Musical Performance: Alwan Arab Music Ensemble at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (November 4th & 5th)

Fri, November 4, 2011 5:00 pm at Metropolitan Museum of Art (Great Hall Balcony)

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November 4thand 5th, 5 to 8 pm

Alwan for the Arts is pleased to announce a new collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, beginning with two concerts in the Great Hall Balcony to mark the opening of the New Galleries for the Art of Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia.

On November 4th and 5th, the Alwan Arab Music Ensemble, comprised of six of the leading practitioners of Arab music in New York, all of whom sing and play a wide range of Arab musical styles on traditional instruments, will present performances of classical art music from Cairo, Aleppo, and Baghdad, at the Museum’s Balcony Bar overlooking the Great Hall.

The concerts are free with Museum admission.

Hear an interview and performance by the ensemble on WNYC's New Sounds, with John Schaeffer


The Alwan Arab Music Ensemble:

George Ziadeh, oud, vocals
Tareq Abboushi, buzuq, vocals
Sami Shumays, violin, vocals
Johnny Farraj, riqq, vocals
Zafer Tawil, qanun, violin, vocals
Amir ElSaffar, santur, vocals (only on Saturday the 5th)

Classical Arab Music

The notion of “classical" in Arab culture has existed since the Islamic Golden Age (750-1250 CE), a period in which great strides were made in the arts and sciences, much of which was influenced by ancient Greek philosophy and thought which, in turn, had their foundation in Egyptian and Semitic cultures. During this era, musicians and theorists developed the complex system of seven-note modes known as maqamat (singular: maqam), which lie at the heart of most Arab, as well as Persian, Turkish, and Central Asian musical styles to the present day.

In the classical art music traditions of Cairo, Aleppo, and Baghdad—three important Arab cities with great legacies in art and culture—each has a unique repertory: the dawr and qasida of Cairo; the Andalucían muwashshahat of Aleppo; and al-maqam al-iraqi of Baghdad; with distinct characteristics, rules, and aesthetics. Yet all adhere to the maqam and place great importance on poetry and the vocal melody sung either by a soloist or a chorus, and accompanied by ensembles of traditional instruments, including the oud (lute), qanun (zither), nay (flute), violin, santur (hammered dulcimer), riqq (tambourine), and tabla (goblet drum).

To view information about this show on the Met's website, please click here.

Our Sponsors

This program is generously supported by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

Last updated: 2011-11-03 16:47:46

Metropolitan Museum of Art (Great Hall Balcony)

1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10028-0198

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