MENAME Winter 2019 quiz

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Short answers: One exam book page each. On the quiz I'll select four (4) of the following questions, and you'll write about two (2) of those four, in ordinary English prose (not “bullet points” please). I will not grade according to your conformity to standard English language grammar and spelling; as long as I can understand your answer I will give you full credit for whatever you’ve said. In preparation, I suggest that you review the readings and listenings/viewings but do not advise that you compose full essays for these questions. Simply be sure you have a number of main points to make for each of the following questions, and cover those points within the page. However in your actual answers please do not list the points; rather you should write them in a coherent, brief essay.

  • Discuss musical unity and diversity in the Middle East and North Africa, in terms of composition, performance, sounds, forms, genres, languages, or instruments, in relation to social and cultural unity and diversity. How does the multicultural Middle East differ from multicultural Canada, musically and socially? You may focus particularly on music we’ve studied this term, from Sudan, Nubia, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon.
  • Talk about the centrality of the voice in music of the Middle East and North Africa. In what ways is the voice central? Is this vocal centrality different here than elsewhere? What are the possible reasons?
  • Describe the Sudan and its music, including a discussion of geography, history and peoples, languages. Trace the broad outlines of its music, comparing and contrasting to music of Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon.
  • What is “Nubia”? Who are the “Nubians”? Touch on location, history, culture, languages, and peoples. What is the historical relation to Egypt and Sudan, ancient or modern? What was the impact of the Nile, and its damming in modern times? How did these factors shape Nubian music today? Discuss the varieties of contemporary "Nubian music”, its features, artists, instruments or ensembles. What shaped these artists and their music?
  • Explain the concept of rhythmic cycle or darb (also known as iqa` or mizan) in musics of the Middle East and North Africa. What is a darb, how is it realized musically and what does it contribute to the musical texture? How is it manifested on percussion as well as other instruments? How do the musical genres and songs we’ve encountered differ according to darb? Hint - refer to the following: cycle, iqa', dum, tek, maqsum, masmudi, bamb, sama`i thaqil, and others.
  • Write about improvisation (irtijal) in music of the Middle East and North Africa. Drawing on readings as well as what you’ve observed in class: What is the role and importance of improvisation in music of the region? How does it unfold, where is it used? In which genres? Hint - refer to the following: taqsim, layali, mawwal, maqam, darb, ciftetelli.