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Arabic Music in Western Ears: An Account of the Music of the Hejaz at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Colloquium Muziekwetenschap
Anne van Oostrum

September 19, 15:30-17:00
Universiteitstheater, Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16, zaal 3.01

Between c. 1905 and 1909, the Dutch Arabist Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje (1857–1936) was responsible for making what are now known as the oldest recordings of music and speech of the Hejaz on wax cylinders by means of an Edison phonograph. Snouck Hurgronje’s perception and appreciation of Arabic music are studied as expressed in his work Mekka (1888-1889) and in his commentary on some songs included in his collection of wax cylinders. Firstly, the views of Guillaume-André Villoteau (1759-1839) and Edward Lane (18011876), his predecessors in the field of the study of Arabic music, will be viewed, then opinions of the musicologists and composers of his time will be sketched and finally Snouck Hurgronje’s comments on his recordings will be discussed.