UNESCO Collection Reissued – Featuring Morocco and Middle Eastern Sung Poetry

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the nonprofit record label of the national museum of the U.S., has recently re-released the albums Morocco: Arabic Traditional Music and Middle East: Sung Poetry as part of the extensive and influential UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music.

Middle East: Sung Poetry - Various Artists UNES08025Middle East: Sung Poetry – Various Artists UNES08025

Sung poetry has been a popular form of artistic expression in many parts of the world, especially among the nomadic peoples of the Middle East. Most of the poems in Persian, Arabic, and Turkish literature were sung in order to be passed on by bards from generation to generation through the oral tradition. Middle Eastern sung poetry remains a living tradition as bards not only improvise on the ancient texts and melodies but also create new compositions to reflect current sensibilities. As Alain Daniélou explains in the liner notes, the imagery in the poems has a double meaning: what may seem trite symbols of material and earthly pleasure also represent mystical ecstasy and divine love.


Morocco: Arabic Traditional Music - Various Artists UNES08002Morocco: Arabic Traditional Music – Various Artists UNES08002

This 1988 recording focuses on the Arabic tradition in Moroccan music. According to the liner notes, the two forms of l-‘asri modern music and sh-sha’abi popular/people’s music have wide appeal around the country as well as in all segments of the population. Although they share similar modal structures, they are quite different formally and rhythmically.

Versatile singer-musician Abdeslam Cherkaoui composed the four songs presented on the album and plays accompaniment on the 11-string oud—a short, pear-shaped instrument that is directly related to the European lute. The liner notes provide closer analysis of the modern and traditional elements in the music and an English translation of the lyrics.



Related AKDN: http://www.akdn.org/Content/1135

Related: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and the Aga Khan Music Initiative Collection

AKMISmithsonian Folkways Recordings, in collaboration with the Aga Khan Music Initiative (a program of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture), has produced a 10-CD/DVD set documenting the music of Central Asia. This ground-breaking, newly recorded, and GRAMMY-nominated series presents authentic musical traditions of Central Asia as they are performed today, featuring some of the region’s most outstanding artists.

Find out more here http://www.folkways.si.edu/find_recordings/CentralAsia.aspx

The Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI) is an interregional music and arts education program with worldwide performance, outreach, mentoring, and artistic production activities. The Initiative was launched by His Highness the Aga Khan in 2000 to support talented musicians and music educators working to preserve, transmit, and further develop their musical heritage in contemporary forms. Music Initiative began its work in Central Asia, subsequently expanding its cultural development activities to include artistic communities and audiences in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. AKMI designs and implements a country-specific set of activities for each country into which it invests and works to promote revitalization of cultural heritage both as a source of livelihood for musicians and as a means to strengthen pluralism in nations where it is challenged by social, political, and economic constraints.

Find out more here http://vimeo.com/akmi/portfolios

All related on Ismailimail: https://ismailimail.wordpress.com/category/institutions-of-ismaili-imamat/trust-for-culture/music-initiative/

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