FRANKFURT, 21st October, 2022 (WAM) — The Arabic Language Center Abu Dhabi (ALC) has launched a series of music books at the 2022 Frankfurt Book Fair.
Consisting of a number of publications, the series is a notable addition to ALC’s list of publications and focuses on Emirati and Arabic song and music. It includes biographies of artists Eid Al-Faraj and Ibrahim Jumaa written by author Ibrahim Al-Hashemi, a book on why Umm Kulthum chose the poems she sang, and a variety of other titles, including educational books.
The launch ceremony was attended by Dr. Ali bin Tamim, President of the ALC, and Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Acting Executive Director of the ALC and Director of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF), as well as representatives of the media and book enthusiasts.
“The Arabic Language Center Abu Dhabi continues to advance the Arabic language and enrich the Arabic library with original titles with the aim of encouraging creativity and supporting authors,” said Al Tunaiji. “The music book series we have launched is a way to shed new light on music and singing in the region. For the first time, the series features biographies of musical pioneers in the United Arab Emirates, in addition to documenting traditional performing arts and exploring new perspectives on Arabic singing from experts.
The series includes two books from the “Pioneers Among Us” initiative, where poet and writer Ibrahim Al-Hashemi documents the life of Eid Al-Faraj, singer, composer and poet. The first biography of its kind for this artist, it recounts Al-Faraj’s journey from birth to childhood, education and the different stages of his career to the present day, illustrated by a collection of photographs.
In the second book, Ibrahim Jumaa: The Etheric Melody of the Sea, Al-Hashemi presents the life and achievements of a pioneer of music and composition in the United Arab Emirates, and documents the songs and poems he written, composed and performed at festivals and special occasions. The publication features photographs from Jumaa’s life, highlighting the awards and accolades he received during his career.
“This collection of music books complements the series of books we previously launched at the Arabic Language Center Abu Dhabi,” added Al Tunaiji. “These works, in which Emirati authors document the lives and professional careers of the UAE’s musical pioneers, will greatly enrich the regional cultural scene and foster further research into the musical heritage of the UAE. The series offers a new perspective on Arab musical heritage, which is sure to spark new dialogue around it.
The collection includes Dr. Hamad bin Sarai Wahhabi’s book Art: Kinetic and Verbal Performance from Emirati Folklore, which consists of field research documenting a folk performance art form closely linked to the agricultural environment, through interviews with people who practice this art form.
Meanwhile, the Encyclopedia of Sung Poems, compiled by researcher Dr. Hammad Al Khatri, includes poems sung in the UAE, which are generally closer to popular taste and extend deep into the history of the community. The poems address phenomena and symbols from the surrounding environment and embody an authentic Emirati vocabulary that expresses the culture of the people.
In the book Folk Songs for Children and Women in the United Arab Emirates, Dr. Fatima Al Mazrouei attempts to address the lack of documentation of traditional folk songs, especially in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, where she has collected many songs for his book which have never before been featured in published songbooks. The author has also sought to collect children’s songs – often referred to as “Al-Ragousat” in Abu Dhabi – in addition to songs about names, especially girls’ names.
Writing about the connection between Umm Kulthum and Arabic poetry, Dr. Ahmed Youssef Ali’s book Umm Kulthum: Poetry and Singing chronicles the legendary singer’s efforts to elevate Arabic song by performing the works of some of the world’s greatest poets. his time and before. Umm Kulthum had a modest upbringing, receiving only a religious upbringing and being taught traditional culture, but her exceptional taste enabled her to select the poetic texts that would best serve her songs, sometimes rearranging the verses for greater effect.
Egyptian composer and scholar Hassan Zaki Shehata highlights four composers whose works achieved considerable success and fame in his book Rhythms of Light: A Musical Biography of Four of the Geniuses of Oriental Melody, where he analyzes the works of Ahmed Sedqi, Abdel Azim Abdel Haq, Mahmoud Al Sharif and Ali Ismail.
The collection also features two books by composer and music researcher Muhammad Saeed Hegab. ‘The Flute: A Morsel of Cane with a Scent of Legends traces the history of the flute in an attempt to separate reality from the myths that were associated with the instrument in ancient times. The author lists the different flute shapes and the phonetic differences between them, highlights the importance of the flute in different cultures, and explains how the instrument is made and played. Meanwhile, Hegab’s The World of Bowed Instruments traces the history of bowed string instruments back to their beginnings and explores the evolution of the various families of bowed instruments. The book focuses on the use of instruments in the musical traditions of the Arab region and similar traditions in neighboring cultures, offering insight into how they are made and played.
In Iraqi Musical Heritage and Civilizational Communication, Dr. Muhammad Hussein Kamer, professor of science and music theory and expert on Iraqi al-gouza and maqam instruments, explores topics of cultural communication, the link between modern and traditional music, the music education and music learning in schools. The author discusses traditional Iraqi music, focusing on the al-gouza instrument, and offers detailed studies of the Iraqi maqam, its history, types and characteristics.
Music researcher Bassam Abdel-Sattar’s educational book, The Qanun Instrument, includes an introduction to the oriental instrument and its components, highlights its role in the traditional music school, details its musical range. The publication includes lessons and technical exercises for playing the instrument, as well as a practical guide for musicians who play the qanun or are looking to learn it.
The collection also includes The Medium in the Rules and Theories of Arabic Music, a theoretical and applied study of the rules and theories of Arabic music, written by Egyptian author Ahmed Youssef Al-Taweel, professor and vice-dean of the Institute superior of Arabic music. at the Academy of Arts.
The History of Music in Arabia and Andalusia, written by Julian Ribera and translated by Hussein Hassan, is being reprinted. The book highlights the role of Andalusian Muslims in preserving music and passing it on to future generations, where its legacy has inspired many European musicians.