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Music in the World of Islam

A Socio-Cultural Study

Amnon Shiloah

Anthropology, Israel and Middle East, Music

Paperback
Published: August 2001
ISBN: 9780814329702
Pages: 272 Size: 6x9
Illustrations: 18 black and white images
Review

The author succeeds remarkably well in holding the reader's attention while imparting copious information on these subjects...

— Choice

The story of music told in this book begins in pre-Islamic times with musical forms that bear strong imprints of the Bedouin’s tribal way of life. Pre-Islamic music can be viewed as the forerunner of the art music that acquired a foothold after the advent of Islam. The history of Arab music then became inextricably entwined with the musical traditions of the conquered lands. The merging of diverse forms into a unique common style marked the advent of the Great Musical Tradition that gained favor throughout an extensive geographical area. By the end of Islam’s third century, distinct autonomous styles began to appear involving Persians and Turks in particular.

Amnon Shiloah is professor of musicology at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the author of several books, including The Performance of Jewish and Arab Music in Israel Today, Vols. 1 and 2 (Gordon and Breach Publishing Group, 1997), The Dimension of Music in Islamic and Jewish Culture (Ashgate Publishing Company, 1993), and Jewish Musical Traditions (Wayne State University Press, 1992).

Shiloah ... provides basic musicological information about a vast variety of Middle Eastern musical genres within an ethnomusical context. The author succeeds remarkably well in holding the reader's attention while imparting copious information on these subjects ... expose[s] the importance of improvisation, creativity, and new trends and makes the reader aware of the breadth and variation possible within a coherent musical tradition. ... Well written with limited resort to technical jargon, it is strongly recommended for nonspecialists. General and academic collections.

– Choice