Examples of Islamicate music

From CCE wiki archived
Jump to: navigation, search

These musical forms drew, and continue to draw, upon Islamic (especially Sufi) performance genres (shaping vocal centrality, register, timbre, pronunciation, breath phrases, texts, interactive performance dynamics) and meanings (love, unity), and were also shaped by Islamic institutions (kuttab Qur'anic school, legal rulings restricting music or gender), but were also absorbed into Islamic language performance.

At times it is difficult to determine the boundaries of "Islamic" and "Islamicate" -- sacred and secular -- sounds, when ambiguous love themes appear, or people attend a context for a variety of reasons (mawlid), or when praise for the Prophet prefaces sira (epic singing) and other folk forms. (What makes a music sacred? Is it an objective property of the music, or context, or purpose? Or of the interpretation?)

Always Islam provides the spiritual, ethical, legal, and societal underpinnings for a civilization hospitable to the development of particular forms (texts, themes, styles) of music and singing -- while condemning others. The Islamicate as a whole (values, institutions, social relations)--informed by Islam (including its sounds)--shapes music in these regions; that music in turn shapes the sounds of Islam.

  • Egypt's Umm Kulthum. Trained in tajwid at the kuttab (Qur'anic school), munshidin like Shaykh Yasin often draw upon her melodies as more spiritual than other secular music.
  • Sabah Fakhri (b. 1933), the greatest modern exponent of the pre-mediated Islamicate Arab style of "tarab" in Syria. Note tarab interactions - not unlike those of Shaykh Mustafa Ismaʿīl
  • Turkish FasilMusic of Selim III, 1761 – 1808, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1789 to 1807. Compare also to the Ayin, the liturgy of the Mevlevi order.
  • Khayal[1] style of Hindustani classical music. Compare to Qawwali.
  • Javanese gamelan. Rebab comes from Arabic-speaking zone; double-headed drum (kendang) developed from the Indian mridangam, perhaps transported via Indian ocean -Islamic cultural networks; nasal singing styles may be influenced by Islamic performance. Clapping patterns are similar to those of the Arabian Gulf. Compare the Gamelan Sekaten (Shahadtayn) played exclusively for the Prophet's Birthday (Mawlid).
  • Persian dastgah, performed on kemenche by Kayhan Kalhor, with santur - both are Islamicate instruments that developed through connections throughout Muslim areas (kemenche in Persia and Turkey are releated to kamanjah in Egypt, and to rababa - linked also to west African gonje)
  • Moroccan nawba. Compare Moroccan Burda performance (Burda is a famous poem of madih, praise for the Prophet, by the Egyptian Imam al-Busiri]
  • Plucked Lutes in West Africa: An Historical Overview, by Eric Charry (The Galpin Society Journal Vol. 49 (Mar., 1996), pp. 3-37). These lutes (along with fiddles and some drums) probably flowed throughout Islamic regions, linking to North Africa via trade routes). Various names are applied to similar plucked lutes: xalam, ngoni, kologo are a few of these.
  • Bamaya[3] northern Ghanaian traditional secular dance drumming, from the Dagomba people. Praise drumming can also be used to praise the Prophet, during the traditional Damba festival 12 Rabia al-Awwal (Mawlid) [4]
  • Hausa traditional music (northern Nigeria, near Zaria)
    • Kalangu[5]
    • Street music, and Islamic music (drums: kalangu, krukatu at 2:17; fiddle: goje; other drums include Tuni and side-by-side) - all folk music sources for an Islamic music. Sometimes called "Akwashi Rawa" (Let's dance), this music can be secular or sacred.
  • Akwashi Rawa in Ghana is used in Tijaniyya Sufi festivals (especially for the Prophet's birthday, mawlid), with a distinctively religious overtone (due to context and text), and distinct from traditional drumming as in Damba. Yet the use of the pressure drum is widespread.

Compare the above to Sufi performance from various places, and the category of Inshad Sufi.