Academic journal article Yearbook for Traditional Music

Musique De L'époque Abbaside: Le Legs De Safiy A-D-Din Al-Urmawi / Music of the Abbasid Era: The Legacy of Safiy A-D-Din Al-Urmawi

Academic journal article Yearbook for Traditional Music

Musique De L'époque Abbaside: Le Legs De Safiy A-D-Din Al-Urmawi / Music of the Abbasid Era: The Legacy of Safiy A-D-Din Al-Urmawi

Article excerpt

WEST ASIA Musique de l'époque abbaside: Le legs de Safiy a-d-Din al-Urmawi / Music of the Abbasid Era: The Legacy of Safiy a-d-Din al-Urmawi. 2005. INEDIT / Maison des Cultures du Monde W 260123. Performed by the Arabic Classical Music Ensemble of Antonine University, Lebanon. Annotated by Nidaa Abou Mrad. 27 pp. of notes in French and English. English translation by Frank Kane. 3 b/w photographs, 2 illustrations, 2 tables. 1 compact disc, 15 tracks (52:03).

The recording of pre-modern repertoires in the Islamic Middle East began, not unexpectedly, with the substantial notations of seventeenth-century Ottoman music. More recently, there has been an eccentric attempt from Iran to bring to life an early fifteenth-century outline notation made by 'Abd al-Qadir al-Maraghi, and the present CD, originally issued in 2004 in Lebanon, travels even further back in time, to the Abbasid court in Baghdad. Not, however, to its ninth- to tenth-century heyday (for which there are no contemporary notations), but to its final years before it fell to the Mongols in 1258, and the set of fairly rudimentary examples of notation sketched out by Safi al-Din al-Urmawi (d. 1294). These allow for considerable interpretative leeway, and are supplemented by improvised passages and by songs composed by the musical director, Nidaa Abou Mrad, who also contributed the informative accompanying text. …

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