Music in Egypt: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture Includes CD

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Music in Egypt is one of several case-study volumes that can be used along with Thinking Musically, the core book in the Global Music Series. Thinking Musically incorporates music from many diverse cultures and establishes the framework for exploring the practice of music around the world. It sets the stage for an array of case-study volumes, each of which focuses on a single area of the world. Each case study uses the contemporary musical situation as a point of departure, covering historical information and traditions as they relate to the present. Visit for a list of case studies in the Global Music Series. The website also includes instructional materials to accompany each study.
Music in Egypt provides an overview of the country's rich and dynamic contemporary musical landscape. It offers an in-depth look at specific Egyptian musical traditions, paying special attention to performers and the variety of contexts in which performances occur. The book acknowledges the pervasive presence of Islam by focusing on two Muslim performance genres and by considering the age-old issue of the compatibility of music and Islam. It accomplishes the latter by incorporating the voices of many of the performers featured on the accompanying CD. The volume features a variety of musics that reflect and help to create a number of distinct regional, national, and community identities co-existing in Egypt today.
Drawing on more than twenty years of extensive fieldwork, Scott L. Marcus offers detailed ethnographic documentation of seven performance traditions found in Egypt today: the call to prayer; madh, a genre of Sufi religious music; southern Egyptian mizmar folk music; early twentieth-century takht-based art music; music by the acclaimed singer Umm Kulthum, which dominated the mid-twentieth century; wedding procession music; and music by the current superstar pop singer Hakim. The book is packaged with an 80-minute audio CD containing excellent examples of each tradition. All of the examples are based in a single melodic mode--maqam rast--to best engage students with the musical form, structure, and practice of the traditions. Separate educational tracks on the CD introduce maqam rast and the variety of rhythms found in the CD examples. In addition, the CD features a special solo improvisation (taqasim) in maqam rast by UCLA professor Ali Jihad Racy, to help students better understand this particular melodic mode.
Enhanced by eyewitness accounts of performances, interviews with performers, listening examples, and song lyrics that enable students to interact with the text, Music in Egypt provides a unique and hands-on introduction to the country's diverse and captivating music.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195146455
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/17/2006
  • Series: Global Music Series
  • Edition description: With CD
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 468,877
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

CD Track List
1. The Call to Prayer: A Communal Endeavor
The Enduring Tradition
Giving the Call to Prayer
A Community of Callers
Responses to the Call: An Interactive Phenomenon
Mass-Mediated Broadcasts of the Call to Prayer
An Uneasy Juxtaposition
The Melodic Aspect of the Call to Prayer
2. The Eastern Arab Medodic Modes: The Maqamat
Melodic Texture
Arab Melodic Theory
The Scale System: Pitches and Intervals
Maqam Rast in Modern Arab Music Theory
Maqam Rast in Performance
Melodic Leaps
Use of Multiple Upper Tetrachords
A Characteristic Progression through a Maqam's Defining Features
CD Track 33: A Taqasim by Ali Jihad Racy
A Region for Beginning the Performance of a Maqam
A Characteristic Manner of Progressing through the Rest of the Maqam
A Special Shape for the Islamic Call to Prayer
3. Madh: A Genre of Sufi Religious Music
The Instruments in a Madh Ensemble
A Coffeehouse Context
A Sufi Zikr Context
Public Zikrs
Movement and Chanting at Zikr Rituals
A Weekly Zikr at the Mosque of Sidi 'Ali
Music in a Madh Cycle
Madh Mawwal Texts
Instrumental Passages
Features Shared among Many Eastern Arab Music Traditions
4. The Eastern Arab Rhythmic Modes
Skeletal Structures: Maqsum, Masmudi Saghir, and Sa'idi
Ornamenting the Rhythms in Performance
A Variety of Takk Sounds
Other Rhythms
Wahda and Zaffa
Malfuf and Sa'udi
Additional Region-Specific or Culture-Specific Rhythms
Changes Over Time
5. Upper Egyptian Folk Music for Weddings and Festivals: Mizmar Ensembles
A Mizmar Ensemble at an Upper Egyptian Wedding
The Ensemble
The Repertoire
Solo Instrumental Improvisation
The Songs "Kan 'Andi Ghazal" and "Sama'ti Yom Rannit Khulkhal"
Male Stick Dancing at Weddings
Sa'idi Mizmar at Saint's-Day Festivals
Male Stick Dancing at Saint's-Day Festivals
Sa'idi Mizmar / Tabl Baladi in Government Folk-Music Ensembles
"Gypsies"? A Shared Middle Eastern Tradition
Sa'idi Mizmar Music: Unique, Yet Partaking of a Shared Musical Tradition
6. Islam and Music: Is Music Haram?
The Highest Authorities: The Qur'an and the Hadith
Different Contexts/Different Rulers
Sufis: Developing the "Art of Listening"
The Sama' Polemic in Present-Day Cairo
Voices of Performers on the Accompanying CD
Other Voices in Present-Day Cairo
Maintaining a Separation between the Human and the Divine
7. Art Music of the Late-Nineteenth/Early-Twentieth Centuries: Takht Ensembles
From Takht to Firqa Ensembles
The Takht Ensemble
The Creation of a New Large Ensemble: The Firqa
The Takht Repertoire: The Wasla Suite Form
Reviving the Past
Creating a Takht Recording: CD Tracks 9-19
The Items in Tracks 9-19
The Improvisatory Genres: Taqasim, Layali, and Mawwal
Two Mawals
The Instrumental Dulab and Sama'i Genres
Two Precomposed Song Genres
The Taqtuqa "il-Bahr Nayim"
A Muwashshah
The Wasla as a Composite Sociocultural Entity
The Tarab Aesthetic
8. Art Music of the Mid-Twentieth Century: Umm Kulthum and the Long-Song Tradition
A New Superstar Emerges
The Development of New Mass Media
The New Ughniya (Long Song) Genre
Umm Kulthum's New Directions
Umm Kulthum's Ensemble
Other Famous Ughniya Singers
Performances Videoed and Then on Television
Umm Kulthum's Last Years
The Umm Kulthum Song, "Aruh Li Min," on CD Tracks 20-22
The Hall, The Stage
The Instrumental Introduction (Muqaddima)
Umm Kulthum Begins to Sing: The Vocal Refrain
The Poetic Text
Maqam Rast
9. Zaffa (Wedding Procession) Music
A Zaffa Band's Performance at a Five-Star Hotel
The Creation of the New Dumyati Zaffa Ensemble
The Sharqiyya Mizmar
Three Categories of Zaffa Ensemble Members
The Unique Sharqiyya Mizmar Style of Playing
Zaffa Songs
Maqam Rast and a Variety of Rhythms
Beyond Zaffa Performances
A Sharqiyya Mizmar Player's Life Story
10. Present-Day Pop Music: Hakim and the Sha'bi and Shababi Genres
A Wedding Performance
A Typical Performance Schedule
The Band
The Sha'bi and Shababi Pop-Music Genres
Hakim's Rise to Fame
The Early Years
Muhammad 'Ali Street, a Historic Center for Musicians
Shameful, but Not Haram
"Modern Sha'bi"
An International Vision
Creating a Sha'bi Song
Adding a Sha'bi Feel to the Three Traditional Components
The Arranger, a New Fourth Component
"il-Kalam Da Kabir" (CD Track 26)
Continuity and Change

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