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Historical Arabic music

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:23 pm
by Blanc Sanglier
Being a music lover I am always looking for new sounds.

Can anybody recommend any good historical music with an arabic or persian style? Im not too fussy about time period, but medieval or earlier would be of particular interest. Would also consider good Indian music and such.

This is to add to a growing eastern music collection of mine :-D

Re: Historical Arabic music

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:32 pm
by saracen
Hi there!
Immediate thoughts:
most anything by Joglaresa
Jordi Savall and Hesperion XXI: 'Orient-Occident'
Anything by Dayazell (French band, amazing)
Ensemble Oni Wytars 'From Byzantium to Andalusia'

Re: Historical Arabic music

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:44 am
by Blanc Sanglier
Thank you Gill, I always knew you were a girl after my own heart as far as the eastern cultures go!

May see you at the Grand Medieval Joust soon.

Always a pleasure,

Re: Historical Arabic music

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:53 am
by saracen
Cheers! Hope to see you all some time over the summer...

Re: Historical Arabic music

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:26 pm
by Tamsin Lewis
Or if you want a combination of Arab/Andalus and early music ... p_t_1_7HAE

Re: Historical Arabic music

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:14 am
by Jack Campin
This is the only CD of Arabic music I know of that really tries to do historical authenticity: ... uwashahat/

You may be able to find fragmentary recordings of the "nubat" of North Africa (it isn't really recordable) which is probably less changed from the Middle Ages than any other Arabic genre.

From quite a bit later, look for recordings by the Turkish group Bezmara. They reconstructed Ottoman instruments from as far back as the 15th century and figured out their playing techniques. ... sId=243892

They have hours of video on YouTube and several superbly produced CDs.

Back then Turkish and Arabic music were less separated than they are now. The oldest surviving notation of makam music is from the 17th century, written down by Ali Ufki, a Pole working for the Ottoman court.

Here is a video of Bezmara playing one of his pieces, with the original notation on screen.

His entire book here, in the original notation: ... ?tid=13862

The somewhat later notation of Dimitrius Cantemir is even harder to read - he used a solfa-like system of his own. Bezmara have recorded a lot of his pieces too.

There is also a set of 5 very wide-ranging CDs by a Greek-Turkish group "Bosporus" which I think overlaps both Bezmara and Savall's bunch.