Music in the World of Islam

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Call for proposals of papers MUSIC IN THE WORLD OF ISLAM

An international conference in Assilah (Morocco) from August 7 to 11, 2007

organised by the Assilah Forum Foundation and the Maison des Cultures du Monde (Paris)

Deadline for submittance : October 15, 2006

The Assilah Forum Foundation (Assilah, Morocco) and the Maison des Cultures du Monde (Paris, France) organize a conference on Music in the World of Islam to be held in Assilah from August 7 to 11, 2007. At the dawn of the 21st century and 75 years after the Congress of Arab Music (Cairo, 1932), it seems necessary to examine the state of musical traditions in the world of Islam. The situation of musical traditions in the Islamic world changed significantly after the Second World War due to the independence movements, the Cold War, the non-aligned country policies, the development of the media and globalization. New issues are appearing nowadays with the concepts of cultural diversity and protection of intangible cultural heritage, which will have an obvious effect on the futures of the various musical traditions. Varying approaches have been taken depending on the countries and their cultures and these merit consideration and comparison. The goal of this conference will be to recognize the vitality and diversity of the musical traditions and practices found in the world of Islam today and to promote greater circulation of knowledge and practices in a spirit of tolerance and mutual recognition.

The program for the plenary sessions will include an inaugural day and four theme days:

1. Music across borders

  • Brief history of exchanges and circulation of musicians
  • Migrations of art, folk and religious traditions
  • Transcontinental musical areas (e.g. the Gulf and East Africa)
  • Circulation of "light" and supra-regional musical forms (e.g. light music and Indian or Egyptian film music)

2. Musical production

  • Creativity within the tradition: academism vs. innovation, the future of formal traditional models
  • Contemporary creation in the spirit of the tradition (or in the traditional style)
  • Contemporary creation that breaks with tradition: new recipes and new technologies
  • Authenticity, innovation and artistic paternity: the composer's place
  • Fusion and the conditions for its success
  • Links with poetry and dance
  • Improvisation vs. composition
  • Maqam composition techniques: comparative approach.
  • The Suite and the Taqsim

3. Music and society

  • Performance contexts today and their changes since the Cairo Congress of 1932
  • Mesomusic (midway between folk and learned) and the popularization of music of the educated classes (or art music ?)
  • The range of genres as a moving reflection of the social order
  • The mode of Sufi musics
  • Musicians' positions and status
  • The specific roles of women and children
  • Amateur vs. professional practices
  • Music and money: who benefits?
  • Issues of the star system

4. Music and politics

  • Music, authority and power
  • Music and the State
  • The secular and sacred domains: antagonism?
  • Positions of the ulemas on the licitness of music in the world of Islam
  • Expression of identity through music
  • Ethnicity and diversity
  • Music and scandal
  • Patronage: ancient and modern

The geographic areas involved are:

  • The Arabian peninsula
  • The Maghreb
  • The Mashreq
  • Turkey, Iran, Central Asia
  • Southern Asia
  • Southeast Asia
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Southern Europe
  • The diasporas

Each speaker should propose a paper focusing on the region connected to his areas of research within the framework of the topics suggested above. Local problematics and micro-monographs are not within the scope of this conference. Speakers should thus give their papers a cross-cultural or comparative focus.

Each proposal must:

  • Specify the topic and the sub-topic(s) chosen (see list above);
  • Indicate the geographical area involved (the paper may deal with a part of this area or several areas);
  • Submit a 300 to 400 word abstract of the paper;
  • Be accompanied by a curriculum vitae.

Papers must be of no more than 20 minutes in length.

The languages for the conference will be Arabic, English and French with simultaneous translation into these three languages. Proposed papers are to be submitted for the approval of the conference' apex committee.

Speakers who wish to present sound recordings and audio-visual materials must do so outside of the plenary sessions in an audio-visual area that will be put at their disposal. Deadline for sending of proposals: October 15, 2006.

Please send your proposal to: Pierre Bois, conference coordinator Maison des Cultures du Monde, 101 Bd Raspail, 75006 Paris, France. Telephone ++33 (0)1 45 44 72 30 / fax ++33 (0)1 45 44 76 60.

For further information : Location : Organizers :

Apex committee: Dieter Christensen (ethnomusicologist, professor emeritus Columbia University, New York, USA) Jean During (ethnomusicologist, director of research, CNRS, Paris, France) Jean Lambert (ethnomusicologist, director of the Centre Français d'Archéologie et de Sciences Sociales, Sanaa, Yemen) Said Maghrebi (ethnomusicologist, professor, Université de Mohammedia, Maroc) Adam Nayyar (ethnomusicologist, director of the National Council for the Arts, Islamabad, Pakistan) Philip Yampolsky (ethnomusicologist, Ford Foundation, Jakarta, Indonesia)

Organizers Mohamed Benaïssa (General Secretary of Assilah Forum Foundation, minister of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Morocco) Chérif Khaznadar (director of the Maison des Cultures du Monde)

Best regards.

Pierre Bois, coordinator of the conference Maison des Cultures du Monde, 101 Bd Raspail, 75006 Paris, France. tél. ++33 (0)1 45 44 72 30 / fax ++33 (0)1 45 44 76 60

Pierre Bois, coordinator of the conference Maison des Cultures du Monde, 101 Bd Raspail, 75006 Paris, France. tél. ++33 (0)1 45 44 72 30 / fax ++33 (0)1 45 44 76 60