HIS 334C • Mus Cul Mid East, Past/Pres-W
This upper-division seminar is devoted to music and its place in past and contemporary Middle Eastern societies. It has two main aims: to familiarize students with the historical evolution and the distinct characteristics of traditional Arab, Persian, and Turkish music; and to explore the broader interplay between music and society in the region, looking at the ways in which political, social, economic, and cultural realities have shaped musical life and expression. The examination of the musical traditions will introduce the various genres, performance styles, aesthetic notions, instruments, and theories associated with the region's rich repertoires of secular and religious music. The broader contextual issues addressed will include the Islamic polemic about music, social attitudes toward musicians, gender roles, celebrity status, the phenomenon of musical ecstasy, and the effects on music of Western ideas, new technologies and media, state policies, urbanization, and other modern developments. Selections of musical pieces compiled specially for the seminar illustrate and supplement the reading. Aspects of the music will also be demonstrated on Middle Eastern instruments in the classroom.
Class participation-20% Research paper-40% Reviews of musical recordings-30% Book review-10%.
A. J. Racy, Making Music in the Arab World: The Culture and Artistry of Tarab. Virginia Danielson, The Voice of Egypt: Umm Kulthum, Arabic Song, and Egyptian Society in the Twentieth Century. Jean During et al., The Art of Persian Music. Martin Stokes, The Arabesk Debate: Music and Musicians in Modern Turkey. Amnon Shiloah, Music in the World of Islam: A Socio-Cultural Study. A course reader and CD anthologies