MENAME prospective students
Consider enrolling in the University of Alberta's Middle Eastern and North African Music Ensemble!
The Middle Eastern and North African Music Ensemble enters its 16th season this year (2019-20).
Learn about music of this vast and varied region--which includes speakers of Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Hebrew, Kurdish, Berber, Nubian, and other linguistic-ethnic groups--through performance, while earning 3 credits, and enjoying sociable meetings and various performance opportunities both on campus, and off.
We meet every Thursday evening during fall and winter terms, 6:30-9:30 PM, in the University of Alberta's Fine Arts Building (FAB), room 27 ("Studio 27"). Here's a map indicating FAB (you can park outside in the lot to the north of FAB, or indoors in the Timms Centre, just to the south. Entry to the former is via 111 Street; to the latter via 112 Street.)
While diverse, Middle Eastern and North African music also displays a certain degree of unity in its musical features, including a system of melodic organization (called maqam (Arabic), makam (Turkish), or dastgah (Persian)), and a system of temporal-metric organization (called iqa` or usul). We perform a wide range of musical pieces, including folk, classical, and popular musics, especially arranged for our ensemble.
Neither ability to read music nor the ability to speak any regional languages nor experience in any of the region's cultures is required. Nor is it necessary to have mastered an instrument. Vocalists are welcome - indeed the voice is usually central in this music. Everyone--from the University or Edmonton communities-- is invited to participate. (Non-UofA students can register via the Open Studies program.) The first meeting -- "for consent" -- will be used to reduce numbers if the enrollment goes too high.
What is most important is a commitment to the group for the entire term, including regular attendance at Thursday rehearsals, special rehearsals for concerts, and at least two concert performances per year: the World Music Sampler (usually held in November), and the final concert in late March.
We can accommodate nearly any instrument-- including winds, strings, and percussion--other than keyboards. Vocalists and continuous-pitch instruments (e.g. violins) are especially encouraged, since they will be able to perform the full range of maqamat. We own a collection of Middle Eastern percussion instruments, which are available for use in class. In previous years, the Ensemble has drawn together a broad range of students: music majors, those with scholarly or travel interest in the Middle East and North Africa, and people of Middle Eastern and North African descent.
For more information see the Dept of Music website
or the course website
And please feel free to contact me with any questions.
best regards, Michael
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