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Middle East Music

In: Film and Music

Submitted By dmsek56
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Chapter 8
1. How has Islam shaped conceptions of music for the peoples of the Middle East? In the Middle East, Islam is not just a religion; it is a way of life. Islam’s influence spread in the Middle East music conceptions. For example, the Arabic scale is strongly melodic, based around various maqamat or modes. Also, Mann explains that “under the wide rule of Islam, vulgar lyrics and suggestive dancing by women became illegal. Much post-Islamic music is used in ceremonial dance and recreation. (Mann)” In the Middle East, people may hear their songs of praise and prayer. The “World Music: A global Journey, says that “in addition to being suspicious of the sensual aspects of music Islamic aesthetics frowns on realistic representation in art, especially of the human form, to avoid the temptation toward idol worship. But as with sound, it may not always be obvious to outsiders what is considered art and what is not. (Miller 255)” Because, the influence of Islam has had great impact on people related with music, and people used to meditation, trance, and self-flagellation with one’s a higher sense of God while listening music.
2. What is modal improvisation? Is it primarily a compositional or a freely expressive form of performance?
According to Henry, modal improvisation is that “a typical modal tune may have only two or three chords, and each may last 8 or even 16 measures. In one sense, modal playing is much easier than playing changes, since it does not require your brain to do as much fast computation to constantly change scales. (Henry)” This performance requires more challenging, because “the concept of modality has as much to do with what is done with the harmony as with its rate of change. (Henry)”
3. Taking into consideration the material discussed in Chapter 3 and 10, what are some of the musical relationships between the Middle East and Europe,...

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