives and work of Fairouz and the Rahbani Brothers, then contextualizes their work within the Arab world before turning to an analysis of vocal and orchestration aesthetics. He provides detailed transcriptions and lyrical translations for dozens of important Fairouz songs, which in itself would make this work a valuable reference.

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                                                            • Racy, Ali Jihad. 1986. Words and music in Beirut: A study of attitudes. Ethnomusicology 30.3: 413–427.

                                                              DOI: 10.2307/851587Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              An introduction to the way that musicians and lovers of music talk about music in Beirut. Racy then analyzes these as a set of prevalent attitudes toward music.

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                                                              • Stone, Christopher Reed. 2008. Popular culture and nationalism in Lebanon: The Fairouz and Rahbani nation. London and New York: Routledge.

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                                                                The Rahbani Brothers wrote much of the music that helped Fairouz become one of the most successful transnational Arabic-language singers. Stone investigates discourses surrounding musical theater, film, radio, and the Baalbeck Festival held in 1998 as part of his project to connect the development of Lebanese popular culture with Lebanese nationalism.

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                                                              Iraq

                                                              Schéhérazade Qassim Hassan is one of the leading experts of the musical instruments of West Asia and the foremost ethnomusicologist concerning the makam system of Iraq. She has many publications spanning several decades of research, but Hassan 1980 provides a good broad regional survey, and Hassan 1976 is an example of her local case studies, in this instance concerning Kurdish Yezidis. See also van der Linden’s chapter in Zuhur 2001, cited under General Overviews.

                                                              • Hassan, Schéhérazade Qassim. 1976. Les instruments de musique chez les Yezidi de l’Irak. Yearbook of the International Folk Music Council 8:53–72.

                                                                DOI: 10.2307/767382Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                Survey of musical instruments performed by the Yezidi Kurds of Iraq. In French.

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                                                                • Hassan, Schéhérazade Qassim. 1980. Les Instruments de musique en Irak et leur rôle dans la société traditionnelle. Paris: Mouton.

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                                                                  One of the few substantive works on music in Iraq. Hassan begins with a descriptive account of folk music instruments, then takes a functionalist approach to studying the function of instruments and musical genres in Iraqi society. Contains many plates and maps of instrument distributions. In French.

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                                                                Israel and the Palestinian Territories

                                                                Although Israel is one of the newer nation-states in West Asia, there has been a strong indigenous musicological movement since before the Israeli war of independence in 1948. Recent scholarship includes work on the social context of Israeli art music composition (Fleisher 1997), a survey of popular music and national culture (Regev and Serrousi 2004), and a study of transgender pop performers (Swedenburg 1997). Quite a bit of work involves studies of Palestinian and Arab Israeli musical practices within Israel and the Palestinian Territories, including an ethnographic study of ethnic music ensembles featuring both Israeli and Arab/Palestinian performers (Brinner 2009), an article on Palestinian dabkeh dance and the performativity of violence (McDonald 2009), and an analytical tome on Palestinian Arab music (Cohen and Katz 2006). Finally, Hirshberg 1995 examines classical music in pre-independence Israel. See also Judaism.

                                                                • Brinner, Benjamin. 2009. Playing across a divide: Israeli-Palestinian musical encounters. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                  Brinner utilizes network theory and his earlier theory of interaction in musical ensembles (Knowing Music, Making Music, 1995) in order to map the complex networks of performers, audiences, and performing arts organizations within the border-crossing ethnic music scene in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Yet he manages this without losing musical soundings or sight of the individual musicians.

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                                                                • Cohen, Dalia, and Ruth Katz. 2006. Palestinian Arab music: A Maqām tradition in practice. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                                  In 1957, Cohen and Katz pioneered the melograph, a transcription and analysis tool, and in the 1960s they collected a significant body of recordings of Arab music from within Israel. This book results from decades of careful analysis of this body of work (with the melograph and many later analytical techniques), and provides a possible model for how ethnomusicologists can “uncover an inherently concealed regularity” (p. 1) in musical practice that is orally transmitted.

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                                                                • Fleisher, Robert Jay. 1997. Twenty Israeli composers: Voices of a culture. Detroit: Wayne State Univ. Press.

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                                                                  Although Fleisher frames the work as a series of interviews with Israeli composers, this work provides a rich impression of the art music scene of Israel as told by the composers themselves. Topics are wide-ranging, including composer interactions with prize committees and audiences, and with students and teachers; looking within and abroad for influences and inspiration, and the extent to which the experience of being in Israel affects the compositional process.

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                                                                • Hirshberg, Jehoash. 1995. Music in the Jewish community of Palestine, 1880–1948: A social history. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                  A sociological account of classical music institutions in pre-independence Israel.

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                                                                • McDonald, David A. 2009. Poetics and the performance of violence in Israel/Palestine. Ethnomusicology 53.1: 58–85.

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                                                                  An “aesthetic criticism of the performativity of violence” (p. 60) done through an analysis of motifs found in Palestinian staged dabkeh dances.

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                                                                  • Regev, Motti, and Edwin Seroussi. 2004. Popular music and national culture in Israel. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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                                                                    The result of a long-term collaboration between the sociologist Motti Regev and the ethnomusicologist Edwin Seroussi, this work elegantly situates various indigenous popular music movements, from Shirei Eretz Yisrael to musiqa mizrahit to Israeli rock, within the development of an Israeli national culture. This work is also the most comprehensive reference for prior research on popular music in Israel.

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                                                                  • Swedenburg, Ted. 1997. Saida Sultan/Danna International: Transgender pop and the polysemiotics of sex, nation, and ethnicity on the Israeli-Egyptian border. Musical Quarterly 81.1: 81–108.

                                                                    DOI: 10.1093/mq/81.1.81Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                    Swedenburg analyzes the texts of Egyptian critics, who conflate the sexual dynamics of the Israeli Mizrahi transgender performer Danna and the ambiguous lyrics of her songs with widespread concerns about Zionist/Freemason conspiracies, then contrasts the bases of Danna’s popularity in Israel and Egypt.

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                                                                    Arabian Peninsula

                                                                    There is little scholarship on music on the Arabian Peninsula. Notable exceptions include one study of Oman, Christensen, et al. 2009; two works on Yemen, Lambert 1997 and Schuyler 1997; and an introduction to the music of Bahrain, Rovsing 2002. Schuyler 1997 is the only ethnographic work; the other studies employ a functionalist paradigm to look broadly at musical and social systems. See also Zuhur 1998, cited under General Overviews.

                                                                    • Christensen, Dieter, Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco, and Khalfan ibn Ahmad Barwani. 2009. Traditional arts in Southern Arabia: Music and society in Sohar, Sultanate of Oman. Berlin: VWB-Verlag für Wissenschat und Bildung.

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                                                                      Based on short ethnographic field research trips Christensen and Castelo-Branco conducted separately between 1985 and 1992, with the aid of al-Barwani in the Northern Omani town of Sohar. This book provides a useful introduction to the different kinds of ensembles and the celebrations for which they perform, and it contains a few biographies of specific performing artists. The accompanying CDs and DVD contain some of the only readily accessible documentary footage of performing arts in Oman.

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                                                                    • Lambert, Jean. 1997. La médecine de l’âme: Le chant de Sanaa dans la société Yéménite. Hommes et Musiques. Nanterre, France: Société d’ethnologie.

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                                                                      Ethnography of music in the capital of Yemen based on field research conducted between 1985 and 1987. Lambert follows a functionalist model in framing the work, focusing on the function of music in society, the status of the musician, and musicians’ defense of music making as “the medicine of the soul.” In French.

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                                                                    • Rovsing Olsen, Poul. 2002. Music in Bahrain: Traditional music of the Arabian Gulf. Aarhus, Denmark: Aarhus Univ. Press.

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                                                                      The only extensive English-language work on music in Bahrain and Kuwait, this elegantly printed and accessible introduction surveys the major musical genres and instruments. Based on field research conducted by Rovsing from 1958 to 1978, with three CDs of field recordings included.

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                                                                    • Schuyler, Philip. 1997. Qat, conversation, and song: A musical view of Yemeni social life. Yearbook for Traditional Music 29:57–73.

                                                                      DOI: 10.2307/768297Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                      Schuyler relates qat consumption rituals with the text of Sanʿani songs to demonstrate “the complementarity of the desired effects of qat, alcohol, and song” (p. 57).

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                                                                      Armenia

                                                                      McCollum and Nercessian 2004 is the first reference work that covers Armenian folk and religious music. The British publisher Curzon has made key historical monographs on Armenian culture available outside of Armenia. Two works from the Caucasus World series that are representative of scholarly foci are Atʿayan 1999, an analysis of the Armenian khaz notational system, and Komitas 1998, a landmark ethnography of Armenian folk musical traditions within the Ottoman Empire. Nersessian 1978 contains several essays not included in the Caucasus World series. See also Traditional Crossroads, cited under Multimedia.

                                                                      • Atʿayan, Robert A. 1999. The Armenian neume system of notation. Translated by V. N. Neressian. Caucasus World. Surrey, UK: Curzon.

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                                                                        Atʿayan conducted source research on some one thousand manuscripts found at the Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, determining that the khaz notation system used for Armenian sacred and secular music did not derive from other medieval notational systems. This volume is a translation of work done in the 1940s and 1950s. In addition to detailed source analysis, the work also includes an extensive bibliography of Armenian and foreign writings on khaz.

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                                                                      • Komitas. 1998. Armenian sacred and folk music. Translated by Edward Gulbekian. Caucasus World. Surrey, UK: Curzon.

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                                                                        Translation of selected writings by the pioneer Armenian ethnomusicologist Komitas (b. 1869–d. 1935), most written between 1898 and 1910. The collection includes works on Armenian folk songs from rural Anatolia and from northeastern Armenia, on 19th-century Armenian church music, and on the khaz notational system. The book also contains the most thorough bibliography of Komitas’s work.

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                                                                      • McCollum, Jonathan, and Andy Nercessian. 2004. Armenian music: A comprehensive bibliography and discography. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow.

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                                                                        An indispensable resource for locating the many obscure sources in which Armenian folk and religious music are discussed, and accessing the legacy of Armenian music recordings.

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                                                                      • Nersessian, Vrej, ed. 1978. Essays on Armenian music. London: Kahn & Averill.

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                                                                        A collection of essays on a range of topics, including Poladian’s biography of Komitas, Tahmizyan’s derivation of general principles for the study of khaz notation, and Serkoyan’s theory of melodic modes in Armenian hymns. The three articles by Atʿayan in this volume are duplicated in Atʿayan 1999. In English, French, and German.

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                                                                      Azerbaijan

                                                                      Very little has been written about the music of Azerbaijan per se, although the country is often mentioned in passing in studies of Central Asia or of Eastern Turkish folk music, as Baku was an important destination for Anatolian aşık minstrels (Azeri: ʿasheq). Exceptions include During 1988 and Naroditskaya 2002, two contrasting analyses of the muqâm/mugham modal system, and the ethnographic writing on dervishes in Naroditskaya 2004.

                                                                      • During, Jean. 1988. La musique traditionnelle de l’Azerbayjan et la science des muqâms. Baden-Baden, Germany: V. Koerner.

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                                                                        A well organized and clearly presented introduction to melodic theory in the music of Azerbaijan. During distinguishes between principal, secondary, and compound muqâms, and compares the modal system with Persian dastagâh and Turkish makam. One interesting theory he proposes is the importance of the writings of Safi al-Din (see Wright 1978, cited under Melodic Modal Theory [Maqām]) on the development of Azeri muqâm. In French.

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                                                                      • Naroditskaya, Inna. 2004. Dervishes in modern Azerbaijan: Absence and presence. In Manifold identities: Studies on music and minorities. Edited by Ursula Hemetek, 304–320. London: Cambridge Scholars Press.

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                                                                        Naroditskaya juxtaposes an ethnography of the dervish toy (wedding ceremony) with an examination of prevalent discourses surrounding the alleged absence of dervishes in Azerbaijan. Her bibliography includes a few book-length sources written in Azeri.

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                                                                      • Naroditskaya, Inna. 2002. Song from the land of fire: Continuity and change in Azerbaijanian mugham. New York: Routledge.

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                                                                        Analysis of mugham as a literary heritage and form for melodious sound, and discussion of the modernization of mugham music through what Naroditskaya terms “symphonic mugham.”

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                                                                      Religious Music and Oratorical Practices

                                                                      While religion often features as a major topic within studies of music in West Asia, typically the primary organizational focus is on a single country, region, ethnicity, language, genre, or musician (such studies are indexed elsewhere in this bibliography). Scholarship on music and Islam has often explored the nebulous status of music, which is alternatively viewed as haram (forbidden), makruh (discouraged), or as acceptable but not explicitly encouraged; other scholarship analyzes various forms of vocal and listening practices. Much work on Christianity in West Asia involves transcriptions and analyses of liturgies and hymns found in Coptic and Maronite churches. Research concerning music in different branches of Judaism have focused more on the process of oral transmission.

                                                                      Islam

                                                                      A central feature of the practice of Islam is the proper recitation of the Qurʾan (qiraʾat), a subject that has been discussed frequently by scholars within the Arabic- and Farsi-speaking world since the birth of Islam itself, and more recently by Western ethnomusicologists (Nelson 1985). However, within the Arab world, Qurʾanic recitation is typically not considered to be music per se. Some ethnomusicologists have compared the aesthetics of Qurʾanic recitation and sacred and secular singing practices in Egypt (al Faruqi 1978), while recent anthropological work by Charles Hirschkind (Hirschkind 2001, Hirschkind 2006) is concerned with the ethics and affect of listening and oratory within qiraʾat and cassette sermons. For an overview of competing views on the legality of music within Islam, see al Faruqi 1985 (as well as Marcus 2007, cited under Egypt).

                                                                      • al Faruqi, Lois Ibsen. 1978. Accentuation in Qurʾanic chant: A study in musical tawazun. Yearbook of the International Folk Music Council 10:53–68.

                                                                        DOI: 10.2307/767347Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                        Al Faruqi conducted an analysis of the recitation of one particular sura (chapter of the Qurʾan) to show how accentuation patterns, timbral aesthetics, and rhythmic aspects in recitation related to and differ from those in vocal musical practices.

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                                                                        • al Faruqi, Lois Ibsen. 1985. Music, musicians and Muslim law. Asian Music 17.1: 3–36.

                                                                          DOI: 10.2307/833739Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                          The most cogent summary of the issues concerning the status of music within Islamic jurisprudence, including an excellent analysis of al-Ghazali’s writings on the issue.

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                                                                          • Hirschkind, Charles. 2001. The ethics of listening: Cassette-sermon audition in contemporary Egypt. American Ethnologist 28.3: 623–649.

                                                                            DOI: 10.1525/ae.2001.28.3.623Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                            Hirschkind analyzes the practice of listening to tape-recorded sermons in Cairo “precisely to describe how emotions, capacities of aesthetic appreciation, and states of moral attunement or being (i.e., sensibilities) come to structure fundamental sensory experiences” (624).

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                                                                            • Hirschkind, Charles. 2006. The ethical soundscape: Cassette sermons and Islamic counterpublics. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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                                                                              A multifaceted analysis of the rhetorical techniques, distribution, and audition of cassette sermons within Egypt. Hirschkind connects analyses of ethical listening practices and the “acoustics of death” with a critical reading of nationalism and the transformation of Islamic institutions in post-Nasser Egypt.

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                                                                            • Nelson, Kristina. 1985. The art of reciting the Qurʾan. Austin: Univ. of Texas Press.

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                                                                              An excellent introduction to the aesthetics and practice of Qurʾanic recitation in Cairo, including the concepts of tajwid (rules regulating oral rendering), the samaʾ polemic (the argument against listening to music), and huzn (weeping). Also published in Arabic.

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                                                                            Christianity

                                                                            Some of the earliest known Christian chant repertoire continues to be performed as a living tradition in West Asia. Louis Hage is a scholar of the Maronite Christian chant tradition in Lebanon (Hage 1972, Hage 2005). Ragheb Moftah’s transcriptions of Coptic Orthodox liturgy represent the most comprehensive work on Coptic music (Moftah, et al. 1998). In contrast, Peter Jeffery’s work on Jerusalem chant (Jeffery 1994) resulted from the discovery of a Georgian language translation of the 4th-century Jerusalem repertory.

                                                                            • Hage, P. Louis. 1972. Le chant de l’Église Maronite. Vol. 1, Le chant Syro-Maronite. Beiruit: Bibliothèque de l’Université Saint-Esprit.

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                                                                              A technical analysis of the melody types and strophic meters found in the chant practice of the Syrian Maronite church. In French.

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                                                                              • Hage, P. Louis. 2005. Les “modes” du chant Syro-Maronite. Jounieh, Lebanon: Centre d’Édition et de Diffusion du Livre.

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                                                                                An introduction to the modal system of Syrian Maronite church music. In French.

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                                                                                • Jeffery, Peter. 1994. The earliest Christian chant repertory recovered: The Georgian witnesses to Jerusalem chant. Journal of the American Musicological Society 47.1: 1–38.

                                                                                  DOI: 10.1525/jams.1994.47.1.04x0082dSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  Jeffery, working with a group of scholars from Georgia, recovered the entire textual repertory of 4th-century Jerusalem chant. The article also surveys the most relevant contextual literature surrounding Christian religious practice of the time in Jerusalem.

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                                                                                  • Moftah, Ragheb, Margit Toth, and Martha Roy. 1998. The Coptic Orthodox Liturgy of St. Basil. Cairo: American Univ. in Cairo Press.

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                                                                                    Detailed transcriptions of the entire Liturgy of St. Basil, one of the three major Coptic liturgies, along with a transcription of the text in Coptic, and in translation to Arabic and English.

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                                                                                  Judaism

                                                                                  While there is a wealth of scholarship on music in Judaism, comparatively few scholars have researched Jewish religious/sacred music within West Asia proper. Shiloah 1992 is a good introduction to sacred music in Israel and also contains a useful bibliography with sources in many languages. Randhofer 2004 is about concepts of Mesopotamian and Babylonian identity among Iraqi Jews. The Jewish Music Research Centre at the University of Jerusalem has published the bulk of the scholarly work on Hebrew-language sacred music; exemplary monographs include Alvarez-Pereye 1990, Vinaver 1985, and other volumes in the Yuval series.

                                                                                  • Alvarez-Pereye, Frank. 1990. La transmission orale de la Mišnah: Une méthode d’analyse appliquée à la tradition d’Alep. Yuval Monograph Series 8. Jerusalem: Magnes.

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                                                                                    Analysis of the oral transmission of the Mishnah in Jewish communities in Aleppo, Syria.

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                                                                                    • Randhofer, Regina. 2004. By the rivers of Babylon: Echoes of the Babylonian past in the musical heritage of the Iraqi Jewish diaspora. Ethnomusicology Forum 13.1: 21–45.

                                                                                      DOI: 10.1080/17411910410001692283Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                      Randhofer begins with a history of Jewish settlement in Babylon, considers the problems of dating and contextualizing the available sources on Iraqi Jewish music, then through transcription analysis considers a “Mesopotamian tradition of lament” (p. 38).

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                                                                                      • Shiloah, Amnon. 1992. Jewish musical traditions. Jewish Folklore and Anthropology. Detroit: Wayne State Univ. Press.

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                                                                                        The strongest sections in this book concern sacred music in Israel, including biblical cantillation, synagogal music, and discussion of the mystical dimensions of music in the Zohar (the foundational work of Jewish Kabbalistic literature).

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                                                                                      • Vinaver, Chemjo. 1985. Anthology of Hassidic music. Edited by Eliyahu Schleifer. Jerusalem: Jewish Music Research Center, Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem.

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                                                                                        An unfinished work by Vinaver (b. 1900–d. 1973), based on his transcriptions of Hassidic music made in Jerusalem in the 1960s, completed by Eliyahu Schleifer. In addition to the notated scores (which are adapted to facilitate easy performance by choirs), Vinaver also provides musical analysis and some discussion of the performance and cultural contexts.

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                                                                                      • Yuval: Studies of the Jewish Music Research Center. Jerusalem: Jewish Music Research Center.

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                                                                                        Sixteen volumes of works concerning Jewish music, including six edited collections and ten monographs.

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                                                                                        Ethnicity

                                                                                        This section contains work that pertains to ethnic minorities within modern nation-states. Boğaziçi Gösteri Sanatları Topluluğu 2008 chronicles one group’s attempt to research, collect, arrange, and perform the music of different Anatolian ethnicities. Hood 2007 is a multicountry study of the musical repertoires of the Druze. Markoff 1986 is an introductory work on the multifaceted importance of music on secular and sacred life for the Turkish Alevis. Seeman 2006 looks at the Roman/gypsy musician community of Istanbul and their changing representations within the Turkish music industry.

                                                                                        • Boğaziçi Gösteri Sanatları Topluluğu (BGST). 2008. Kardeş Türküler: 15 yılın öyküsü. Edited by Ayhan Akkaya. Istanbul: bgst Yayınları.

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                                                                                          Kardeş Türküler is a music/dance group and research unit that developed at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. This book chronicles their fifteen-year history of establishing a new kind of multiculturalism through a pan-Anatolian ensemble and conducting folklore research among Anatolian ethnic (e.g., Laz, Kurdish, Zaza, Georgian, Hemşin, Roman) communities. In Turkish.

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                                                                                        • Hood, Kathleen. 2007. Music in Druze life: Ritual, values and performance practice. London: Druze Heritage Foundation.

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                                                                                          An introduction to Druze culture with a particular focus on three musical repertoires: war songs, wedding music, and funeral songs. Hood conducted field research in the early 2000s, studying Druze communities in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Israel.

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                                                                                        • Markoff, Irene. 1986. The role of expressive culture in the demystification of a secret sect of Islam: The case of the Alevis of Turkey. World of Music 28.3: 42–56.

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                                                                                          Excellent introduction to the Alevi “heterodox” community of Turkey and the role of music in religious ritual and social life.

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                                                                                          • Seeman, Sonia Tamar. 2006. Presenting “Gypsy,” re-representing Roman: Towards an archeology of aesthetic production and social identity. Music and Anthropology 11.

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                                                                                            Following up on her dissertation research on music and identity in Turkish Roman communities (“‘You’re Roman!’: Music and Identity in Turkish Roman Communities,” 2002) Seeman here traces several centuries of discourse concerning gypsy (çingene, Roman) identity, including self-representations by musicians transpiring at different periods in the history of the Turkish recording industry.

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                                                                                            Kurds and Zazas

                                                                                            The academic study of Kurdish music has been hampered by the difficulty of conducting research within the Kurdish regions of Anatolia, Iraq, Syria, and smaller, isolated localities within Iran and Armenia, and by political situations such as the long-standing Turkish government ban on recording and broadcast in Kurdish, lifted only in the early 1990s. Blum 1972 and Hooshmandrad 2004 are two studies of different groups of Iranian Kurds. Many of the articles in Nezan, et al. 1996 are translations of works written by non-Kurdish scholars from 1890 to 1970; Nezan 1979 is the only English work by this noted Kurdologist. Two articles on Kurdish music following the lifting of the language ban in Turkey are Blum and Hassanpour 1996 and Yücel 2009. One ethnic group often conflated with Kurds are the Zazas. Although there is little research on Zaza village music, Neyzi 2002 considers the music of two brothers who innovated a form of Zaza popular music based on traditional songs.

                                                                                            • Blum, Stephen. 1972. The concept of the ʿAsheq in northern Khorasan. Asian Music 4.1: 27–47.

                                                                                              DOI: 10.2307/834139Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              Analysis of sung story texts and discourses surrounding Turkmen and Kurdish Asheq living in modern-day Iran. The work was based on field research conducted in Meshed and Bojnurd in 1969.

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                                                                                              • Blum, Stephen, and Amir Hassanpour. 1996. “The morning of freedom rose up”: Kurdish popular song and the exigencies of cultural survival. Popular Music 15.3: 325–343.

                                                                                                DOI: 10.1017/S026114300000831XSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                Concerns the cultural politics that have affected the development of a Kurdish-language recording industry in Turkey and Iraq; also the first academic writing on Kurdish performers such as Seyd ʿElî ʿEsxer and Şivan Perwer.

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                                                                                                • Hooshmandrad, Partow. 2004. Performing the belief: Sacred musical practice of the Kurdish Ahl-i Haqq of Gūrān. PhD diss., Univ. of California, Berkeley.

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                                                                                                  The Ahl-i Haqq are a distinct Kurdish ethnicity who follow a religious practice that shares some similarities with Turkish Alevism. Hooshmandrad’s dissertation focuses on the nazm repertoire of sacred music performed on the tanbūr (a sacred long-necked lute).

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                                                                                                  • Neyzi, Leyla. 2002. Embodied elders: Space and subjectivity in the music of Metin-Kemal Kahraman. Middle Eastern Studies 38.1: 89–109.

                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1080/714004432Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    This article concerns two ethnically Zaza Alevi brothers who released a number of influential recordings even though one lived in Istanbul, unable to travel to Germany, and the other lived in Germany, unable to enter Turkey. Beyond the difficulties they faced in working together, the brothers also struggled with musically “reappropriating” their homeland of Dersim (a city in Eastern Turkey that experienced a massive military intervention in 1938).

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                                                                                                    • Nezan, Kendal. 1979. Kurdish music and dance. World of Music 21.1: 19–32.

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                                                                                                      Brief introduction to Kurdish singing and dance genres.

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                                                                                                      • Nezan, Kendal, Mehrdad Izady, Ayako Tatsumura, Erol Mutlu, Christian Poche, Dieter Christensen, and Archimandrite Komitas. 1996. Kürt MÜZIGI. Istanbul: Avesta Yayınları.

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                                                                                                        One of the first scholarly books on Kurdish music. The sections by the Armenian ethnomusicologist Komitas (“Kurdish Melodies,” written in 1903) and Erol Mutlu (“About Kurdish Music”) are of particular interest and provide a sense of both the earliest research and the contemporary issues facing the study of Kurdish music. In Turkish.

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                                                                                                      • Yücel, Clémence Scalbert. 2009. The invention of a tradition: Diyarbakır’s Dengbêj Project. In Special issue: State-society relations in the Southeast. Edited by Nicole F. Watts. European Journal of Turkish Studies 10.

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                                                                                                        While the dengbêj singing tradition has become nearly synonymous with the revival of interest in Kurdish traditional singing practices, attempts to create institutional support for the tradition have been fraught with problems. Yücel’s study is an insightful look at the changing contexts in which tradition is produced and consumed in Eastern Turkey.

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                                                                                                        Diasporas

                                                                                                        Greve 2003 and Greve 2006 together provide a rich ethnographic study of immigrants from the Turkish Republic to Germany and how their musical-cultural life connects to an “imaginary Turkey.” Rasmussen 1992 and Rasmussen 1996 explore Arab nightclubs in Detroit and music performance practice within the Arab immigrant community there.

                                                                                                        • Greve, Martin. 2003. Die musik der imaginären Türkei: Musik und musikleben im kontext der migration aus der Türkei in Deutschland. M & P Schriftenreihe Für Wissenschaft Und Forschung. Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler.

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                                                                                                          Greve extends Benedict Anderson’s theory of “imagined community” to include diasporic imaginations of Turkey held within the Turkish communities of Germany. Particularly important sections of this book include those on the relation of the German-Turkish recording industry to the Istanbul-based industry, musical and cultural activities of Alevi federations in the European Union, and varying strategies of self-representation found at festivals and concerts.

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                                                                                                        • Greve, Martin. 2006. Almanya’da “hayali Türkiye”nin müziği. Translated by Selin Dingiloğlu. Istanbul: Istanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi.

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                                                                                                          Turkish translation and expanded edition of Greve 2003.

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                                                                                                        • Rasmussen, Anne K. 1992. “An evening in the Orient”: The Middle Eastern nightclub in America. Asian Music 23.2: 63–88.

                                                                                                          DOI: 10.2307/834173Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          Rasmussen contrasts the haflah context for music making that was brought by Levantine Arab immigrants to the United States with the later development of multiethnic nightclubs that featured belly dance and an Orientalist ethos.

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                                                                                                          • Rasmussen, Anne K. 1996. Theory and practice at the “Arabic org”: Digital technology in contemporary Arab music performance. Popular Music 15.3: 345–365.

                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1017/S0261143000008321Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            Based on field research conducted among Arab-American nightclub musicians, Rasmussen analyzes how elements of Arab instrumental music theory are replicated or altered by synthesizer performers.

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