Cambridge Catalogue  
  • Help
Home > Catalogue > Making Music in the Arab World
Making Music in the Arab World
Google Book Search

Search this book


  • 9 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 268 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.41 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521316859 | ISBN-10: 0521316855)

A. J. Racy is well known as a scholar of ethnomusicology and as a distinguished performer and composer. In this pioneering book, he provides an intimate portrayal of the Arab musical experience and offers insights into how music generally affects us all. The focus is tarab, a multifaceted concept that has no exact equivalent in English and refers to both the indigenous music and the ecstatic feeling associated with it. Richly documented, the book examines various aspects of the musical craft, including the basic learning processes, how musicians become inspired, the love lyrics as tools of ecstasy, the relationship between performers and listeners, and the influence of technological mediation and globalization. Racy also probes a variety of world musical and ecstatic contexts and analyses theoretical paradigms from other related disciplines. Written in a lucid style, Making Music in the Arab World will engage the general reader as well as the specialist.

• Unique synthesis of historical data and direct experience pertaining to Arab music and the feelings of ecstasy it induces • The first book of its kind, written by a distinguished music scholar who is well-known and highly regarded across the Arab world • The book will appeal to students of musicology, as well as to students of the region, historians, anthropologists, and those who love Arab music


1. Introduction; 2. Culture; 3. Performance; 4. Music; 5. Saltanah; 6. Lyrics; 7. Tarab in perspective.


'… a major contribution to studies in English on Arab music … a must read for specialists and a very interesting book for the general reader …'. Digest of Middle East Studies

'One could hardly ask for a better English-language introduction to the principles of Arabic music that this terse, well-written treatment … Racy writes with clarity and passion drawing equally on his life-long experience as a performer, his deep friendships with musicians, and his profound understanding of music, texts, and the history of thought concerning this rich cultural world. … this is a book with the power to reveal and demystify the rich music and culture of the Arab world, and make it approachable to the uninitiated as never before.' Afropop Worldwide

printer iconPrinter friendly version AddThis