International Graduate and Post-Doctoral Summer Workshop and Public Panel

July 10-12, 2016

The Forum for Contemporary Ethnomusicology and

Da’at Hamakom – Center for the Study of Cultures of Place in the Modern Jewish World


Prof. Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco

New University of Lisbon, Portugal; President of the International Council for Traditional Music

The Heritagization of Arabic Music in Twentieth Century Egypt

The heritagization of Arabic music in twentieth century Egypt was marked by two milestones: the Arabic Music Conference held in Cairo in 1932 with the goal of establishing a canon for Arabic music theory and practice; and the founding in 1967 of Firqat Al-Musiqa Al-‘Arabiyah, a vocal and instrumental ensemble that aimed at reviving and disseminating Arabic music heritage/turath. The 1932 conference established Al-Musiqa Al-‘Arabiyyah (Arabic music) as a discursive field grounded in the ideal of authenticity. However, its influence on performance practice was negligible. Thirty-five years following this landmark event, Firqat Al-Musiqa Al-‘Arabiyyah (FMA) established a new performance model and aesthetic for Arabic music, providing a new sonic substance to the notion of al-musiqa al-‘arabiyyah, conceptualized as heritage/turath.

Taking into account Egyptian nationalism, pan Arabism, and the modernization efforts that characterized the Nasser era (1956 -1970), this lecture will focus on the discursive construction of Arabic music by Firqat Al-Musiqa Al-‘Arabiyyah and its impact. It will examine national cultural policy and government investment in safeguarding and disseminating Arabic music heritage, while at the same time sponsoring and promoting the institutionalization and indigenization of Western music; the agency of leading musicians, musicologists and cultural politicians in the efforts that led to the founding of FMA and in the establishment of a new performance model for Arabic music; and the impact of heritagization on the sustainability of al-musiqa al-‘arabiyyah.

July 12, 2016 at 18:00

The Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem

Lecture and Round Table open to the public, free admission

To join the email list of the Forum for Contemporary Ethnomusicology:!forum/contemporaryethnomusicology

To join the Facebook group of the Forum:

Day 1, July 10

9:30-10:00 Arrival at Yad Hashmonah Country Hotel
10:00-10:30 Welcome and Introductions

10:30-12:30 Session 1: Music Categorization – Masterclass with Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco

12:30-14:00 Lunch

14:00-16:00 Session 2: Musical Transformations: Between “Cosmopolitanism and “Place”
Moderator – Dafni Tragaki
Nadeem Karkabi, “Electro Dabke: Nationalist-Cosmopolitanism and Solidarity of Joy”
Oded Erez, “The Greek Wave: The Rise of Greek Music and the Mediterranean Heterotopia of Jaffa”
Dafna Dori, “Judeo Arabic Music: The Case of Displaced Iraqi Composer Ṣaleḥ Al-Kuwaity”

16:00-17:00 Break and room check-in

17:00-19:00 Session 3: Music and the Production of City as “Place”
Moderator – Abigail Wood
Clara Wenz, “Listening to Arab-Jewish Aleppo: Towards an Architecture of Musical Memory”
Tanya Sermer, “Performance and Its Audiences: Gender Politics, Panopticism, and Synopticism at the Western Wall in Jerusalem”
Naomi Cohn Zentner, “A Musical Postcard from Safed: The Recordings of Naftali Zvi Margolis Abulafia and the Shared Soundscapes for Pre-state Palestine”

19:00-20:30 Dinner

20:30 Jam Session

Overnight at Yad Hashmonah

Day 2, July 11

7:30-9:00 Breakfast and room check-out

10:00-12:00 Session 4: Wayfaring Songs, Placeless Encounters – Masterclass with Dafni Tragaki

12:30-14:00 Lunch

14:00-16:00 Session 5: Music and National Identity
Moderator – Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco
Avi Bar-Eitan, “‘In Our Imagination, the Wonders Multiplied’: Conceptions of Place and Time in Songs of the Land of Israel”
Yair Hashachar, “Pan-Africanizing the Nation, Nationalizing Pan-Africanism: Scales of Place in the Quinaziane Artistique et Culturelle National in Guinea”
Irit Youngerman, “Different Shades of East: Composers Benno Bardi and Hanoch Jacoby in Egypt, Turkey, and Palestine”

16:00-16:30 Coffee Break

16:30-17:30 Session 6: Closing Reflections
Moderator: Edwin Seroussi

17:30 Departure from Yad Hashmonah

Day 3, July 12:

18:00-20:00 Public Lecture and Roundtable at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem
Prof. Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco
“The Heritagization of Arabic Music in Twentieth Century Egypt”


Program Poster: Prof. Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco