It’s an important exhibition aiming at highlighting the value of an endangered heritage. Al Musiqa, Tarab Musics of the Arab World spreads out a visit covering several centuries of History, starting from the pre-Islamic era (in other words, before the birth of the prophet Mahomet), and ending on contemporary electronic music.
The Philharmonie de Paris highlights first the vocal art, worked on in cities and the desert and that used to be “the prerogative of the camel drivers who crossed wide desert areas while reciting chants called huda, which rhythm was synchronized with the pace of the camel, while the nasb was the song of the young Bedouins”. Pure poetry and that contradict the pre-Islamic period which was a synonym for ignorance.
Then, head to the 7th century and the arrival of Islam in the musical culture. It’s a successful period during which some singing slaves were true stars! But, already, a certain suspicion rises against music, of which rhythms remind too much of polytheistic rites.
On this subject, it’s said it’s “important to highlight the central place of melodic phenomena in Islam: the call to prayer (al adan) and the Coran psalmody (tajwid) in practice; songs accompanying religious celebrations such as the mawlid, the celebration of the prophet’s birth or the pilgrims in their way to the Mecca. So, we can say Islam doesn’t banish music but tend to limit the physical effects and spiritualize the perception”.
How fascinating! Then, court music, mystic music, exile music and finally today’s Arab music are given pride of place with a small detour in Egypt, an enchanting country for many musicians.
The journey is total, thrilling and perfectly explained. An exhibition to visit with your eyes and your ears open and your family of course!
From 6 April 2018 to 19 August 2018
Philharmonie de Paris
221 Avenue Jean Jaurès
75019 Paris 19
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