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MUS200H1 (23)


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James Kippen

MUS 200 MUSIC OF THE WORLDS PEOPLE- LECTURE 2 THE ISLAMIC WORLD Caveat • The role of music in Islam, and in the Islamic world, is often a highly controversial subject, and can even be a matter of life or death • My intention is to explain how music is viewed and used by Muslims themselves • My intention is not to pass judgment, but to understand and have respect for different viewpoints and musical practices Music and Religion • Music plays a role in all religions, particularly as a way of articulating religious ritual • In most religions, music is unequivocally a means of celebrating God • In Islam, music is viewed by some – particularly the orthodox – as a mundane, sensual distraction from the spiritual path Music in Islam • For most Muslims, any “music” associated with Islamic religious ritual is not called music, even if it has musical qualities • Azan (adhan): the “call” to prayer by a muezzin “Reading” • The Qur‟an (or Koran) is the holy book of Islam: the word of God as revealed to his messenger, the Prophet Muhammad (570–632 CE) • It is not sung but “read” (qira‘ah, but also mujawwad in Egypt) by a “reader” (qari) Qira„ah • Pronunciation, and the supremacy of the text • Segmentation • Mode • Melodic contour • Range (ambitus) • Tempo, rhythm, metre • Volume and timbre • Individuality and style Surah 97: Al-Qadr In the Name of Allah the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful 1. Verily, We sent it down in the night of al-Qadr. 2. And what will make you know what the night of al-Qadr is? 3. The night of al-Qadr is better than a thousand months. 4. Therein descend the angels and the Spirit by their Lord's permission with all Decrees. 5. Peace! Until the appearance of dawn. The role of musicality? • See Kristina Nelson‟s article (on the website) called “Reciter and Listener” • Paradox? • Musicality on the one hand draws the listener in and heightens the spiritual experience of the text • However, it may also compromise the separateness of “reading” from the art of music Group “readings” • Rhythmic recitation coordinates the reading by a group (a religious brotherhood) • Heterophony (two slightly divergent or alternative versions of a melodic line) • Surah al-Fatiha (opening verse of the Qur‟an Sufism • Islamic mysticism • The science of the direct knowledge of God • Sufis believe that doctrine must be balanced by method • Method means some form of concentration on the reality of God through an act that helps achieve ecstasy (union with God) Dhikr (or Zikr) • “Remembrance” Chanting of God‟s name • Hyperventilation that produces exhilaration and an altered state of consciousness • Performed by Sufi brotherhoods Qawwali • Pakistan and northern India • Performed primarily at Sufi shrines • Song form: soloists and their “parties” • Mystical Sufi poetry interspersed with socio- religious commentary • Qawwals are professional musicians • Within the shrine, qawwali singers help bring members of the audience to trance • Money donated to the Sheikh is then blessed and passed on to the musicians Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan • Popular qawwali singer (1949–98) • Remembered for his crossover into popular genres • Part of the “world beat” scene • “Allah Hu”, and “disco-qawwali” Mast • Elements of repetition, rhythmic beats, volume, and tempo build to a climax that totally envelops the listener and transports him to another plane • Qawwali generates spiritual arousal (mast – „intoxication‟) and drives home the message of the poetry • Qawwals lead the audience into and out of ecstatic trance Tumheñ dil lagi… • Qawwali by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan • In Urdu • It exhorts the listener to give up worldly attachments and, however hard, to follow the path to God, the True Love Other Sufi musics: the Mevlevi • Turkish Sufi order (Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi 1207–73): • “Whirling Dervishes” • Sema (the ritual), 7 parts… • Part 2: voice of the drum, symbolizing God‟s command “to be” • Part 3: instrumental music symbolizing the divine breath of life • Part 5: whirling… Turkish ney • Used in religious music as the main instrument in the sema • Also used extensively in classical (art) music • Similar reed flutes were depicted on Egyptian tombs • Regional variants: Turkish one has a mouthpiece (a place to rest the lips) Melodic modes – Makam • Makam (Turkish); Maqam (Arabic) • Modes: a mode is an arrangement of notes in the form of a scale that has a distinct identity from all other modes: e.g. different notes, intervals with microtonal tunings, some notes of greater importance than others and/or with a stronger gravitational pull on the melodic structure of a piece General musical characteristics • Modes (both melodic and rhythmic) • Predominance of vocal forms • Small instrumental ensembles • Pieces made up of a suite of movements alternating unmetered and metered sections • Rich horizontal (melodic) textures • Vertical simplicity: no harmony, polyphony, polymetre, counterpoint Horizontal complexity and ornamentation • Melody in general is created by stringing together a series of small melodic cells (a melodic idea – or motif – might have only a few notes) • These are repeated, combined, and permutated in different ways • They are ornamented with shakes, grace notes, turns, slides, trills, etc. that embellish the patterns Solo vocal example • “Abu Zeluf” sung by Lebanese woman, Dunya Yunis • Two parts: unmetered and metered • Heavy ornamentation of melody with a variety of embellishments and vocal techniques • Note the limited range (number of notes used) Instruments • Wide variety of instruments • Many regional varieties • Some are widespread, are old, and highly sophisticated • The influence of some was felt in Europe in the late Middle Ages – Qanun
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