The Music of the Arabs Book/CD

  • 260 Pages
  • Published by Amadeus Press
  • Softcover with CD

Product Description
Encompassing a history of more than 2000 years, the music of the Arabs is unique among the world’s various musical cultures. This book presents an overview of Arabic music throughout history and examines the artistic output of contemporary musicians, covering secular and sacred, instrumental and vocal, improvised and composed music. Typical musical structures are elucidated, and a detailed bibliography, a discography (mainly covering the last 50 years) and a guide to the Arabic alphabet for English speakers are also provided. The paperback edition (00331635) includes a CD of seven traditional Arabic pieces performed by contemporary Arab musicians.

The Music of the Arabs Book/CD

Author: admin

5 thoughts on “The Music of the Arabs Book/CD

  1. I agree with mimiqanun 100%. By the way, I have seen you play in SF and you are awesome.

    Unfortunately the author has some strong negative opinions about the post 1900 arabic music genre.

    In the book he writes:

    “The “Big Arabian Orchestra” of the present, which many Arabs look upon with obvious pride, is fundamentally a hybrid, neither traditionally Arabian nor authentically European in its structure… With a huge racket, it plays together in unison or – if it is an “up-to-date”orchestra in multi-voiced harmony, offering nothing better than a poor imitation of European orchestral style. Often, the orchestra accompanies a male or female singer who croons a pop song into the microphone. Through the mass media, and especially through Egyptian feature films, such singers have managed to achieve immense popularity.”

    The author is a conservative musicologist that has no respect for anything that’s not 100% “pure” arabic music. Although the book does a decent job of explaining the maqams, rhythms, and history, I feel that the author is stubborn, narrow-minded and rude for not showing a shred of respect to the arabic music genre which includes Farid, Abdel Wahab, and others.

    The author is also a hypocrit. While he repeatedly blasts any arabic ensemble that uses European instruments (like violin), and, while he condemns any composer that creates melodies with western influence, he spends 2 pages praising Um Kalthoum! oooooops!

    Farid El Atrache and Abdel Wahab are not mentioned once in this book. The Instruments Chapter includes a photo of Munir Bachir playing the oud, but no mention of Farid. Was Farid El Atrache not an arab? How can you write a book entitled, “Music of the Arabs” and not mention Farid El Atrache?

    The book should be retitled, “The Music of the Pre-1900 Arabs + Munir Bachir and Um Kalthoum.”
    Rating: 1 / 5

  2. Dreadful. It doesn’t mention the greats like Abdel-Wahab and Farid. The author is extremely biased! How can he not mention a great composer and lute player as Farid?
    Rating: 1 / 5

  3. I agree with mimiqanun 100%. By the way, I have seen you play in SF and you are awesome.

    Unfortunately the author has some strong negative opinions about the post 1900 arabic music genre.

    In the book he writes:

    “The “Big Arabian Orchestra” of the present, which many Arabs look upon with obvious pride, is fundamentally a hybrid, neither traditionally Arabian nor authentically European in its structure… With a huge racket, it plays together in unison or – if it is an “up-to-date”orchestra in multi-voiced harmony, offering nothing better than a poor imitation of European orchestral style. Often, the orchestra accompanies a male or female singer who croons a pop song into the microphone. Through the mass media, and especially through Egyptian feature films, such singers have managed to achieve immense popularity.”

    The author is a conservative musicologist that has no respect for anything that’s not 100% “pure” arabic music. Although the book does a decent job of explaining the maqams, rhythms, and history, I feel that the author is stubborn, narrow-minded and rude for not showing a shred of respect to the arabic music genre which includes Farid, Abdel Wahab, and others.

    The author is also a hypocrit. While he repeatedly blasts any arabic ensemble that uses European instruments (like violin), and, while he condemns any composer that creates melodies with western influence, he spends 2 pages praising Um Kalthoum! oooooops!

    Farid El Atrache and Abdel Wahab are not mentioned once in this book. The Instruments Chapter includes a photo of Munir Bachir playing the oud, but no mention of Farid. Was Farid El Atrache not an arab? How can you write a book entitled, “Music of the Arabs” and not mention Farid El Atrache?

    The book should be retitled, “The Music of the Pre-1900 Arabs + Munir Bachir and Um Kalthoum.”
    Rating: 1 / 5

  4. Touma excels in some areas but falls well short of providing a good foundation for an introductory survey book. The book can be very informative but requires the reader to really invest themselves in the book. Touma, however, puts together a very good listening example section and the accompanying CD is very good.
    Rating: 3 / 5

  5. This is simply the best introduction to Arabian music written in English and one of the best introduction to this music ever written. Informative, accessible, and comprehensive. Highly recommended!!
    Rating: 5 / 5

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