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Music in Egypt

Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture

Scott L. Marcus

Publication Date - 17 November 2006

ISBN: 9780195146455

224 pages
Book with CD/DVD
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches


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 www.oup.com/us/globalmusic 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.

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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