Musical Performance: Alwan Arab Music Ensemble at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Sun, April 15, 2012 2:00 pm at The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum

(View all musical performances »)

Lecture 2pm, Performance 2:45-3:30

Alwan for the Arts is pleased to continue its collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with a concert in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium.

Experience the exquisite world of religious painting from the 14th century to the present day. Christiane Gruber discusses a number of paintings of the Prophet Muhammad produced in Persian and Turkish lands and explains how representations of Muhammad ranged from his individual traits, to his primordial luminosity, to his veiled essence.

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 conclude the event with performances of classical art music from Cairo, Aleppo, and Baghdad.

The concert is free with Museum admission.

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

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

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: 2012-04-03 16:39:56

The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10028

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