On Thursday (10 March), the Wigmore Hall in London will launch a new concert series – co-produced by the Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI) – which is also entitled “The Other Classical Musics”, and which will celebrate the music of the Muslim world.
The Other Classical Musics: a new concert series celebrating non-European classical traditions from Afghanistan to Aleppo
A new concert series will celebrate non-European classical traditions. It’s about time, says Michael Church
By Michael Church for the Independent Published on Sunday, March 6, 2016 at 12:37 pm
The Qur’an may be ambiguous on the question of whether music should be permitted in Islam, but the fact is that music has blossomed in a thousand wonderful ways in Muslim societies, in an unbroken swathe of the globe stretching from Morocco to Indonesia.
And in the first concert, a group of string virtuosi from Afghanistan and north India will present the music of a region of Central Asia where styles and sounds from medieval Persia and the Mughal Empire blended in the 17th and 18th centuries, and are blending anew today.
… The popularisation of the umbrella genre “world music” since the 1980s has been problematic, to say the least.
More seriously, although the term is logically meaningless – all music is “world music” – it has ironically helped to perpetuate the old fallacy that while Europe has “classical” music, everywhere else – with the exception perhaps of north India – has only “folk” music.
The myriad forms and styles of what marketing people call “world music” are lumped together in an undifferentiated mass, reflecting a mind-set which is still essentially colonial. We should simply drop this injurious and misleading term.
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About The Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI)
“I believe in the power of plurality, without which there is no possibility of exchange.”
– His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan
49th hereditary Imam of the Ismaili Muslims
The Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI) is an inter-regional music and arts education program with worldwide performance, outreach, mentoring, and artistic production activities.
The Initiative was launched by His Highness Prince Karim 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.
Discover, Explore and Learn more via the Aga Khan Music Initiative
Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali