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 Schuber 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.

Nearly 80 minutes playing time, this recording is a complete representation (sampler) of the series, featuring one selection from each of the fifteen volumes, seventeen CDs respectively. The series consists of:

Volume One: Al-Qahirah, Classical Music of Cairo ( 13140)

Volume Two: Music of the South Sinai Bedouins (13141)

Volume Three: Music of the Nubians (13142)

Volume Four: Music of the Arabian Peninsula (13143)

Volume Five: 'Aissaoua Sufi Ceremony (14144)

Volume Six: Al-Maghrib, Gnawa Music (13146)

Volume Seven: Al-Andalus, Andalusian Music (13147)

Volume Eight: Folkloric Music of Tunisia (13148)

Volume Nine: Mawlawiyah Music of the Whirling Dervishes (13149)

Volume Ten: Qur'an Recitation (13150)

Volume Eleven: Music of Yemen (13151)

Volume Twelve: Music of Iran (13152)

Volume Thirteen: Music of Pakistan (13153)

Volume Fourteen: Mystic Music Through the Ages (13154)

Volume Fifteen: Muslim Music of Indonesia, West Sumatra and Aceh (14155)

The Music of Islam Boxed Set (19907)

the artists

The name of musician/producer David Parsons is virtually synonymous with Celestial Harmonies, especially with regard to high quality location recordings and traditional world music collections. An accomplished musician himself, he has rapidly become an acclaimed producer since the early 1990s, credited for recording and producing such renowned collections as The Music of Armenia (19909), The Music of Vietnam (19902) and The Music of Cambodia (19903). Like these previous collections, though much more expansive, The Music of Islam, also recorded and produced by New Zealander David Parsons and Professor Margaret Kartomi (Volume fifteen), is a landmark, not only in our time, but transcending time.

The musicians and reciters recorded in this series are masters of their chosen art, regionally and worldwide, with numerous years of intense study (or a lifetime devotion to studying) from a long lineage of great composers, reciters, mystics and spiritual leaders. Each is truly a divine gift, not only in their respective cultural history, but to the world at large.

There are many commonly used instruments in Islamic music, including the 'ud, nay, sintir, tanbour, kanoun, kamanche and various percussion instruments; daraboukka, tabalah, bendir, tabal, and tar, all of which are featured in this series.


1 BAQARA SURAH II, 1-5 from The Music of Islam, Volume 10 (13150) 3'04"
2 FARHANG ' E A ' VAM from The Music of Islam, Volume 12 (13152) 2'33"
3 YOUBATI from The Music of Islam, Volume 6 (13146) 6'36"
4 BENT EL BALAD from The Music of Islam, Volume 1 (13140) 4'26"
5 KA ' BENIN YOLLARI from The Music of Islam, Volume 9 (13149) 5'00"
6 YA RABBAT EL-HUSSEN from The Music of Islam, Volume 11 (13151) 4'40"
7 RAGA BAIRAGI BHAIRVA from The Music of Islam, Volume 13 (13153) 6'51"
8 RATEP MEUSUEKAT from The Music of Islam, Volume 15 (14155) 4'51"
9 AL-KARTCH from The Music of Islam, Volume 3 (13142) 6'26"
10 QUM NA DIMI from The Music of Islam, Volume 4 (13143) 4'23"
11 BAAD EL ASAHA from The Music of Islam, Volume 2 (13142) 5'56"
12 ESHBEHAYN from The Music of Islam, Volume 7 (13147) 5'00"
13 TEKBIR from The Music of Islam, Volume 14 (13154) 3'51"
14 MAWAL I from The Music of Islam, Volume 8 (13148) 4'19"
15 SCENE INAUGURATION from The Music of Islam, Volume 5 (14144) 9'17"
  Total Time:   78'33"