Amazon.com From remote areas of Indonesia to southern Spain, this 17-CD box set is comprehensive in its scope of music made by those following the Islamic faith. The discs include Quran recitations, Sufi qawwali, the music of whirling dervishes, the folk music of Egypt, Andalusian sounds of Morocco, and recordings from Yemen, Tunisia, Turkey, Iran, and several other countries, some of which you may not have thought housed Muslim populations. In short, the collection is sublime, recorded and researched lovingly by producer David Parsons, who managed to cover the full range of Islamic music. If a nearly $200 price tag frightens you, consider the sampler or Volume Four: Music of the Arabian Peninsula for starters. Consider the entire box after the sacred voices and ancient instruments melt your heart into this music rich in tradition, sanctity, and musical complexity. --Karen K. Hugg
The Music of Islam: THE PROJECT Ten years in the making, The Music of Islam series recorded in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Yemen, Pakistan, Indonesia, Iran and Qatar represents the most comprehensive sound documentation available to Westerners today, of a world religion dating back to 1/622. Although governed by strict rules for fourteen centuries, contact with other cultures has radically affected Islamic music throughout history. As the world enters the XV/21st century the timing of this collection serves an even larger purpose, documenting the traditions that have survived and will continue to survive for centuries to come. Today, one fifth of the world's population, over one billion people, are Muslims, occupying a large territory stretching from the Atlantic shore of north and west Africa, through west, central, and south Asia to island southeast Asia, and attracting an increasing following in India, western Europe, north America, east Asia, and southern Africa. This is a global presence which cannot be ignored. With 17 CDs in 15 volumes, The Music of Islam boxed set artistically presents nearly 20 hours of diversely rich Islamic music recorded throughout the Islamic Belt with over 800 pages of synoptic scholastic text written by leading scholars and ethnomusicologists from around the world. Creating a class of its own, and perhaps setting a new standard, The Music of Islam is an unequalled sound document destined to live beyond our time and, regrettably, most likely surpass the very existence of some of the people and cultures featured.
ANSWERS.COM Inimitable world music producer Eckart Rahn again brings listeners a collection of recordings that is as moving as it is obscure as it is technically perfect. This sampler selects from a 15-volume set documenting the state of Islamic music from Turkey south to Yemen and Morocco east to Indonesia. The sampler is available for sale, separate from the perhaps imposing set. Detailed documentation discusses Islamic music cursorily and technically. Instrumentation, the role of religion in the music, and Islam and its history are also covered. Unfortunately, there is not much track-by-track text other than the source of each cut. The sampler begins very strongly, with an unaccompanied feat of vocal acrobatics in a Koran recitation recorded in Istanbul, followed by a rich arrangement of Iranian strings and percussion. From Marrakesh, Morocco, comes a sonorous example of deep-pitched drums backing group song. After this example of Gnawa music is an Egyptian flute, string, and percussion melody that clearly brings pyramids and oases to mind. Returning to Istanbul, listeners hear a surprisingly sedate male chorus backed by flute and tambourines from Music of Islam, Vol. 9: Mawlawiyah Music of the Whirling Dervishes. (Perhaps even dervishes need to relax.) Coming from Yemen is a very intricate and hypnotic melody from a plucked string instrument. The compilers chose to represent Pakistan with a near seven-minute raga. A clear, bright, Oriental female voice defines an Indonesian ensemble. Having heard from lower Egypt, listeners make a visit to upper Egypt where the leader of a Nubian troupe initiates each verse answered by the chorus, all to a lively drum beat. More exotic, moving, and densely structured music is heard from Qatar, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Tunisia, and Morocco. ~ Thomas Schulte, All Music Guide
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