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The Music of Islam Sampler (13159). In seiner aufwendigen Forschungsarbeit folgt David Parsons den vielfältigen Spuren der heutigen islamischen Musik zurück bis zu den Wurzeln. Das Ergebnis ist eine Produktion, die international Aufsehen erregte und 1998 den Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik erhielt: Auf insgesamt 17 CDs spielen und singen Gnawas und Derwische, Muezzins und Volksmusiker. Von Indonesien und Pakistan bis Tunesien und Südspanien reicht das geografische Spektrum, über 12 Jahrhunderte das historische. Zu jeder CD gibt es ein sehr informatives, etwa 50-seitiges Begleitheft (in englisch). Man kann die CDs einzeln oder als Gesamtpaket in einer Holzbox erwerben. Hier die Zusammenfassung der ganzen Serie. Ausgezeichneter Einstieg.

the project

Ten years in the making, The Music of Islam series recorded in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Yemen, Pakistan, Indonesia, Iran and Qatar represents the most comprehensive sound documentation available to Westerners today, of a world religion dating back to 1/622. Although governed by strict rules for fourteen centuries, contact with other cultures has radically affected Islamic music throughout history. As the world enters the XV/21st century the timing of this collection serves an even larger purpose, documenting the traditions that have survived and will continue to survive for centuries to come. Today, one fifth of the world's population, one billion people, are Muslims, occupying a large territory stretching from the Atlantic shore of north and west Africa, through west, central, and south Asia to island southeast Asia, and attracting an increasing following in India, western Europe, north America, east Asia, and southern Africa. This is a global presence which cannot be ignored.

Many orthodox Muslims have traditionally held that music is generally detrimental to the listener's religious life, and as a result there is relatively little sacred music in Islam. But there is some. Central to Islamic life is the chanting of the holy scripture, the Qur'an. Two associated works, the call to prayer known as ezan (adhon) and the tekbir, are known throughout the Islamic world, and are also performed in a highly stylized, richly embroidered style of chant. These prayers are the subject of this volume. A further prayer, the mevlud (mawlid) and regional prayers for the month of Ramadan are reserved for special occasions. All of these sacred works are sung/recited (the distinction becomes almost a semantic one in these performances in Arabic, of course); but difference in pronunciation and inflection have led to distinctly regional styles of performance. The five reciters recorded in this volume are all based in Istanbul, Turkey, where the tradition of Qur'anic chant is particularly strong.

The sound of the Qur'an recitation can be a striking one for Western ears. The modes can range from the slightly piquant to the startlingly exotic. But it bears repeating that, for all the musical interest in these performances, this is basically not music at all. It is prayer; and like the chanting of the Buddhist monks of Tibet, has as its ultimate aim not a musical goal but a spiritual one.

the artists

Featuring five of the best reciters in Turkey, this volume in The Music of Islam series focuses on the recitation of the Qur'an, as the title implies. Producer David Parsons has remarkably captured the spiritual essence of this ancient and time–honored tradition.

Hafiz Kani Karaca is one of Turkey's greatest Qur'an reciters and has represented Turkey in recitation competitions in other Islamic countries.

Hafiz Huseyin Erek is the leader of the Sisli Mosque Foundation of Istanbul.

Hafiz Kadir Konya is a famous reciter who also represents religious business interests on the Istanbul City Council.

Hafiz Dr. Emin Isik is a Professor of Qur'an recitation and commentary on Qur'an (Tefsir) at the Theology Faculty of Marmara University. He is one of Turkey's best-known proponents of Qur'an recitation.

Co–producer Al-Sheikh Nail Kesova is the Leader of the Galata Mevlevi Ensemble (the world famous Whirling Dervishes), a composer in the Turkish mystic music tradition, and a well–known singer and reciter of Turkish mystic and religious music.


1 EZAN (Call to Prayer) 1'53"
2 FATIHA (The Opening Chapter) 1'16
3 BAQARA I (The Heifer) 3'00"
4 BAQARA 1 (During Ascension) 3'19"
5 FURQAN (The Distinction) 12'46"
6 YA-SIN 20'22"
7 RAHMAN (Most Gracious) 14'57"
8 HASHR (The Banishment) 2'04"
9 ASR (The Ages) 0'54"
10 IKHLAS (Purity of Faith) 0'43"
11 FALAQ (The Dawn) 0'49"
12 NAS (Mankind) 1'00"
13 TEKBIR (Unification) 1'37"
  Total Time: 65'45"