The Music of Islam Sampler (13159). In seiner aufwendigen Forschungsarbeit folgt David Parsons den vielfältigen Spuren der heutigen islamischen Musik zurück bis zu den Wurzeln. Das Ergebnis ist eine Produktion, die international Aufsehen erregte und 1998 den Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik erhielt: Auf insgesamt 17 CDs spielen und singen Gnawas und Derwische, Muezzins und Volksmusiker. Von Indonesien und Pakistan bis Tunesien und Südspanien reicht das geografische Spektrum, über 12 Jahrhunderte das historische. Zu jeder CD gibt es ein sehr informatives, etwa 50-seitiges Begleitheft (in englisch). Man kann die CDs einzeln oder als Gesamtpaket in einer Holzbox erwerben. Hier die Zusammenfassung der ganzen Serie. Ausgezeichneter Einstieg.

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, 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.

The music culture of Yemen is a domain which has, until this recording and accompanying annotation, been scarcely known or documented. Yet, it has deep historic roots. The music of Yemen is extremely rich in genres, repertoires and configurations, functional relationships, modalities of performance and instruments. Yemenite music in general, and regardless of all the differences between layers of tradition and local and regional styles, has a particular attraction and charm, virtues which have been praised since ancient times.

The traditional music life in Yemenite towns knows no concerts or concert halls. Music performances form part of various functions. In Sana'a there are two main occasions: magyal, a social afternoon gathering and samra, night time entertainment. Recorded at a modern magyal, this volume features the classical traditional style of Yemen.

the artist

Music of Yemen was recorded in the home of well–known Sana'anian physician, musician and musicologist Dr. Nizar Ghanem in Old Sana'a.

Vocalist Iman Ibrahim is an accomplished singer in Yemen. Her presence and participation at the magyal was unusual in the light of tradition. She specializes in folk songs and songs in the Aden–style, in the Egyptian style, and in the highland style.

Vocalist and 'ud (short-necked, fretless lute) player Slaeh Abdul Baqi teaches music. He is attributed to fostering the traditional music of the south.

Vocalist and 'ud player Yahya Arouma is a well–known fannan (the modern designation for a singer and instrumentalist with a revalued social status), specializing in the songs of Sana'a.

Vocalist and 'ud player Omar Ghallab is a fannan and composer specializing in the music of his home region, Hadramaut.

Vocalist Abdelrahman Imri specializes in religious songs and the classical songs of Egypt.

Vocalist and 'ud player Mohamed Salem Shauqi is an aspiring vocalist specializing in the rural folk music of the southern highland region.

Vocalist Khalid Ali, tabla player Omar Salem Ba Jabirah and reqq (Arabic riqq) player Mirwan Al-Haidari are aspiring artists, acquiring their musical skills at magyal sessions.


1 YA RABBAT EL-HUSN (Oh Goddess of Beauty) 10'16"
2 TABA ' AN LIQA (It was nice to meet) 6'39"
3 ANA ATARAJJAK (I implore you) 6'39"
4 TABI' 'S-SAMAR (After the nocturnal enjoyment) 13'30"
5 LEH LEH WA-HAJIRI (Why, Oh why are you leaving me) 8'37"
6 YA SHARIKH EL-HAWEL (Oh, young shepherd) 11'09"
7 LI-LLAHI MA YAHWEH HATHA 'L-MAQAM (Indeed, how wonderful is this gathering) 9'38"
  Total Time: 67'02"