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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.

The classical music of Pakistan has its roots in pre–Islamic times. Hence the names of the majority of ragas have Hindu connections and are from the Sanskirt language. Muslim musicians from Pakistan will generally sing in the Urdu language and the lyrics, if religious, will be in praise of Allah.

Islamic culture, and in particular Persia, has had a profound influence on the evolution of music. Today, Muslim musicians play a major role in the music world. Whether they are from Pakistan or India, names like Ustad Bary Fateh Ali Khan, Vilayat Khan, Amjad Ali Khan, or the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan are among the great musicians of the XIV/20th century.

In this recording, Ustad Bary Fateh Ali Khan presents three ragas for three different periods of the day: early morning, early evening and evening. The concept of set periods of the day to which ragas are attached is based upon how one generally feels at different times. This is further defined by scale and the ascending or descending structure of the raga. Each raga is in the tin-tal rhythmic cycle, the closest to the Western concept of 4/4 time.

the artists

With the exquisite articulation of living legend Ustad Bary Fateh Ali Khan, this volume in The Music of Islam series features the traditional instruments and ragas of the classical music of Pakistan which thrive as a living testament to the wide spectrum of cultures and practices across the World of Islam.

One of the few great masters alive today, Indian born Ustad Bary Fateh Ali Khan began singing at the age of eight. After partition, his family migrated to Lahore in the new state of Pakistan. He is accompanied by sarangi, tabla, tanpuras and svarmandal, and accompanies himself on harmonium (an adapted version of the Western reed organ).

The sarangi (a violin in the shape of a rectangular box) is played by one of the subcontinent's great masters, Ustad Nazim Ali Khan. The tabla (a set of two drums) is played by Ershad Hussain. Today it is the most important percussion instrument in the northern half of the subcontinent. The tanpura (a drone similar in construction to the sitar but without frets and commonly with only four strings) is played by Mustaq Ali and Ghulam Sabir. The svarmandal (a small harp similar to the autoharp but without chord bars) is played by Sultan Fateh Ali.


1 RAGA BAIRAGI BHAIRAVI (Early Morning) 21'16"
2 RAGA PURIYA DHANASHRI (Early Evening) 24'55"
3 RAGA YAMAN (Evening) 26'02"
  Total Time: 75'23"