Expert writers present the major traditions of North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, together with personal accounts of performers, composers, teachers and ceremonies. A special feature of this volume is the inclusion of dozens of brief essays that offer 'life stories' of typical music makers and their art, as well as first-person descriptions of specific music performances and events. Approximately 120 articles cover communities that preserve and enrich centuries-old traditions. The volume also explores such topics as political dissent, pop music genres, technology, poetry, gender and the historical and scholarly roots of Middle Eastern music.
Virginia Danielson is Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Librarian at Harvard University and author of The Voice of Egypt: Umm Kulthum, Arabic Song, and Egyptian Society in the Twentieth Century (1997). Scott Marcus is Associate Professor of Music at the UC Santa Barbara. Dwight Reynolds is Professor of Religion at UC Santa Barbara and author of Heroic Poets, Heroic Heroes: The Ethnography of Performance in an Arabic Oral Epic Tradition (1995).